Tuesday, December 29, 2009

Bell & Ross BR MINUTEUR TOURBILLON PINK GOLD Limited Edition

Bell & Ross designs haute horlogerie for men to whom time is a true passion. Motivated to offer an outstanding measuring instrument with utmost sophistication, Bell & Ross has created the BR MINUTEUR TOURBILLON PINK GOLD.

As with all Bell & Ross watches, the BR MINUTEUR TOURBILLON PINK GOLD is first and foremost a measuring tool, focusing on readability, functionality, accuracy and reliability. Stemming from a desire to fit a timer function with independent reading to a highprecision mechanism, it incorporates four watchmaking complications around a main timepiece. The combination of functionality and mechanical sophistication is what makes this watch unique. With the BR MINUTEUR TOURBILLON PINK GOLD, Bell & Ross has gone far beyond the traditional know-how of fine watchmaking to create the instrument of the future.

Clearly visible in its carriage positioned at 6 o’clock on the main timepiece, the tourbillon is the be-all and end-all of precision. The role of the most noble watchmaking complications is the accurate compensation of measuring differences caused by gravity in the vertical position. The simplicity of the time display controlled by the tourbillon cannot overshadow the sophistication of the mechanism which is apparent through the glass. Utilising the crème of Swiss watchmaking, the BR MINUTEUR TOURBILLON PINK GOLD has taken the consolidated skills of in-house engineers to meet the challenge of mechanical laws.
The watch incorporates a chronograph timer, which measures time lapses in hours and minutes from a chosen moment. The accompanying flyback function is a system for quickly resetting to zero and instantly relaunching.

This optimises reactivity and accuracy when several time intervals have to be measured in succession. This large counter displays two graduations for reading on two timescales.
  • The external indexing provides traditional reading of sixty graduations symbolising the minutes.
  • Inside, ten sectors delimit the tenths of hours. This segmentation proves extremely advantageous for some professionals who calculate the length of their assignments in decimal mode. In addition to the time information, two small counters are located at the intersection between the main timepiece and the Timer Flyback.
  • At the top, a power reserve indicator gives the remaining operating time on a scale of three days.
  • At the bottom, an independent small second shows at a glance that the watch is working correctly.
The BR MINUTEUR TOURBILLON PINK GOLD owes its sophistication to the quality of its movement, its accuracy and performance, but its unique architecture is an equally attractive feature. Technology is brilliantly illustrated in its case through the carbon fibre of the dial and the aluminium of the movement bridges, which provide extra strength. Its angle rib structure also helps in maintaining solidity. And as the finishing touch to its superlative aesthetics, the BR MINUTEUR TOURBILLON is trimmed with pink gold. The high-tech measuring instrument is therefore converted into a priceless instrument.

With the BR MINUTEUR TOURBILLO N PINK GOLD, Bell & Ross has succeeded in combining the ultimate precision of watchmaking with the beauty of a gold trimmed watch. The result is a landmark watch for lovers of rare, high performing instruments.

Technical details
Movement
BR MINUTEUR TOURBILLON. Mechanical movement with manual winding. 3 day power reserve. Pink gold anodized aluminium bridges

Functions
hours, minutes. Small second counter. Minuteur with flyback* function (2 graduations 60 minutes and 10/10th of hours). 3-day power reserve indicator.
* flyback function: back to zero and fast boosting of the measure of time

Case, dial and strap
Case: XXL diameter 44mm x 50mm. Satin-polished pink gold. Screw-in crown
Dial: black. Hands and indexes covered with photoluminescent coating to optimize night reading.
Glass: Anti-reflection sapphire crystal. (Top and back).
Water-resistance: 100m
Strap: rubber or alligator

Alain Sauser: New Watch Models

After the success of the sophisticated Elements and the characteristic Anemoi series of luxurious, diamond - set jewelry watches, the new models are available not only in Switzerland, but also in France, in the USA, Turkey, Russia, Oman and in the United Arab Emirates.

Following the topic of the treasures of Mother Earth, the Day collection contains four new models:-
  • Astarte, which means star, is really the star of the collection. Every square millimetre of its white gold case is covered with Top Wesselton VVS white diamonds. The 341 hand-set stones weight 4.14 carats.
  • Anahita Day in the mythology is the Goddess of fertility and water. The solid 18K 750 white gold case is black treated which makes the 2.15 ct, 191 Top Wesselton VVS white diamonds shine even more.
  • Harmony represents the balance between the Sky and the Earth, between man and woman, as a new interpretation of yin and yang in the Chinese philosophy. It is available in two different versions. Harmony`s case is made of pink gold and is set with black and white diamonds with a total weight of 4 carats.
  • Pure Harmony is more radical; the white gold case is proudly covered with 4ct, 380 black and white diamonds.
The Night Collection got richer with two new creations. Both of them reflect the mystery, the deep shine, sharp lines and fascinating shadows of the night that inspired the creator to express the beauty of the darkness.
  • Anahita Night is the sister of Anahita day. The black treated white gold case is set with deeply shining black diamonds. The 2.15 carat, 191 precious stones are displaying the shape of fertility and flaw.
  • Atieno is an African Luo feminine name meaning “born at night”. The impressive deep black look is reached by a black treated white gold case which is hand-set with 341 beautiful black diamonds with a total weight of 4.15 ct.

