Archive for the ‘Haute Horlogerie’ Category

SIHH 2012 Preview: Baume & Mercier Capeland Flyback Chronograph

January 1, 2012

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

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.

Combine Film & Watches: Short Film Competition

November 10, 2010

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.

Breaking News: IWC SIHH 2010 Novelties

January 2, 2010

Happy New Year to all you WatchFreaks. Thank you for your support in the last year. It seems 2010 is going to be an innovative watch year :)

There have been speculations about a new IWC Yacht Club and a new IWC Grande Complication…

I just received the newest Europa Star Magazine in the mail and what a great way to start the new year!

Ofcourse I have to share the article with you, so hereby a scan of the article with TWO pictures:

New IWC Watches SIHH 2010

New IWC Watches SIHH 2010 (Source: Europa Star Nr. 298 6)

You are seeing it correctly… The new IWC Yacht Club became a Chronograph… In a Portuguese version… This is the long awaited waterproof Portuguese Chronograph… WOW! Can’t wait to see it in person on January 18th… 16 more nights to go ;)

And, how beautiful: A Retrograde Portuguese Tourbillon Mystere by IWC. I fell in love with the Portuguese Tourbillon Mystere when it came out three years ago… I love the cobalt grey dials of the white gold IWC watches… And The retrograde date is splendid. Beautiful composition in my opinion.

I hope to receive the official pictures in less that two weeks and then we will post them here, for now I hope you enjoy the article (click on it for full size).

SIHH 2009 Trade Show Review

January 20, 2009

Yesterday, I visited the 19th Salon International de la Haute Horlogerie (SIHH) in Geneva, Switzerland. Two days ago we already posted a preview and hereby we want to present the snap shots I took. FYI: The next SIHH will again be in January.

This year the following brands were present at the SIHH:

+  Richemont brands:
- Cartier
- A. Lange & Sohne
- Jaeger –LeCoultre
- IWC
- Mont Blanc
- Panerai
- Vacheron Constantin
- Van Cleef & Arpels
- Dunhill
- Baume & Mercier
- Piaget
- Ralph Lauren

+ Independent brands
:
- Audermars Piguet
- Girard Perregaux
- Jean Richard
- Parmigiani
- Roger Dubuis

Hereby a review of the fair with some snap shops. In advance I want to apologize for the poor quality of the photographs, this had two reasons: some window cases & the lighting were very poor and we were in huge rush.

The overall conclusion is that there are not spectacular novelties, most brands restyled a family, presented a new movement, but it still is mostly line extensions. The trends of previous years are contined: Black cases, Big is still the benchmark, Bling is NOT dead and pink gold is still leading in the precious metals followed by Platinum. The buzz on the fair was the new kid on the block: Ralph Lauren.

Ralph Lauren
The Ralph Lauren Watch & Jewelry Company did not present any watches on display, but solely by appointment. Hereby an impression of their window, presenting a ladies watch:

And, this is an impression of the Men’s collection of Ralph Lauren:

IWC
The brand from Schaffhausen restyled their Aquatimer collection and therefore their complete stand was like an underwater experience.

Fans of the Deep One finally can add a brother to their cult watch, the Deep Two:

Cousteau is history and IWC is sponsoring the Galapagos Foundation and therefore made an unique black Aquatimer with a Rubber coating:

IWC also ‘borrowed’ a patent strap exchange system from sister-company Cartier… For more info, please stay tuned.

Baume & Mercier
The ‘elegant’ watch company from Geneva did not launch many novelties this year, besides four magnificent William Baume Limited Editions, this is a watch we found striking:

Audemars Piguet
Flying in to Geneva I was reading my morning paper, IHT, and the newest AP model immediately coought my attention (yes, it reminds me too of a Breguet). Unfortunately, the watch was not on disply. Therefore, I want to share the following image with you that confirms two trends (black & big):

Vacheron Constantin
Since 1755 Vacheron Constantin keeps on innovating. Apparently the vintage fashion did not pass and therefore VC re-introduced a watch they manufactured in 1921 (my sincere apologies for the terrible picture):

Jaeger-LeCoultre
Like IWC, does Jaeger-LeCoultre manufacture amazing divers watches. This year JLC focuses on the novelties in the Compressor series, but I like this model better:

Ferrari by Panerai
Panerai took the term “Ferrari Red” very litteraly:

Cartier
Is Cartier the King of Bling? Or did they just manufacture this watch for the new First Lady, Michelle Obama?

