Archive for the ‘General’ Category

2012 in review

December 30, 2012

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!

WatchFreaks Blog interviewed by STYLE:MEN Magazine

October 25, 2010

“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

Etiquette: Watches & Tuxedos

October 16, 2009

Often I have discussions  if you can or cannot wear a wrist watch while wearing a tuxedo/smoking. My answer is always: depends on the smoking you are wearing… Is it for a black tie or white tie event?

Image: Esquire.com

Image: Esquire.com

Therefore I did some research.

Let start with the word ‘etiquette’… What does that mean? On Wikipedia we learn: “Etiquette is a code of behavior that delineates expectations for social behavior according to contemporary conventional norms within a society, social class, or group. The French word, signifying ticket (of admission, etc.) first appeared in English in 1750.”

And, what does it mean if one receives an invitation which states ‘Black Tie’ as dress code? Although it can differ slightly per country, generally we can state: ‘black tie is a dress code for semi-formal evening events, and is worn to many types of social functions. For a man, the major component is a jacket, known as a tuxedo, which is usually black. A woman’s corresponding evening dress is a long evening gown (gala attire).’

If we focus on the men, here are some tips on what makes a smoking:

Unlike white tie, which is very strictly regulated, black-tie ensembles can display more variation. In brief, the traditional components are:

- A jacket with silk facings (usually grosgrain or satin), called the dinner jacket.
– Trousers with silk braids matching the lapels.
– A black cummerbund or low-cut waistcoat.
– A white dress shirt with either a marcella (piqué cotton), stiff, or pleated front.
– A black silk bow tie.
– Black dress socks, usually silk.
– Black shoes in patent or highly polished leather, or patent leather court shoes.

So, what about the watches??? Good question!!!

What would we do without Google :) First thing I did is Google this question and I was surprised how little results I found. I found a comment by the GQ Style Guy about wearing a Tux during a wedding:

“What style of timepiece to wear at your wedding I am getting married soon, and I am not sure what style timepiece I should put on my wrist. I’ll be wearing a very traditional one-button black tuxedo, a white shirt, a vest and a white Windsor tie. My cuff links are sterling silver. The wedding is on a Saturday morning. Would it be more appropriate for me to wear a Cartier rectangular face with Roman numerals and a black leather band or a Rolex with a stainless-steel band? I’m concerned that the Rolex might be too flashy. I am leaning toward the Cartier, with the leather band.

You’re lucky. You must have very few other problems to be so concerned with this. If I were you, I wouldn’t worry about what’s appropriate; since you are planning to wear evening clothes in the morning, appropriateness is no longer a consideration. But given your choices, I do think you’re better off with a dress watch—the Cartier—than with the Rolex, which I’m presuming is something of a sports watch. Unless, of course, the wedding will take place underwater, in which case the Rolex will function down to 300 meters. If the Cartier watch is gold, you might consider wearing gold cuff links (and studs?) or even asking your best man to be the timekeeper.”

But, what if the wedding is at night, cause the style guy is rather right, it is not often that you wear a tuxedo before sunset…

Back to Wikipedia… After looking three times, I finally found something of relevance: “Timepiece: If worn, a wristwatch should be slender, plain, and elegant; alternatively, a pocket watch may be worn on the waistcoat. Traditionally, however, visible timepieces are not worn with formal evening dress, because timekeeping is not considered a priority.”

Mmmmm… A bit contradictory. If worn, classic is the key, but then it states traditionally timepieces are not worn. What to do if you don’t own a pocket watch… So, is a wrist watch acceptable or not?

Hubpages says it is: “Your watch needs to be as slim and sleek as your tuxedo. Black tie is classic formal wear, keep your timepiece in the same league with a leather strap and basic black face. Keep those chunky chronographs with the compasses at home or on the fishing boat, you need to be dressy, not flashy here.”

I found this quote on several other sites… Google doesn’t help that much on this subject, so my dear fellow WatchFreaks, please share your opinion.

Legendary watch desingers: Rodolphe

October 14, 2009

About a year ago Boon wrote an article about one of the mostly legendary watch designers alive: “Have you heard of Rodolphe Cattin?