Sarpaneva Watches Receives Two Good Design Awards

Sarpaneva Watches has been honoured with two GOOD DESIGN awards by The Chicago Athenaeum: Museum of Architecture and Design, for the limited edition of Sarpaneva Korona K3 Black Moon wristwatch and for its product identity.

Sarpaneva Korona K3 Black Moon is the first mechanical wristwatch to indicate the invisible and ever mysterious new moon, the dark opposite of the full moon. Limited to 20 pieces, each watch comes with a hand-bound book “Black is the Moon”. Inspired by the endless melancholy of the dark Finnish winter, the book retells the story of Lilith, the seductive temptress of an ancient legend who preys on unwitting men during the new moon.

First unveiled in January 2009, the Black Moon continues to attract watch enthusiasts and exhibitors worldwide.The GOOD DESIGN Awards, founded in Chicago in 1950 by architects Eero Saarinen, Charles and Ray Eames, and Edgar Kaufmann, Jr., is one of the world's oldest and most prestigious competitions for new product design and graphics. The 2009 GOOD DESIGN Awards are listed at The Chicago Athenaeum’s website at www.chi-athenaeum.org.

SARPANEVA WATCHES
All Sarpaneva watches are designed and handcrafted by Stepan Sarpaneva himself. Born in 1970 to a Finnish family with a long heritage of craftsmanship, Stepan Sarpaneva's ambition is to create unique design, fusing timeless elegance with Scandinavian simplicity. Based in Helsinki, Finland, Sarpaneva Watches manufactures mechanical timepieces of outstanding quality, created in the spirit of the traditional watchmaker's art.

Sunday, December 27, 2009

A LANGE &SOHNE : The Pinnacle of Saxon Watch Manufacturing Legacy

When Ferdinand Adolph Lange, a Dresden watchmaker, established his watch manufactory in 1845, he laid the cornerstone of Saxony’s precision watchmaking. His precious pocket watches remain highly coveted among collectors all over the world. The company was expropriated after World War II, and the name A. Lange & Söhne nearly fell into oblivion. In 1990, Ferdinand Adolph Lange’s great-grandson Walter Lange had the courage to relaunch the brand.

Today, Lange crafts only a few thousand wristwatches in gold or platinum per year. They are endowed exclusively with proprietary movements that are lavishly decorated and assembled by hand. In a period of little more than 20 years, A. Lange & Söhne developed 51 manufacture calibres and secured a top-tier position among the world’s finest watch brands. Its greatest successes include innovative time-keeping instruments such as the LANGE 1 with the first outsize date in a series produced wristwatch as well as the ZEITWERK with its supremely legible, precisely jumping numerals. In the meantime, both models have become icons of a brand rich in tradition.

Ferdinand Adolph Lange
Ferdinand Adolph Lange was a Dresden-born watchmaker who in 1845 inaugurated the first manufactory in Glashütte, Germany. The gifted watchmaker, whose pocket timepieces are still highly coveted today, dedicated his life to the establishment of a watchmaking business in a structurally weak region and thus laid the foundation for Saxon fine watchmaking.

In May 1844, Ferdinand Adolph Lange wrote a letter to the Saxon Ministry of the Interior saying that his ambition was to perfect timekeeping instruments. The Dresden-born watchmaker planned the establishment of a modern manufactory along the lines of what he had seen during his travels to the watchmaking centres in France, England and Switzerland. His main motivation was to create a branch of industry that would“subsequently provide thousands with sustenance and prosperity”. Ferdinand Adolph Lange was not only a well-educated individual but also a deeply religious man with a social conscience.

The destitution in the structurally weak region of the Ore Mountains, which the Saxon government failed to mitigate, prompted him to act in 1844. With letters, petitions and negotiations, he lobbied for his project of developing a watchmaking company in Glashütte with such fervour that the Royal Saxon Ministry of the Interior in Dresden finally agreed to draft a contract. It obliged Lange to train 15 youngsters from Glashütte as watchmakers within three years. In return, the government granted him a loan of 6700 thalers, including 1120 thalers for the procurement of tools. The apprentices were expected to continue working for Lange for five years and repay the cost of their training in weekly instalments. The first personnel journal listed “one assistant painter, twelve straw weavers, four domestic servants, one farmhand, one quarry worker, and one vineyard worker” as those picked to become watchmakers.

Due to a lack of aptitude, some of the young men had to be dismissed after a short trial period, but the others persevered and constituted the core of Lange’s original crew; soon thereafter, the team consisted of 30 novices. Initially, he hardly had qualified personnel, except for Adolf Schneider, who later became his brother-in-law.

Born in Dresden on 18 February 1815, the son of gunsmith Samuel Lange, Ferdinand Adolph Lange did not have his career laid out for him. His mother and father, described as a “coarsely hewn man”, separated early on. Another family gave the intelligent youngster a new home, encouraged him, and arranged to have him trained by acclaimed court clockmaker Johann Christian Friedrich Gutkaes. This would soon prove to have been a wise decision. It did not take Gutkaes long to recognise not only the above-average manual skills, but also his protégé’s eagerness to excel, with a far stronger urge than was commonplace for a clockmaker in Dresden in those days.

