Archive for the ‘News’ Category

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.

How many lives does Rodolphe have?

January 30, 2011

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

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 :)

BaselWorld 2010 Preview: Itay Noy Watches

March 12, 2010

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).

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).

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 ;)

The Lexus Dutch Watch Heritage

June 27, 2009

One of the hidden treasures of the Netherlands has come to light today!

DWH

Watches were packed away in boxes, in drawers or safes, or even visible on the wrists of proud owners, but today they can be viewed by all enthusiasts. The Netherlands knows thousands of watch-lovers – People who sometimes have a fortune to spend on just that one special watch –that ultimate wrist–ornament: to possess that wonder of refined mastery! From this inheritance ,the Lexus Dutch Watch Heritage, together with fascinated and passionate watch-lovers, brings this exceptional event. Meant for the collectors who would like to display their treasures and for all others who feel drawn towards the unique world of the quality timepiece.

The Lexus Dutch Watch Heritage gathers together 100 rare or unique watches. These will be exhibited to the public at the Netherlands Gold-, Silver-, and Clock Museum in Schoonhoven on Saturday 27th June and then from Tuesday 30th June up to and including Sunday 5th July. On these days you can visit the exhibition and admire models from top brands such as IWC, Rolex, Breitling, Jaeger Le Coultre and many others. Ace Jewelers will display a number of the latest timepieces next to this wonderful collection. Then you have the opportunity to look at and try the present-day models of IWC, Breitling, Edox, Tag Heuer and Omega. Ace Jewelers shows watches with a long history -for example the IWC Big Pilot, the legendary Breitling Navitimer and also watches with very complex movements like the Edox Minute Repeater. R

eadings on the Sunday give the subject more depth, and a taxation of one’s own watch allows active participation to the event for the watch enthusiast. The Netherlands’ only two honoured taxateurs, Anton Gaemers and Ronny Wooter have given their co-operation to, and will be present during the event. Anton Gaemers, timepiece- technician from the Hague, whose family have been active in chronometry since 1877, is the curator of the exhibition: ‘The Netherlands has probably more than a thousand serious timepiece collectors and it is fantastic to be able to exhibit the most beautiful and unique of this legacy’. Ronny Wooter, watch specialist from Sotheby’s, will share his expertise on taxation, amoung other subjects. Together these two gentlemen will provide lectures about the history and value of watches. Ace Jewelers will also provide a reading about watches and contemporary models. In short, an exhibition full of narratives, romance and craftsmanship.

Every watch has a story: the history of its origin, the specialities of the subject, the history of the brand and not forgetting the story behind the owner of the watch. Not only inspired timepiece technicians, but also pilots, racing-drivers, filmstarsand aspiring rivalling magnates figure in the story of watches. The exhibition is open to the public on Saturday 27th June, 2009 and from Tuesday 30 June up to and including 5th July 2009. The entrance fee is EUR 6,- p.p.

Nederlands Goud, Zilver en Klokkenmuseum
Kazerneplein 4
2871 CZ Schoonhoven
The Netherlands

www.DutchWatchHeritage.nl

BaselWorld 2009 Update: Personalisation (Last Day)

April 1, 2009

Today was my last day at the Basel Trade Fair and was originally planned for jewelry visits in Hall 2. The hardcore watch fans know that they should not be stucked in Hall 1, 3 and 5. Hall 2, officially the high-end jewelry hall, also has some ‘pearl’ watch brands present there.

Since it was our last day I did not have much time to take pictures, but I do want to share this picture quickly:

One of these pearls in hall 2 is Scalfaro. Therefore, I did make some time to visit my friend Dominik Kunhle, who founded Scalfaro with his brother 7 years ago. They are born and raised in Germany and part of a jewelry maker family. The Kunhle Brothers are great WatchFreaks and in 2002 they started to turn their dreams into reality. Every since, the do not only create interesting designs, but actually manufacture 70% of all the components themselves in their factory in Switzerland.

Unfortunately we did not have a lot of time to sit down relaxed and take that many pictures. But there is something that struck me as off during this fair: the lack of options provided by the watch manufacturers for watch owners to personalize their watches. I personally believe that this is the future (or actually back to the roots) of high-end watchmaking! I salute Vacheron Constatin with the introduction of the Quai de L’Ile collection about year and a half ago. My personal dream is also to design and manufacture a mechanical watch one day. With my family we made the first steps and have a prototype of a case ready, but even I underestimated how much work it takes to get things done. So, I know why high-end watch brands are NOT eager to make custom made watches.

My questions to you, my fellow WatchFreaks:

1. Did you have the need to have your watch personalized?

2. If so, what would you like to personalize? Dial, Case, name on movement, complete model, etc?

3. How much more would you be willing to spend (percentage) to get this done?

I hope that I do not ask to many questions, any input is appreciated.

BaselWorld 2009 Update: Snapshots Rolex, Patek Philippe, Breitling, Hamilton, Longines, etc

March 30, 2009

Most of the visitor of BaselWorld start in the impressive Hall 1.0 and you can not pass this hall without stoping at Rolex and Patek Philippe! Hereby some snapshot (my apologies for the poor quality).