JeanRichard
GP little brother is growing up, it is now catering women who want it all, bling & tourbillon:

Mont Blanc
Minerva has been bought by Richemont/Mont Blanc a couple of years ago and they are making spectacular new movements:

Dunhill
I wish that Dunhill would make these keys again:

Panerai
The Italian brand had a lot of news, but they did not present the prototypes in the showcases, but don’t we all love the watch presented horizontally?!

Roger Dubuis
We listed this brand as an independent brand, but this is since last year not completely true anymore. Richemont took a big stake in this innovative and young company. I loved the sight of this watch movement:


A. Lange & Sohne
The German Manufacture, A. Lange & Sohne, seems to learn from their colleague, PP… Patek recently presented classical moon phases watches (originally for men) in ‘bling’ versions for ladies… At AL&S, they have must thought the same:

Piaget
The manufacture Piaget presented this watch during the Salon, but unfortunately I did not have time to visit the stand to ask them watch functions this watch/case lid had… Maybe one of our visitors can? I does look coo, doesn’t it?

Basically, my visit to this year’s SIHH was great fun as usual. It seemed a lot let busy. At first impression it seemed that the brands did not have much to present this year (they did only have 8 months since the last SIHH), but when you analyze it… They did develop quite a bit in these last 8 months! On top of that, I expected that the brands would be a bit more… What’s the word… ‘modest’?! The first indication of the current crisis did present itself already in April 2008… But, on the contrary… Bling was still alive and kickin’! Maybe a nice subject for the next post ;)

Preview SIHH 2009

January 18, 2009

As written here on April 11th, 2008, we predicted that SIHH 2009 will not be in the same month as BaselWorld, but in January… To be precise: tomorrow!

Therefore I am flying tomorrow morning, very early, to Geneva to visit the 19th SIHH, Salon International de la Haute Horlogerie. It is not clear why the Haute Horlogerie Association decided to move this exclusive event away from the shadow of BaselWorld, which usually takes place in April. We predict it will be way less busy, since visitor that come from other continents will be forced to choose and will choose to visit BaselWorld. But, now with the current economical situation, we expect that the numbers of visitor will be even lower.

But, the watch brands have not been sitting still and every brand present at SIHH have news. There is even a ‘new kid on the block’: Ralph Lauren (a joint venture of Richemont and Polo Ralph Lauren – The Polo Ralph Lauren Watch and Jewellery Company, S.A.R.L.). The creation of a new haute horlogerie company was announced in March 2007 and almost two years later products will be presented… We are very curious!

Unfortunately we did not find any pictures of Ralph Lauren watches yet, so we have to wait until tomorrow. We will try to post a new article WITH pictures tomorrow on this blog… Stay tuned!

What have we heard throught the grapevine up till today:

- IWC: Restyled the complete Aquatimer Family and is launching a successor to the infamous Deep One: The Deep Two. There will not be a Cousteau Limited Edtion anymore, but instead a Galapogos Limited Edtition version. There will be a St. Ex. Limited Edition, which will be a Big Pilot version. On top of that there are many new variations on the other collections: Big Ingenieur Chronograph, New calibre with month and date in a double digit format!

- Baume & Mercier: Focuses on the Hampton collection this year and is launching a Hampton Magnum Chronograph and a Magnum Ladies version.

- Vacheron Constantin: Launching the Historiques American 1921, an unique cushion shaped watch!

- A. Lange & Sohne: Is launching the second member of the ‘chronometer’ family, the Richard Lange ‘Pour le Merite’.

-Girard-Perregaux: The brand always tries to focuses equally to men as well as to men. Therefore this year they are launching the ww.tc in a 43mm black ceramic case. For the ladies they developed the Cat’s Eey Annual Calendar and Signs of the Zodiac… It sounds interesting… We are curious.

- Parmigiani: The Tondagraph celebrates a new case and a brand new grande complication movement this year.

- Mont Blanc: The penmaker became a true watchmaker by the incorporation of Minerva and therefore are launching two new Villeret watches: The Villeret Grande Chronographe Regulator and The Grand Tourbillon Heueres Mysterieuses (sounds very interesting).

- Piaget: This brands is often percieved as a jewelry brand, but few people know that Piaget is a true manufacture watchmakers brand. This year Emperador Coussin Moon Phase.