During his apprenticeship, Lange attended the up-and-coming technical college and learned English and French in the evening hours. He quickly came to the conclusion that he would hone his skills only in the highly evolved hubs of horology: in France, Switzerland and England. Creative watchmaking, practised mainly in the Germans peaking centres in Nuremberg, Augsburg, Schaffhausen and Strasbourg during the Renaissance era, had meanwhile migrated to London and Paris. Embedded in the illustrious lifestyles of royal courts, but also spurred on by the demand for ever more precise timekeeping instruments aboard naval and merchant ships, horology was actively supported by the sovereigns there.

The journeyman period
In 1837, three years after having completed his apprenticeship in Dresden, Ferdinand Adolph Lange packed his belongings, including his journey- and workbook with a recommendation by his mentor Gutkaes, and signed up in Paris with famous chronometer maker Joseph Thaddäus Winnerl, once among Abraham Louis Breguet’s finest students. The planned study trip ended up being a three-year tenure during which Lange was promoted to foreman. Ultimately, he even had to turn down Winnerl’s request to stay on, because his itinerary still included England and Switzerland.

During this period, his famous journey- and workbook was filled with movement sketches and detailed drawings as well as mathematically sound ratio calculations for wheels and pinions. Ferdinand Adolph Lange was not an adherent of the trial-and-error principle which at the time still governed much of a watchmaker’s work, making it impossible to assure consistently reproducible quality levels. Determined to change this, he returned to Gutkaes’ workshop for fancy clocks, married the owner’s daughter Charlotte Amalie Antonia in 1842, and became co-proprietor and horological architect in his father-in-law’s business. Precision regulators for observatories were crafted there during this era. For some 60 years, one of them – No. 32 – delivered the precise time for Switzerland, the quintessential watchmaking country, from a Swiss observatory. Today, it is on display at the Musée d’histoire des sciences in Geneva.

Apart from his decision in favour of the metric system, Lange brought a further decisive insight home from his travels. It is mentioned in a letter he wrote to Saxon Privy Councillor von Weißenbach in January 1844, when he first requested support for his project in Glashütte. “With the handsome form of the Swiss cylinder escapement, I can combine the ample reserve and the long-recognised accuracy of the very expensive but rather inconvenient English lever watch.” The legendary Glashütte lever escapement was to become his trademark. It also illustrated his unfolding approach to watchmaking. He was always fixated on improvement and perfectionism. His journey- and workbook makes this clear.

In 1851, Ferdinand Adolph Lange wrote a letter to the government describing his accomplishments so far: “My first and decisive step was to design a gauge for executing with the greatest accuracy any calculated ratio in the smallest of scales. This was followed by my work on the ratios of pinions and pieces as well as the respective machines, and I finally established the principles to be observed when building watches and designing escapements in accordance with scientific fundamentals, and introduced methodologies and reliable processes where previously arbitrariness, prejudice and disaccord had reigned. These are the fruits of twenty years of painstaking deliberation and labour, parts of which have found practical application in our factory and make our watches good, but many others, whose time has come, remain unexecuted.”

Upswing in Glashütte
Glashütte, the impoverished town in the Ore Mountains that in 1845 had merely faint memories left of its erstwhile prosperity as a silver-mining village, was connected to the world only via a dilapidated roadway on which a postal coach travelled once a week.

When the illiterate coachman arrived, he would empty the bag and let the people find out for themselves to whom the letters were addressed. The townscape was accentuated with muddy goose ponds and manure heaps. This is where Lange set up a workshop, taught his apprentices and initiated the production of watches while at the same time designing better machines for manufacturing precision parts. He also handled the correspondence and took care of the bookkeeping. His daughter Emma pointed out that Lange, who worked day and night, would occasionally collapse, and that he sacrificed his entire savings, those of his wife, and even prize money from horological awards, to keep the jeopardised enterprise alive.

But his ambitious concept began to take shape: besides his own company, Glashütte whose infrastructure he had decisively improved during his 18-year tenure as its mayor now counted many small specialised workshops that produced jewels, screws, wheels, spring barrels, balance wheels and hands. Case makers, gilders, guillocheurs and three additional manufactories, with which Lange sometimes collaborated, were able to establish themselves thanks to his encouragement. They were often founded by people who had previously apprenticed with and worked for him. So gradually, hundreds of safe and well-paid jobs changed the hardship into modest affluence. Lange’s company, which rarely had more than 100 employees, remained the nucleus of German precision watchmaking that grew in and around Glashütte. With the German school of watchmaking (DUS) initiated by his friend Karl Moritz Großmann in 1878, Glashütte completely detached itself from Switzerland and France as regards the practical and theoretical training of specialists, and consolidated its reputation as the German hub of fine watchmaking.

