Posts Tagged ‘watchfreaks’

BaselWorld 2011

March 25, 2011

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

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

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? ;-)

TheTimeTV joins the WatchFreaks Blog Team

July 30, 2008

We are proud and glad to announce that as of today the editors of TheTimeTV will be an author for the WatchFreaks Blog.

TheTimeTV is the first themed television channel for Watchmaking enthusiasts and professionals. New products, interviews, events, insights – TheTimeTV covers the latest Watchmaking industry news through exclusive reports and interviews.

Coming from Switzerland, a place well-renowned for their quality and precision in watchmaking, TheTimeTV retains the emotional aspects of a traditional TV channel, yet offering an innovative Video-On-Demand concept 24/7 – Anytime & Anywhere.

We are looking forward to their posts and movies!

Show-off-ish?

May 16, 2008

As a watchfreak, I’m sure you have come across people who think you’re just being a show off with your fancy watches. Or, at the least, you must have been in situations in which you preferred to tuck your watch away under your sleeve. I know I certainly have. Of course, watches are luxury articles. Like many such articles, the modesty in most of us urges us to play it down a little in certain situations.

 
In my former career as a tax lawyer, I picked which watch to wear in the office and when visiting clients very carefully. In fact, I have never worn my steel Daytona even once during business hours. Not even my Explorer I. Instead, I often had a Heuer Monza around my wrist. With its black leather band and classic overall look it just seemed like a more appropriate watch to wear in the office than a Rolex, which is in my view THE show off brand in the eyes of the uninitiated.

 
I’m guessing you’ll appreciate my prudence in this respect. You just don’t want to wear a more expensive watch than your clients or even your boss. But also apart from the more obvious reasons for prudency in a business context, I think the most of us just don’t want to be too show-off-ish in general with our watches. So I’ve been asking myself, what makes a watch show-off-ish? Where is the line in haute horlogerie between a fine classic watch and a show off model? Is it the size? The use of precious stones? The material? The color? The price? The brand? It’s probably a combination of things.

 
The funny thing is we all think we recognize a show off when we see one, but we just can’t seem to point out exactly what qualifies it as such. I have compiled a short list of random watches below and took a shot in qualifying these watches as either classic or show-off-ish. You are invited to share your opinion on these watches with us in the comment section!

1. Jacob & Co. Five Automatic Chronograph

Let’s kick off with an easy one: show-off-ish. The bright colors and the excess of diamonds in the bezel (and the face of certain models) are simply too much. Another, at least equally important reason for such qualification is the people associated with this brand.

 
2. Zenith Academy Tourbillon Black Tie

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

A truly beautiful flamboyant classic watch. Yet I get the feeling there would be some occasions I wouldn’t feel too comfortable wearing it considering its distinctive looks (I must admit this is a tough call for me – it’s a thin line!!).

 
3. Chanel J12 Tourbillon

Regardless the discussion on fashion watches/couture watches vs. haute horlogerie, I think Chanel managed to make a beautiful and classic watch. Even though its bright color and stones don’t make it a very easy watch to wear, I’d say somehow there’s still plenty of class. 

 
4. Patek Philippe Sky Moon Tourbillon

Another Tourbillon in this list, but this time no question about it: CLASSIC. So high end yet so beautifully modest.

 
5. Rolex Daytona Steel

Although not too shiny, not too big, no crazy colors and no diamonds, it’s not an all-occassion watch to me like I mentioned above. Probably because of the brand perception with (predominantly) the uninitiated and its highly sought-after status. Or is it just me?

 
Again, please do share your opinion with us!

Lex Stolk new editor-in-chief 00/24 Magazine

April 29, 2008
Hereby the WFB Team congratulate Lex with his new job!Lex Stolk is the new editor-in-chief of 00/24 Magazine, the ultimate watch magazine that is published in Dutch and English editions. Lex is a highly experienced editor with intimate knowledge of the watch industry and great passion for watches. As editor-in-chief he has been responsible for Dutch watch magazine Horloges, GBF, WatchWorld (Scandinavia) and the watch supplements of the largest Dutch newspaper Telegraaf.

 The Author

Lex Stolk takes over from Karel Hubert who initiated 00/24 Magazine in 2003. Hubert takes up the position of supervising editor-in-chief. He will be responsible for the English edition of 00/24 Magazine and the special watch and lifestyle magazines Tijd Inc and Style Inc, produced on behalf of het Financieele Dagblad, the Dutch financial daily newspaper.

In respect for his former employer, WatchWorld, he decided to quit his ‘young’ carreer as a WFB author and he will stay a huge WFB fan. We all wish his good luck in his new position and we are all looking forward to the great article that will follow.

 

Are you a WatchFreak too? WFB Team keeps on growing

April 24, 2008

I never imagined, when I started this blog, that on the one hand blogging can be so much fun, and on the other hand I never expected to have so much feedback.

The Blogger

I got my friend Cliff (a great WatchFreak) blogging not so long ago and recently I asked him to contribute to this site. At first he was hesitating and being (truly) modest that he wasn’t such a great WatchFreak as I claimed and not a great writer. About the writing, check for yourself on his blog.

The Author

On top of that the chief editor of Horloges Magazine, Lex Stolk, has left the art of writing about timepieces for magazines and turn his carreer on to another path. But luckily for us, he promised to stay on as an author for WatchFreaks Blog. Of course the new chief editor of WatchWorld Magazine and Horloges Magazine, will stay on board of the team of authors of WatchFreaks Blog.

New Design WatchFreaks Blog

April 10, 2008

A short post: Special thanks to Menno Dijk (co-WatchFreak), the designer of the new header of this blog! He also redesigned the header of the blog of Ace Jewelers (www.aceblog.info). Yes, you saw it correctly, the watch in the header has been photoshoped ;) We try to be objective here on WFB…

WatchFreaks Blog Team is growing

March 2, 2008

In a short time, we received many responses and feedback. We are proud to welcome the third author on this blog, Robert-Jan Broer, the owner and writer of the following leading watch blogs:

FratelloWatches.com

and

Omega-Addict.com

We met a while ago digitally and last week face-to-face, and we had the same WatchFreak vibe, so we decided to join forces. Please stay tuned for the posts of RJ at WatchFreaksBlog.com

Robert-Jan Broer

New Author WatchFreaks Blog

February 20, 2008

I am proud to announce that the editors of WatchWorld Magazine and Horloges Magazine officially became authors for this blog. All of the editors of these brilliant magazines are WatchFreaks and that corresponds with the slogan of this blog: Blog for WatchFreaks by WatchFreaks. If you want to become a contributor to this blog, please send an e-mail to: info [at] WatchFreaksBlog.com

Cover Horloges Magazine


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