 Portait R Cattin

Yesteday evening Rodolphe Montres et Bijoux SA sent a urgent media alert: “Rodolphe Cattin leaves the Franck Muller group”. This made me think, did he sell his soul and regained it? Or, is there seriously something wrong in Watchland? First Franck himself wanted to leave after a fight with Sirmakes. Then came back. Now Rodolphe himself sent the following message in to the world:

Founder of the Rodolphe Montres & Bijoux watch company and of the Rodolphe & Co design studio – two entities owned by the Franck Muller group – Rodolphe Cattin has decided to quit all his operational activities within the group as of the end of October. He will remain a minority shareholder in both companies.

Rodolphe Cattin made the following comments regarding his decision:

 “It is with a mixture of sadness and relief that I am leaving the group with which we became associated four years ago, because I no longer sense that the group has any wish to develop the brand bearing my name. The same is indeed true of all the other ‘small’ brands within the Franck Muller group.

 The early days of our cooperation with the Franck Muller certainly did not suggest such an outcome. For the past four years, I have poured all my energy into this magnificent adventure and our tight-knit and motivated team was able to accomplish some excellent development work during the first two years of the partnership, resulting in particular in the Watch of the Year award won in 2006 for the Instinct Chrono model, followed by a second prize in 2008. However, these tokens of recognition did nothing to consolidate the Rodolphe brand’s position within the group. On a more global level, conditions have steadily deteriorated and it is now quite obvious that the group CEO, Mr. Vartan Sirmakes, has chosen to devote his energy and his efforts elsewhere. Despite many discussions on this issue, there are no longer any signs of a will to improve matters. Worse still, the group is currently trying to support its allegations that the “small brands” are responsible for the difficulties encountered by Franck Muller Watchland. It will be up to everyone to draw their own conclusions.

 This kind of negative comment is merely the latest episode in a series of disappointments endured over almost two years now. Due to a range of strategy, quality and delivery-related issues, the Rodolophe brand no longer benefits from an environment conducive to its healthy development. Not to mention interpersonal conflicts and broken promises that are detrimental to daily interaction and make it impossible to maintain a trust-based relationship.

 In light of these circumstances, I prefer to withdraw and in doing so leave my associates free to make their own choices, non-choices, decisions and non-decisions. I am above all a creative designer with little inclination for corporate politics, plotting and U-turns. And I strongly deplore the attitude and behaviour of some of my closest associates who may well see in my departure a chance to grab the spotlight.

Nonetheless, even at the end of this troubled period, I am extremely satisfied with the concept developed and with the aesthetic work undertaken by the teams that have supported me. The work is done and it is up to our successors to decide whether or not to develop and enhance the achievements to date.

While remaining a minority shareholder in the two Rodolphe Montres & Bijoux and Rodolphe & Co companies, my professional path is parting ways with the Franck Muller group at the end of the month. I maintain my creative soul, my entrepreneurial spirit and am truly relieved to be regaining my freedom”. 

The media alert even included Rodolphe’s direct e-mail address.

Robert-Jan and I already planned over 2 years ago two write about legendary watch designers and we wanted to start with Gerald Genta. I believe that the second profile should be about Rodolphe… What do you guys think? Since we have his direct e-mail address, maybe we can get some straight answers ;)

BaselWorld 2009 Update: Snapshots Omega, Graham, Oris, Hamilton, TAG Heuer, etc

March 31, 2009

It was another amazing day, filled with watches. We visited Halls 1, 3 and 4 today. The day started at Ebel revising the watches dedicated to soccer:


Ebel Limited Edition AFC AJAX (150 pcs)


Ebel Real Madrid Tekton (Bezel is made of sapphire glass, instead or rubber).

Going from soccer into another sport, Graham dedicated its passion for racing:


Graham GMT Flyback Chrono Racing

What do you think of the infamous ChronoFighter models by Graham?