Vita of Ferdinand Adolph Lange
  • 18.02.1815: Ferdinand Adolph Lange is born in Dresden as the son of a gunsmith
  • 1829–1831: Attends the technical college in Dresden
  • 1830-1835: Watchmaking apprenticeship with Johann Christian Friedrich Gutkaes, graduates with honours
  • 1835–1837: Assistant to Gutkaes
  • 1837–1841: Journeyman years; travels to the watchmaking centres in France, England and Switzerland;  this is when he compiles his journey- and workbook with drawings of interesting movements and different calculations; becomes foreman at the manufactory of Joseph Thaddäus Winnerl in Paris; attends lectures of the famous physicist and astronomer Arago
  • 1841–1842: Returns to Dresden; joins Gutkaes’ company as a co-proprietor and helps build the five-minute clock for the  Semper opera house; designs and crafts astronomical  pendulum clocks, chronometers, complicated watches
  • 1842: Certifies as master craftsman; weds Antonia Gutkaes, his mentor’s daughter
  • 1843: Receives a precious stick pin from the Russian Tsar Alexander II, as a gesture of gratitude for a perfect chronometer that Lange had crafted for him; in return Lange sends a photograph of himself wearing the stick pin
  • 1844-1845: Different letters to Privy Councillor von Weißenbach containing thoughts on reforms in watchmaking and the establishment of a manufactory in Saxony
  • 31.05.1845: Contract between Lange and the Royal Saxon Ministry of  the Interior: Obligates to train 15 apprentices as watchmakers, Ministry pledges a subsidy of 6,700 thalers, including  1,120 thalers for the procurement of tools
  • 07.12.1845: Incorporation of “A. Lange & Comp.” company in  Glashütte, dials are labelled “A. Lange & Cie.”
  • 1845–1864: Introduction of metric system to replace the Parisian ligne system; Lange develops proprietary dependable and robust movements
  • 1848–1866: Serves as mayor in Glashütte (builds roads, embankments, bridges, etc.)
  • 1851: Watch presentation at an exhibition in London, where he is awarded for his watches; an illness forces him to stay there for a few weeks
  • 1867: Granted honorary citizenship by Glashütte
  • 1868: Lange’s son Richard joins the company as co-proprietor; Company name changes to “A. Lange & Söhne”
  • 1869–1875: Representative of the Saxon Landtag (lobbies for the construction of a main road and a railway line through the Müglitz valley)
  • 1870: On the occasion of the 25thanniversary of the establishment of the watchmaking industry in Glashütte. The population establishes the Lange Foundation to fund retirement benefits for local watchmakers
  • 1871: Ferdinand Adolph Lange’s son Emil joins the company as co-proprietor
When Ferdinand Adolph Lange suddenly passed away at the age of only 60 on 3December 1875, he left behind not only a flourishing business and an impressive repertoire of international awards to his sons and grandchildren but also – to the Glashütte region – secure economic perspectives. For these accomplishments, the city honoured him with a monument in 1895. Ferdinand Adolph Lange repatriated precision watchmaking to Germany, enhanced with sweeping reforms. His designs, with wheel train parts exactly calculated for the first time, a new frame configuration with three quarter plates, the special Glashütte lever escapement and compensation balance, precision adjustment devices and hairsprings with special terminal curves represented the highest standards in watchmaking.

At auctions today, precision timepieces signed “A.Lange & Söhne”, among them highly complicated watches, fetch exceptionally high prices. For connoisseurs of mechanical timekeeping, they preserve the philosophy of a man who wrote many chapters of horological history and significant parts of Saxony’s history. The new watches from Glashütte signed “A. Lange & Söhne” carry this proud legacy forward into the future.

A Saxon inventor
Ferdinand Adolph Lange is regarded as a pioneer in watchmaking. The Dresden born watchmaker introduced the metric system in horology. He invented measuring instruments, devised new tools and different constructions for which he applied a patent. With all that he was following just one aim: To build the best watches in the world. His innovative concepts created the foundation on which the A. Lange & Söhne brand gained international fame.

In summer 1851 Ferdinand Adolph Lange introduced his watches made in Glashütte in London at the World Exhibition, hoping to delight an international audience. It was the first time that he exhibited his watches at such an event and became a huge success: His watches were cheaper and more precise than the ones of his competitors. He even received a first prize and a medal for them. But then he has to pay a heavy price for his long lasting efforts: he becomes seriously ill and has to stay in London for a few weeks. It is probably for the first time in six years that he has the opportunity to consider his situation calmly and without distraction. He realises that he has dedicated himself in the past years and not just risked his company but also the existence of his family.

In a letter to the Saxon Ministry of the Interior he reflects about his accomplishments so far: “My first and decisive step was to design a gauge for executing with the greatest accuracy any calculated ratio in the smallest of scales. This was followed by my work on the ratios of pinions and pieces as well as the respective machines, and I finally established the principles to be observed when building watches and designing escapements in accordance with scientific fundamentals, and introduced methodologies and reliable processes where previously arbitrariness, prejudice and disaccord had reigned. These are the fruits of twenty years of painstaking deliberation and labour, parts of which have found practical application in our factory and make our watches good, but many others, whose time has come, remain unexecuted.”

Ferdinand Adolph Lange's Most Important Innovations
The introduction of the metric system
In Lange's journey- and workbook, he used to record detailed calculations for each individual gear-wheel size, using French lignes as units. On returning from his travels, he started to use the metric system instead of the French ligne units that had previously been the norm.

Precise measuring instruments
Tools like this dixième gauge invented by Lange made it possible to determine depth, length and external diameter with even more precision – to an accuracy of a tenth of a millimetre. The measuring results are shown on an arc-shaped scale by a metal arm.