- Van Cleef & Arpels: ‘Une Journee a Paris’ is a watch which is a tribute to the hometown of the brand: Paris.

- Panerai: The Italian brand transformed rapidly in the last couple of years and is aiming to become a true manufacture. Therefore this year they are presenting a new automatic movement, which will be presented in three variations: power reserve, GMT and GMT plus power reserve. On top of that the are introducing the Luminor Chrono Daylight 44mm-Titanium. We are very curious what the Paneristi will say… Please share with us :)

- JeanRichard: A brand that is part of the Girrad-Perregaux family follows it brother’s tradition, they will also launch a new watch for men (Chronoscope MV Agusta Brutale Nera Watch) and for women (Lady Juliette).

Tomorrow we hope that we will confirm these previews and present the news from: Cartier, Dunhill, Jaeger-LeCoultre, Audemars Piguet and Roger Dubuis.

My co-author on this blog, Boon, will be attending too and we planned a mid-day coffee brake to catch up and have a quick review of the fair… Boon will be running arond filming the novelties! I will use my pocket camera making snap shots for you to publish here… Hope to welcome you here tomorrow :)

Grönefeld: First Dutch Grande Complication Watch

November 22, 2008

The Dutch brothers Tim en Bart Grönefeld officialy presented their first Grande Complication wrist watch yesterday on television, live at Pauw & Witteman (leading talk show):

Pauw & Witteman (for Dutch viewers)

The brothers are born and raised in Oldenzaal, The Netherlands and were trained in Switzerland. After finishing their studies of clock technique they started to exercise the watchmaking profession with much love and interest. Everyday they are busy working on the service and restoration of exclusive, especially mechanical watches.
Since 1999 they started their own business in Oldenzaal and employ 15 qualified watch engineers.

To see their newest creation, please visit: http://www.gronefeld.nl/ and share your opinion!

Grönefeld

Grönefeld

Tim Grönefeld was born on the 12 March 1972 in Oldenzaal, The Netherlands.
He grew up in a jeweller’s family. On a very young age he started to take an interest in engineering and running a business.

First he took a training course in Schoonhoven at a senior technical school for clock technique. After that he went to Switzerland where he successfully finished his studies at the WOSTEP school.

During this training Tim was offered a job at Audemars Piguet (Renaud et Papi) in Le Lock. His brother Bart had already worked here for some time. He accepted the offer and very soon he became responsible for the assembly of tourbillion watches and the adjusting of other clocks.

A couple of years later he and his brother Bart established their own company “ QWS Netherlands”.

Bart was born on 8 May 1969 in Oldenzaal. He also grew up in this city. On a very young age, just like his brother, he started to show much interest in engineering. Both his father and his grandfather were jewellers and watchmakers.

First he finished his studies at a technical school in Oldenzaal. After that he went to a technical school for watchmakers in Rotterdam.

After his studies in The Netherlands he went to Switzerland where he was further trained at the WOSTEP in Neuchâtel. At this school people from all over the world are trained here to become watchmakers.

Bart went to London where he acquired a lot of knowledge and experience by working at Asprey’s, a very exclusive jeweller.

After this stay in London, which lasted for one year, he went back to WOSTEP where he took a course of training about compound watches.

In 1991 Bart accepted a job at Audemars Piguet (Renaud et Papi) in Le Lockle, Switzerland. He became technically responsible for all kinds of complicated work on watches like minute repetitions, tourbillions and grand sonneries.

After he had worked here for seven years he wished to return to Oldenzaal. At the end of 1998 he and his brother Tim established “ QWS Netherlands”.

The Watch Avenue

October 22, 2008

This week I stumbled upon an amazing website: http://www.thewatchavenue.com!

Is this the future of shopping? Shopping streets replicated online?

The Watch Avenue features amazing functions, presentations and brands:

- You can go to the cinema to watch movies about watches.

- You can to the library to read books about watches.

- You can go to the kiosque to read recent magazines about watches.

- You can go to watchmaking school (class 101).

- You can go to a museum (TAG Heuer).

- You can do window shopping for the following brands: Vacheron Constantin, Audermars Piguet, RaPiaget, Hublot and Raymond Weil. Soon some more boutiques will follow.

- Visit the information center of AIHH.

Have a look and please share your experience here with us.

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.


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