Graham ChronoFighter


Graham ChronoFighter


Graham ChronoFighter

Not only Graham loves racing, the brand that has the most racing DNA of all, is Heuer! I already wrote that I feel it is a year of ‘going back to the basics’. They also went back to their roots and honoured the 40th anniversary of the Heuer Monoca:


A replica of the first Monaco, they kept it as close as possible to the original ‘Heuer Monaco 1969′. What I really liked is that they used the old Heuer logo and not the most recent TAG Heuer logo on the dial, case back and folding clasp.


Back-side of Heuer Monaco 1969 re-edition (original calibre 11).


Modern interpetation of the TAG Heuer Monaco, available from summer 2009!


TAG Heuer Grande Carrera Calibre 36

Yesterday we did not have time to finish our meeting at Hamilton and went back today. This color really cought my eye:


New Hamilton ETO in unique colour: GunGrey!


New Hamilton strap: Leather or rubber? Yes… It is a rubber strap with a alligator print! Cool, no?!


Modern (?!) interpetation of classic Pilots watches…

Talking about re-editions and vintage models, one of the most legendary diving watches in the Omega collection is the Seamaster PloProf:


Omega Ploprof 2009


Sideview of the Omega PloProf


Omega Seamaster PloProf on my wrist (sorry for the blurry image).


With a matching folding clasp!

Going from legendary diving watch, to a very interesting diving watch made by Oris. The talking piece of Oris in 51mm (who says big is over?!):


New Oris Diver Chrono 1000m with VERY special bezel…


Oris Diver 2009: You have to lift the outer bezel vertically and only then can you spin the CERAMIC diving bezel. The chrono is 100 bar waterproof.

Tomorrow is my last day in Basel… Already bugged out that I will not have time to see everything that I planned on seeing… One week of Watch Magic is simply NOT enough :s

SIHH 2009: To Bling, or Not To Bling?

January 28, 2009

Last week I visited the annual Salon International de la Haute Horlogerie (SIHH) in Geneva, Switzerland.

The fair was in several aspects different to my expectations…

1. It was not as busy as the previous years, but it was busier than I expected.

2. I tought the brands would not present many novelties, since they only had 8 months since the last SIHH Fair. But I was wrong, each brand introduced at least one new movement and/or familie in its collection.

3. The current financial crisis hit the world hard in October of last year, but the first signs were showing up in April (when the pre-last SIHH took place). Therefore, I expected that this would be a ‘modest’ year (Read: no bling bling). I was wrong… It seemed the trend of last year only continued: big(ger) cases, even more diamonds and way more precious metals!

That is why I titled this blog: “To Bling, or Not To Bling?”

From my last comment, you probably can guess what the anwser will be, but I want to share the following images with you:


Audemars Piguet Royal Oak


Cartier Ballon Blue Full Diamonds


Cartier Jewelry Bracelet with watch


Cartier: Is it a watch or a bracelet?


Cartier: Not an alligator watch strap, but a diamond alligator on your watch!


Girrard-Perregaux: Two hand on a bracelet of diamonds…


Sooooo much bling, I couldn’t even photgraph it…


Parmigiani: Men’s of Ladies watch?


Roger Dubuis: Nice contast – Skeleton movement versus full diamond case, or is the next one better?


Roger Dubuis: Full Diamond Tourbillon


A. Lange & Sohne: Elegant Bling?

And the list goes on… Is this wishful thinking or will these brands really sell these watches in 2009? In any case, we advise whomever is going to wear one of these watches to purchase ‘protective’ sunglasses with these watches ;)

Review – Chapter One

October 17, 2008

You have to leave it to the Purveyor of Time to arrive at where others cannot tread! Steven Holtzman has once again managed to create another watch industry “FIRST” in bringing together 3 of the finest masters in haute Horlogerie in an unprecedented collaboration with the creation of his latest company – Maitres du Temps.

Armed with more than 30 years of experience behind him, Steven is also the main catalyst behind Maitres du Temps – a horological masterpiece involving Christophe Claret, Roger Dubuis and Peter Speake-Marin. And what an incredible piece of art it is!