Dial micrometer
This dial gauge was used to measure filigreed components that required particular precision, such as arbors and pivots. The component to be measured is clamped between the two jaws of the dial micrometer, which then measures with an accuracy of one hundredth of a millimetre.

Lathe
Lange introduced the watchmaker's lathe to replace the traditional rotating arc. A pedal could be used to turn circular parts such as pins, pinions, wheels and discs at a constant speed – ensuring high-precision manufacturing.

The design of wheels and pinions
To reduce friction and thereby minimise abrasion, Lange calculated and designed the form of the teeth on gear-wheels and pinions to optimise their interaction.

Three-quarter plate

Lange developed the three-quarter plate over a period of many years. It improved the stability of the movement. This distinctive component became one of the characteristic features of his pocket watches. Today it still forms a major component of the watches made by A. Lange & Söhne.

Decorating the watch
By implementing high quality standards for any watch he made, Lange was following the motto of his teacher, Gutkaes: a watch must be perfect – from each individual component to the case. Fine engraving, guilloché work, finishing and polishing of his pocket watches still bear witness to this today.

Glashütter lever escapement
Lange aim to make his watches more precise also led to the construction of an escapement system, the so called „free lever escapement“. Each pallet was made from one piece and the contoured pallet-stones were set blanketed.

Crown winding
This innovative technology replaced winding by means of a key, making it much easier to wind up the watch. An example is this early pocket watch (No. 1340), which Lange and his brother-in-law, Bernhard Gutkaes, produced in around 1850.

The jumping second
The “seconde morte” mechanism makes the seconds hand easier to read. Lange developed a mechanism, that makes an independent big seconds hand jump every second from the middle. His sons further developed this idea and a patent application was filed in 1877.

9-metre pendulum
In the new build manufactory of 1873 Lange realised a house clock with a 9-metre pendulum that oscillated uniformly. He personally designed the lever escapement of the movement and relied on his son Richard for calculating the pendulum.


Chronology - A. Lange & Söhne
  • 1815: Ferdinand Adolph Lange is born in Dresden on 18 February.
  • 1830: Lange begins his apprenticeship with Gutkaes who is later appointed Royal Court Clockmaker.
  • 1837: Lange embarks on his journeyman’s years, which take him to Paris, England and Switzerland. During this period he begins his journey and workbook.
  • 1841: Gutkaes builds the world-famous “digital” Five-Minute clock in Dresden’s newly built Semper Opera.
  • 1842: Lange acquires master’s rights, becomes a partner in Gutkaes’ watchmaking business, and marries his former apprentice master’s daughter, Antonia.
  • 1843: Lange proposes to the government of Saxony that industrial watchmaking be established in the impoverished region of the Ore Mountains.
  • 1845: Lange founds the Glashütte manufactory “Lange & Cie.” on 7 December, laying the foundation for precision watchmaking in Saxony. Only a few days later, his first son Richard is born.
  • 1846: Lange introduces the metric system into watchmaking, thereby enabling the exact calculation and manufacture of movement components.
  • 1848: Lange offers his services to the town of Glashütte as mayor and holds this appointment for the next 18 years.
  • 1864: To improve the stability of movements, Lange introduces the three quarter plate.
  • 1867: Lange is granted the freedom of Glashütte.
  • 1868: Richard Lange becomes co proprietor of his father’s company, which from now on operates under the name “A. Lange & Söhne”. A few years later, his younger brother Emil also joins the company.
  • 1873: The Lange headquarters is built, comprising both the family’s residence and the company’s workshops. It features a precision clock with a nine-meter long compensatedpendulum.
  • 1875: Ferdinand Adolph Lange dies on 3 December. His sons continue the family business.
  • 1895: In honour of the company’s 50th anniversary, the town of Glashütte erects a monument to Lange.
  • 1898: On a state visit to Constantinople, Kaiser William II presents his host with a lavish pocket watch created by A. Lange & Söhne.
  • 1902: Emil Lange receives the Knight’s Cross from the French Legion of Honour in recognition of his contribution to watchmaking.
  • 1906: With Emil’s son Otto Lange, the family company enters its third generation. Otto’s brothers Rudolf and Gerhard later also join the company management.
  • 1924: On 29 July, Walter Lange is born. After completing his training, he works as a master watchmaker in the Lange family business.
  • 1930: Richard Lange discovers that admixing beryllium to the alloys commonly used for balance springs improves the spring’s quality, and he applies for a patent.
  • 1945: On 8 May, Lange’s main production building is almost completely destroyed in an aerial bombing raid.
  • 1948: The company is seized and expropriated by the communist regime. Walter Lange is forced to flee to the West.
  • 1990: On 7 December, Walter Lange founds Lange Uhren GmbH and registers the “A. Lange & Söhne” trademark worldwide.
  • 1994: Lange debuts the LANGE 1, SAXONIA, ARKADE and TOURBILLON “Pour le Mérite”, the watches featured in its first collection of the new era.
  • 1997: The patented ZERO-RESET mechanism of the LANGEMATIK reaffirms the company’s innovative spirit.
  • 1999: The DATOGRAPH sets new standards in the construction of high-end chronographs.
  • 2001: Following several years of restoration, the Lange headquarters reopens. Today it is the seat of Lange’s own watchmaking school.
  • 2003: The balance spring developed in house by Lange is manufactured in the new Technology and Development Centre.
  • 2007: A. Lange & Söhne presents the LANGE 31, the first wristwatch featuring a 31-day power reserve and uniform power output. A. Lange & Söhne opens their first monobrand-shop on Dresden.