I was not impressed with all the novelties this year. It seems a year of ‘going back to your roots’. Although everyone expected that it would be a quite fair, it was rather busy (visitors) and many brands still sounded positive…

Last year Rolex ‘rocked’ the fair with the introduction of The Dipsy, but this year I was not impressed AT ALL! It seems a year of flowers… Yes! Flowers. Check the dial:


Midsize Rolex Oyster with floral pattern on dial…

I did not take the effort to make a picture of the new bi-color submariners… We all know how the look like ;)

At Patek it also seemed like a ladies year… Focus was on the PP Seal and relaunch of midsize Nautilus models in precious metals with diamonds.


Patek Philippe Nautilus mid size


The platinum version is one of my favourite PPs, but I have to admit this gold version looks amazing!


PP walked away from the legendary Geneva Seal and introduced the Patek Philippe Seal.

We met an unique watchmaker that designed many amazing movements for the grand brands, still does, but also started his own brand:


Marc Alfieri Tourbillon GMT Watch

Ulysse Nardin knows what ‘freaky’ watches are, but they also started making cellular phones. Robert-Jan presented the back of the phone with a mechanical movement here couple of weeks ago, here is the front of the ‘Chairman':


It is still unknown what the exact retail price will be…

Breitling proudly presented the new Chronomat models with the manufacture B01 movement:


Breitling Chronomat 2009

And, for their 125th anniversary this year, the created a limited edition Navitimer:


Breitling Navitimer 125th Anniversaire – Limited to 2009 pieces.

Seiko is 120+ old manufacture that also went back to their roots. The new Seiko “Ananta” collection does not only present new hybrid Spring Drive movements, but also manufacture automatic movements inspired by the original Samuari swords:


All new Seiko Ananta Automatic Chronograph

All new Seiko Ananta Automatic Power Reserve Hamilton slightly went back to their roots too, by launching the Automatic version of the Ventura (see our post about this watch)… But they are looking WAY ahead in the future, check these amazing new designs:


Hamilton ODC X–02 (front view)


Hamilton ODC X–02 (side view)

But this is not all, this is also a revolutionairy watch:


Hamilton Khaki BASE jump watches


Yes, you simply activate and reset the chrono by turning the bezel!

Also Longines went back to their roots and brought back some legandary watches, we are rather keen of this one:


Longines RAF WWW replica (see original here)


RAF Military www watch. 38,50mm with reference L2.731.4.53.1!


Last year Longines re-introduced the Legend Divers, this year they added a version with a date.


Longines Silver Shadow replica

We were very curious to see the newest family of Rado’s by Jasper Morrison:


Rado by Jasper Morrison

Tomorrow more news from BaselWorld! Stay tuned.

BaselWorld 2009 Update: Itay Noy Watches

March 29, 2009

Today I arrived in Basel and started the infamous trade fair visit with a dinner with a true artisan: Itay Noy. The watch maker of exclusive and hand made watches bearing his own name “Itay Noy”.

WFB first wrote about Itay Noy about a year ago: “Switzerland: The Holy Land?” and then I wrote that I tried that we would interview Itay Noy. Tonight was an informal dinner, but Itay promised to do a Q&A exclusively for WatchFreaks Blog. To be continued.

Same background info:

Internationally-acclaimed Israeli artist Itay Noy transforms telling time into a true art form. Each of his hand crafted, limited edition timepieces is made exclusively in Israel and appeals to those seeking unusual, high-quality watches. The recipient of eight prizes, including the prestigious Andrea M. Bronfman Prize in 2007, Noy lectures on timepiece design at Bezalel in Jerusalem. His work has been exhibited in museums all over the world and acquired by the Charles Bronfman Collection in New York, The Droog Design in Amsterdam, The Israel Museum in Jerusalem and The Tel Aviv Museum of Art. Each timepiece tells a story in time — from broken dimensions in the Fractal collection to simultaneous dichotomy in Duality and elusive cityscapes in City Squares. Noy’s timepieces satisfy the desire for a sublime mixture of unique design and functional perfection. Ace Jewelers is proud to be the sole and exclusive retailer of Itay Noy Timepieces in Europe!

Hereby some snap shots of the items we examined and adored over dinner (sorry for the poor lighting):


Itay Noy Fractal & City Squares


Itay Noy Duality Limited Edition Watch


Itay Noy: The name says all – Duality (the timepiece has two watches)


Itay Noy hommage to the greatest squares in major cities… Guess which one this is :) HINT


Itay Noy: Discrete Bling Bling – Black Diamonds (unisex model)

For an overview of the complete collection of Itay Noy, please visit the official website of the watchmaker: www.Itay-Noy.com or the reseller of his timepieces in Europe: www.AceJewelers.com (yes, as the CEO of Ace Jewelers, I am proud to announce that because of WFB, we became an AD of these unique watches :) ).


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