In the recently-launched Maitres du Temps – Chapter One which many has already been touted as one of the most revolutionary watches in recent history, its complicated combination of tourbillon, mono-pusher chronograph, retrograde date & GMT, and 2 rolling bars indicating the day & moon-phase at the 6 & 12 o’clock position brings forth an incredible marriage between the undisputed wizardry of Christophe Claret, the rich horological experience of Roger Dubuis and the unique bridging ability of Peter Speake-Marin.

With an approximate 500 plus complications, Maitres du Temps – Chapter One is not designed to be the most complicated of watches, but rather, its mission is to be THE MOST INTRICATE, THE MOST INNOVATIVE, and to a certain extent, THE MOST BEAUTIFUL. And what can we say? MISSION ACCOMPLISHED!

This history-making Maitres du Temps – Chapter One, which took more than 2 years and thousands of drawings, was first conceived by Steven Holtzman and Roger Dubuis and followed by the addition of Peter Speake-Marin and Christophe Claret in the conception, design & project management and production stages respectively.

Aesthetically speaking, this Maitres du Temps – Chapter One has a combination of some of the crowd favourites include the allowance of looking into the heart of the watch, especially with the gyration of the Tourbillon Cage, the north & south rollers featuring the Retrograde GMT + Date, and Laser-etched Moon + Stars-phase.

However, in considering that it comes with a tag of CHF400, 000, and the limited availability of just 50 pieces in total (in red-gold, white-gold & titanium), clearly the Chapter One is a watch that is not meant for just anybody. According to an interview with European Luxury Blog, Steven Holtzman revealed that the aim of Maitres du Temps is “to work with independent watchmakers, to instill craftsmanship, bring masters into the product and offer outstanding service and distribution.”

While I can imagine that with it being in the categorised as “Uber-Luxury and Hogh Horology” (in the words of Steven Holtzman), it is not meant to be purely a profit-making venture, but rather also an avenue whereby the limits of traditionally watchmaking is continually pushed to the limits. Already, I believe that at least 1 piece of Chapter One is destined for a museum in the future, and speaking of future, I believe that all of us are just waiting to see the Maitres du Temps – Chapter Two in 2009?


Maitres du Temps – Chapter One Technical Specifications

Manual-wind mechanical movement, one-minute tourbillon, mono-pusher chronograph, retrograde date indicator, retrograde GMT indicator, day of the week indication on roller, patented precise moon phase indication on roller.

Displays

  • Central hands indicating hours and minutes
  • Central chronograph counterpoised second hand
  • 60-minute counter at 12 o’clock
  • Retrograde date at 3 o’clock
  • Retrograde GMT at 9 o’clock
  • One-minute tourbillon at 6 o’clock
  • Day of the week indication on roller at 6 o’clock
  • Patented precise moon phase indication on roller at 12 o’clock

Functions

  • Two-position winding crown: pushed in to wind the watch; pulled out to set the time
  • Chronograph: start/stop/return-to-zero function activated by single pusher in the crown

Correctors

  • Date corrector at 2 o’clock
  • Day of the week corrector at 4 o’clock
  • Moon phase corrector at 8 o’clock
  • GMT corrector at 10 o’clock

Calibre SHC02

  • Dimensions: 51.3 mm x 31.6 mm
  • Number of components: 558
  • Number of jewels: 58
  • Power reserve: 60 hours
  • Tourbillon rotation: 60 seconds
  • Balance frequency: 21,600 vph (3 Hz)

Case

  • 18K red gold
  • Number of components: 104
  • Dimensions: 62.60 mm x 45.90 mm
  • Sapphire crystal with double anti-reflective coating
  • Display back: sapphire crystal with double anti-reflective coating
  • High polish and satin finishes on compound-curve surfaces
  • Correctors with integrated locking system

Dial

  • 18K gold
  • Number of components: 7
  • Multi-faceted and beveled
  • Printed Roman numerals
  • Engine-turned sun-ray guilloche
  • Red counterpoised chronograph hand
  • Blue sword-shaped hands for chronograph counter, hour, minute, date, and GMT

Rollers

  • Day barrel: anodized anticorodal finished aluminum
  • Moon phase barrel: anodized anticorodal finished aluminum inside a matte anodized cover with laser-pierced moon and stars
  • Window between day roller and tourbillon

Strap

  • Alligator strap with 18K red gold deployant buckle

* Special thanks to Ms. Sylvia Gelton, Public Relations for Maitres du Temps for the kind information, and also to European Luxury Blog for the exclusive interview.