Saturday, December 26, 2009

Hublot Creates 12 Very "Pop" Big Bangs for Depeche Mode

Swiss luxury watch maker Hublot announced its involvement with an exclusive concert on 17 February 2010 by the legendary group Depeche Mode to be held at London's Royal Albert Hall. Proceeds from the concert will be donated to the Teenage Cancer Trust, an organisation set up to support young cancer sufferers.

One of the most influential bands on the international electropop scene, this will be Depeche Mode's first ever concert at the Royal Albert Hall. The band's members are thrilled at the prospect. Not just because of the prestigious venue, but also because of the cause they have chosen to support. The event will raise funds for the Teenage Cancer Trust, an organisation which provides help to adolescents with cancer in terms of treatment, research, education, family support and specialist diagnosis .

To mark this special occasion, Hublot and Depeche Mode have decided to create a series of 12 unique watches, each of which will feature one of the band's album covers on its dial. The watches will be sold at an auction at the beginning of February on a dedicated website from 1 February 2010). All proceeds from the sale will be donated to TCT. Tickets for this unique Depeche Mode concert will be on sale from 18 December at www.livenation.co.uk.

Hublot Bode Bang Limited Edition

On Monday, December 7th 4-time World Champion skier Bode Miller launched the new Hublot limited edition Bode Bang watch through a celebrity tennis match at Sutton East Tennis Club in New York City. Hublot's partnership with the American skier Bode Miller is being sealed with the launch of the "Bode Bang" in New York, in the presence of the legendary champion of the skiing world.

The partnership between the watchmaking brand and Bode Miller came about when the skier visited the manufacture's workshops for a photo shoot for the Kjus catalogue. Fascinated by the know-how and meticulousness of the watchmakers, he set out to craft his own watch. His meeting with Jean-Claude Biver, the CEO of Hublot, led to an immediate mutual understanding. Both passionate, direct men with an expressive and unconventional manner of speech, they quickly found a host of shared values. The talented, feisty and determined skier, and the inventive, exceptionally energetic boss both demonstrate great generosity through their involvement in supporting humanitarian causes. The creation of the Bode Bang presented today is the fruit of this bond: together, they decided to divert some of the watch's royalties to the Turtle Ridge Foundation, founded by Bode Miller and his family in 2005 to share his success with those less fortunate in life, an ambition equally dear to Jean-Claude Biver and Bode Miller.

Technical details
Case
“Big Bang” diameter 44.5 mm in sandblasted black ceramic
Bezel: Sandblasted black ceramic with 6 H-shaped steel black PVD screws, sunken, polished and blocked
Crystal: Sapphire with anti-reflection treatment and Bode Miller’s signature at 9 o’clock
Bezel lug: Black composite resin
Lateral inserts: Black composite resin
Back: Sandblasted black ceramic with sapphire crystal
Crown: Steel black PVD, with natural black rubber insert
Push-pieces: Steel black PVD, rectangular, with natural black rubber insert
Water-resistance:100 m or 10 ATM

Dial
White with black nickel applique indices and numerals
Hands: Faceted matt black

Movement
HUB4100 Mechanical chronograph with automatic winding
Calendar: Trapezoid aperture at 4.30, white background, shiny black numeral
Power Reserve: 42 hours

Strap
Adjustable black rubber with clasp in steel black PVD
Clasp: Steel black PVD

Limited Edition
250 numbered pieces 01/250 – 250/250

Angular Momentum Freehand TEC/A13

Staybrite® 1.4435 NCu watch case with "boulle" corns. 12 green Email Lumineuse dots on bezel and case side, Lemon gold “Champlevé“ dial with blue and green Email Lumineuse. Hour and minute hand “plique à jour“ with blue and green Email Lumineuse. Front crystal bombe sapphire 48.200 ct. with blue Email Lumineuse center piece in Lemon gold frame, back crystal 3.00 mm bombé sapphire crystal 48.200 ct. Case caliber 46.00 mm x 12.00 mm, structured natural rubber strap

BUBEN&ZÖRWEG X-007 High-Security Safe

The current leading product in the field of security at BUBEN&ZÖRWEG, the X-007, was presented for the first time at the opening of the Timeless Gallery in Singapore. At first glance the high-security safe resembles more an objet d'art than a strongbox. It is security device that does not hide but is rather in its own right a jewel in the crown of any discerning interior. Additionally, the X-007 is the only safe that opens upwards, making it the ideal presentation platform for the values it conceals.

Prior to the appearance of the X-007 from BUBEN&ZÖRWEG a safe was no more than a cold, unadorned device that fulfilled its purpose and otherwise led a well-concealed existence. The X-007 successfully combines aspects of high-security protection for valuable collector's items and impressive presentation, a combination borne of a passion for innovation that is characteristic of the House of BUBEN&ZÖRWEG. The safe forms an attractive component of any distinguished interior design, a masterpiece of craftsmanship. Progressive materials and the latest security technology, all beyond reproach, form the reliable shell for those items that have become dear to the collector's heart. Its luxurious interior is clad in hand-sewn Italian leather and offers refined watches and jewellery a luxurious ambience that makes presenting these well-concealed treasures a sensuous pleasure every time.

BUBEN&ZÖRWEG has addressed the subject of security as a logical consequence for a house that cultivates the "Fine Art of Collecting" and offers valuable "Fine Timepieces" to the passionate collector… it was therefore logical to equip the "Objects of Time" with security features that meet the same high security standards that apply to the other masterpieces of craftsmanship from BUBEN&ZÖRWEG," says Harald Buben in explaining the launch of the new product category.


OBJET D'ART WITH THE HIGHEST SECURITY STANDARDS
Refined watches, valuable treasures, the family silver or irreplaceable documents – all of these terms quickly place the subject of security firmly in the foreground. The bank safe, the strongbox... these are not a solution for everything. After all, one does not want to have to send for one's favourites to be collected from the bank every time one wishes to behold them. Not to mention the fact that some things simply belong in one's private ambience – but still require secure protection nonetheless.

This is why attention to detail was applied not only to the design and finish of the X-007 but also to its compliance with the highest security standards. The "soul" of this remarkable safe consists of innovative high-tech security from the workshop of BUBEN&ZÖRWEG partner Kaba, in whom many Swiss banks also place their trust. Its patented composite material Relastan® has an unbeatable security-to-weight ratio to enable a design that makes high-security safes suitable for the load-bearing capacity of conventional ceiling designs.

The security features of the high-security locking system Paxos® compact are as convenient as they unbeatable. This locking system is the measure of all things on the market and a redundant system for the best possible security.

Certina New DS ActionRobert Kubica Limited Edition Ref C013.417.27.207.00

CERTINA and Robert Kubica, high demand and talent in perfect measure. Since 2006, the Swiss brand has been faithful partner to the exceptional BMW Sauber F1 Team driver. To highlight their collaboration, CERTINA has chosen to honour their F1 racetrack ambassador by creating the new DS Action – Robert Kubica Limited Edition, an exclusive chronograph aimed at F1 fans and speed buffs. With its audacious nature, latest design and outstanding resistance, the new DS Action is a tribute to fast and extreme lifestyles. Produced in an exclusive series of only 4,000 individually-numbered units, and engraved with Robert Kubica's own signature, it is destined for the wrist of connoisseurs, and fans of competition, technology and innovation.

CERTINA detected quite early on Robert Kubica's enormous potential, and became one of his first corporate sponsors. Evidence of their excellent foresight gathered through the various Grand-Prix standings achieved by Robert as a member of the BMW Sauber F1 Team, and his 2008 season was simply remarkable. The natural synergy between the watchmaking brand and the Polish-born star stands out through their many common points: combative instinct, great talent, and an unwavering quest for the best time.

The new CERTINA DS Action – Robert Kubica Limited Edition proudly stands with the best, in extreme-sport style. Its exudes a dynamism in perfect aesthetic accord with F1 racing, echoed by the bold colour harmonies of the dial and bezel─bright reminders of the tints on Kubica's helmet. The DS Action is a unique expression in pure line work, around a satin-finished steel case of generous diameter. The racy, toothed unidirectional rotating bezel wears a bright orange-coloured surface with a highly-visible scale, for various measurements. Tachymeter functions are neatly displayed along an inner sloping rim next to the bezel, behind the glass.

The timepiece's outstanding resistance is confirmed by a screw-in protected crown and two pushbuttons set inside sporty black PVD collars at their base, and time is shown against a dial with a black carbon background, and a date window at 6 o'clock. The indices, as well as HM hands are faceted and treated with Superluminova, also used on the oversized 12 headlining the dial. Chronograph timing is displayed through a fine interplay of contrasts on three snailed counters equipped with orange hands and a 30-min. counter detailed in blue. Protected by an anti-reflecting sapphire crystal, the watch is equipped with the full Certina DS+ System, and carries a guaranteed water resistance to 200 meters.

Its Limited Edition status is shown on the dial, while the case back is engraved with Robert Kubica's signature and the mention “Official Robert Kubica Watch”, the individual serial number, and the Certina logo. The model shown (photo) sports a moulded rubber strap, as well as a safety clasp and diving extension, perfect for underwater work.

The new Certina DS Action – Robert Kubica Limited Edition is sold in an attractive special display case, and comes with a second bracelet, in stainless steel, and an official certificate of authenticity.

Technical details
Model: DS Action – Robert Kubica Limited Edition
References:C013.417.27.207.00, rubber strap

Movement/functions
Swiss Made, Quartz Chronograph, ETA G10.211
Hours, minutes, small second, date
Chronograph with 30-minute, 60-second, 1/10-second counters

Case
42.5 mm diameter / 316L satin-finished steel / Tachymeter
Case back engraved with Robert Kubica signature, serial number, Certina logo
Water resistance:200 meter
Crystal: Sapphire crystal with anti-reflecting coating
Crown: Protected and screw-in
Engraved and numbered case back

Strap
Rubber (three-row, moulded links) with folding safety buckle and diving extension
Additional bracelet: Satin-finished, three-row stainless-steel bracelet with folding safety buckle and diving extension
Specifics: DS + (Double Security+ System) with screw-in crown/case back