* This review is strictly representing the views of the author, and by no means is a representation of http://www.TheTimeTV.com

Have you heard of Rodolphe Cattin?

October 3, 2008

Some months ago during the WPHH held by the Franck Muller Group, there was an world introduction to one of the most eye-catching watches in recent years (at least to my eyes) – Rodolphe Instinct Big Tourbillion. In fact, when asked by Alon previously, I named it as my “Dream Watch”. :-)

What really caught my eye to this watch was the spectacular size of the tourbillion, measuring 23mm in diameter alone. By far, this has been one of the more incredibly designed watches, including the Concord C-1 Tourbillon Gravity (which by the way, has a radically-designed protruding tourbillon cage).

According to an exclusive interview with TheTimeTV, the designer himself, Rodolphe spoke about this outstanding design that he developed with the Watchland (Franck Muller Group) watchmakers.

With more than 190 components, this aesthetic masterpiece is the culmination of efforts between the various passionate professionals from Geneva, Neuchatel and Jura, making it a truly Swiss-Made watch.

As for some of the specifications:

Function: Tourbillion, Hours, Minutes, Retrograde Date & Power Reserve (60 Hours)

Case & Dimensions: White Gold / 54mm X 56mm

Crystal: Sapphire

Water Resistance: 30 Metres

Bracelet: White, Black or Brown Alligator

Going back to some introduction about the man himself, the brand – Rodolphe Montres & Bijoux is named after the designer – Rodolphe Cattin, who, prior to working for Longines in the mid-eighties, was already forming his career through stints with Omega and Tissot among others.

Due to the slowing Italian market in the mid-eighties, Rodolphe was also presented with one of the biggest challenges early in his career – to come up with a design collection that can differentiate Longines as a leader compared to the rest of the competitors.

What happened then was also a revolutionary campaign at that time! Instead of following traditions, Rodolphe presented a collection series with a never-been-tried design – writing down the name of the designer (Rodolphe) on the dials. In the end, it was not only something totally different, but resulted in an extraordinary success with more than 50, 000 timepieces sold per collection (6 in total).

Riding on this success, Rodolphe started his own design office – Rodolphe & Co., which till today is designing watches for many renowned fashion and prestige brands and accounting form more than 7 million timepieces sold globally.

Up till 1996, there was still no existence of watches that carried his own name, but that soon changed with the incorporation of Rodolphe Montres & Bijoux SA, and it began an annual production of 1, 000 to 2, 000 pieces.

In between then and now, Rodolphe watches attracted the likes of artistes Nicole Richie, Trevor Wright, Brazilian footballers Ronaldinho, Cafu, and Roberto Carlos who became some of biggest fans of this brand.

At the same time, somewhere towards 2005, the “Rodolphe” brand began to attract the interest of many parties, notably the Franck Muller group, with whom Rodolphe formed a partnership with ultimately. In this partnership, Rodolphe has an access to some of the brightest minds in the industry, and also additional industrial and commercial synergies while remaining in charge of the design and management of the company.

What resulted became the “Watch Of The Year 2006” presented by a leading Swiss watch magazine – Montres Passion – the Instinct Chrono 180°. With these achievements to date, it is clear that Rodolphe Cattin is going to continue creating some revolutionary designs in the watchmaking world.

Special thanks to Ms. Maya Zysset from Rodolphe Montres et Bijoux for providing some of the history of Rodolphe Cattin.

The Driver’s Watch: Quick Overview of Watch-Car Collaborations

September 1, 2008

What is it with watches and cars? I guess a few obvious common grounds can easily be pinpointed: engineering, performance, prestige, design and status.

In that respect, it should come as no surprise that there are plenty of watch brands and models that are in a certain way associated with historic or modern day motoring and racing events, F1 teams or drivers. But more interestingly, in my view, are the (more than a few) examples of watch and car manufacturers that have really linked their brand names to one another.

The best-known example is probably the collaboration between Bentley and Breitling. The so-called Breitling for Bentley models (no less than 13 of them currently listed on the official website) cleverly incorporate design elements from the cars, such as a rubber band reminding of car tires, or a bezel motif inspired by the distinctive Bentley grills.

Another partnership, resulting in some very fine timepieces, is that of Audemars Piguet and Maserati. The AP’s with the Maserati trident emblem are said to be inspired by Maserati engines, dashboards and high-tech materials. As it turns out, the trident looks just as impeccable on the watches as it does on a Maserati grill.

A perhaps somewhat less known car-watch alliance is that of Girard Peregaux and Ferrari. The watches from the ‘Girard Peregaux pour Ferrari’ line bear the staggering horse emblem on their faces. This partnership turned out to be non-exclusive as Ferrari later attached its name to Panerai as well throug the ‘Officine Panerai Engineerd for Ferrari’ range of watches.

Among all of the above power collaborations Mercedes Benz, of course, did not just sit still and has entered into its own partnership with Tag Heuer. Initially, this partnership resulted in the SLR Chronograph only available to the happy few that can call themselves owner of a McLaren SLR. Subsequently, Tag Heuer introduced another product as part of their partnership with Mercedes Benz simply named Tag Heuer SLR. This watch was more affordable than its bigger brother, but its availability remained rather limited as there were only 3,500 pieces of them ever manufactured.

Like the Ferrari partnerships described above, the Mercedes Benz partnership with Tag Heuer wasn’t an exclusive one either: enter the AMG version of the IWC Ingenieur. An interesting fact is that, unlike watches from the other partnerships, the Ingenieur AMG does not sport a Mercedes Benz or AMG logo on its face. Instead, there is an AMG engraving on the back cover – beautifully discrete.

Perhaps you noticed that another very interesting watch-car collaboration has not been mentioned yet in this overview: that of Jaeger Lecoultre and Aston Martin. The so called AMVOX models are yet another highly desirable result of watch-car partnerships. The most recent fruit of this partnership is the AMVOX2 DBS Transponder. Apart from the design and engineering elements you would expect from such a collaboration, the AMVOX2 DBS Transponder has a very cool gadget incorporated as well: the car can be locked and unlocked by simply tapping on the sapphire crystal of the watch. And yes, you guessed it, this watch is exclusive to Aston Martin DBS owners.

If you’ve been reading the above drooling away as I have been writing it, ask yourself: what IS it with watches and cars? ;-)

The Masters of Haute Horlogerie

August 14, 2008

Recently, I have been watching a series of videos on TheTimeTV titled “The Masters of Haute Horlogerie”. Being relatively new to the world of watches, it was really nice to be able to have a deeper insight about the various positions in the watchmaking world.

Technically speaking, these videos (as well as many other similar videos) can be found in the Fondation de la Haute Horlogerie website (which I did try to find), but to me, I found it a little difficult to navigate around. But, there are so many interesting tidbits and I still had a good time reading about them. It is really amazing that there are so many dedicated professionals who are still faithfully producing the watches by hand.

I was watching with fascination about the movement designer, stone setter, the engraver and many more.  I am also beginning to wonder more. For example, in the instance a the stone setter, there seems to be zero tolerance of trembles. Any slight movements seems to be able to cause a failure. In fact, only the skilled stone setter understands how to combine precious stones with metal in a harmonious manner. As for the movement designer, he seems to have the biggest responsibility of all. He has to be responsible for the design and layout of combining all the various components and harmonising them as one.

Nonetheless, I think everyone who is interested in watches should still take a look at the articles or watch the videos at least once. As for me, I have watched them at least twice, and each time, I get more amazed and strengthen my belief that as long as there are these passionate professionals around, the watch industry is only going to get better. Perhaps you really need to take a look to believe my words? You can find them all in Fondation de le Haute Horlogerie or TheTimeTV.


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