Edition
Limited edition of 4,000 units
Sold in special display case, with a second (steel) bracelet and certificate of authenticity

Suggested retail price
CHF 760.-

Friday, December 25, 2009

Louis Moinet VERTALIS Tourbillon

The unique VERTALIS model features an innovative aesthetic concept distinguished by a modern and original blend of technology and design. As its name implies, the difference here is all about verticality: VERTALIS intensifies the magic of the tourbillon by connecting its carriage to the barrel by means of a hand-drawn and bevelled vertical bar. To add to the fascinating vision of the tourbillon carriage in motion, VERTALIS offers an open worked version of the barrel. The latter’s cover performs an average rotation in 6 hours and enables one to keep visual check on the power reserve according to the state of wind of the barrel spring.
Louis Moinet displays its determination to combine aesthetic and technical aspects, particularly through the vertical bar that showcases the technology of the watch, while extending over onto the case. This original and modern way of uniting displays, technology and casing is directly inspired by the historical world of Louis Moinet, and especially by some of the drawings published in his famous Traité d’Horlogerie in 1848.
Crafted in a limited edition of 12, the exclusive VERTALIS tourbillon movement is hand-wound and beats at a cadence of 21,600 vibrations per hour. One particularly striking technical characteristic is the spectacular visibility of the winding mechanism through the case-back. The “octopus” spring plays three roles by acting as pull-out piece spring, lever spring and click spring.
VERTALIS is presented in an exceptional new case composed of 50 different parts. It highlights the union of two gold colours: the warm shade of 5N rose gold, and the white gold that accentuates and pursues the geometrical effect of the vertical bar.

The dial features “Côtes du Jura”® against a black background enhanced with rose gold hour-markers. The case is also equipped with the Louis Moinet crown guard, incorporating the stem in such a way as to enable easy replacement if required (patent pending).

Technical details
Movement
Exclusive tourbillon movement
Decoration: “Côtes du Jura” ® engraving, blued steel screws
Functions: Hour,Minute
Winding: Hand-winding
Oscillations :21,600 vph
Frequency: 3 Hz
Lines: 14 ½
Power reserve: 72 hours
Tourbillon carriage: 1 turn/minute
Jewels: 19
Escapement: Side lever
Winding Mechanism visible through the case-back with “octopus” spring

Case
Original design by Louis Moinet®, made up of 50 parts
Two 18K gold colours (5N rose gold & white gold)
Case diameter: 47 mm
Water-resistance: 30 meters
Caseback: Secured with 4 screws, engraved with individual number and Louis Moinet markings
Crystals: Two anti-glare sapphire crystals

Dial
Black, decorated with “Côtes du Jura” ®
Hands: Rose gold-plated

Bracelet
Louisiana alligator leather, hand-sewn, width between lugs : 24 mm
Buckle: 18K rose gold folding clasp with Louis Moinet symbol

Watch box
Extra large Louis Moinet Book, hand-written warranty

Edition
Limited Edition of 12 watches
LM-14.70.50/50: Two 18K gold colours (5N rose gold & white gold) Black dial
Price: CHF 215,000.00

Unique Items
8 unique watches with different dials, Price: CHF 220,000.00

Monday, December 21, 2009

The ROLAND ITEN for PURDEY LIMITED EDITION COLLECTION

ROLAND ITEN and JAMES PURDEY AND SONS announce their second collaboration on the creation of a limited edition series of mechanical belt buckles-- the ROLAND ITEN for PURDEY special edition R81 Spring Loaded mechanical belt buckle collection. The PURDEY derivations are available in Natural or Blackened Steel with Rose Gold and special in-lays.

The first piece of the series (pictured here) is delicately finished with hand-crafted and stabilised fossil Mammoth tooth from the prehistoric Wooly Mammoth-- considered the mascot animal from Earth's final ice age (late Pleistocene period 200'000-20'000 years ago).

This piece is finely displayed and currently available at the JAMES PURDEY AND SONS flagship shop in Mayfair, London (see the RETAILERS section of the ROLAND ITEN website  for address and contact details). Limited pieces of R81 series for PURDEY with in-lays of Damascus steel and special engravings will follow in 2010.

Also available at the PURDEY MAYFAIR shop for the months of December 2009 and January 2010 only, a ROLAND ITEN gift collection set which includes the new R8 MKII in natural steel and titanium with rose gold.The ROLAND ITEN for PURDEY limited edition R81 collection follows the success of the limited collection of Calibre 8 MK I mechanical belt buckles made expressly by ROLAND ITEN for PURDEY in 2006. JAMES PURDEY AND SONS Gun & Rifle Makers hold the Warrants of Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth II, HRH Prince Philip The Duke of Edinburgh and HRH The Prince of Wales.

Blancpain Saint-Valentin 2010 Ref. 0081-5560-52

For the first time in its history, Swiss luxury watch maker Blancpain has created a special-shaped watch*. The Manufacture in Le Brassus is presenting an authentic jeweller creation set with over 500 diamonds and pink sapphires, and housing the world’s smallest self-winding movement, Calibre 615. This extraordinary timepiece is to be issued in a symbolically limited edition of 14 to celebrate Valentine’s Day 2010.

This exceptional creation is an anthem to Love and to Femininity, starting with the white and pink mother-of-pearl dial forming a heart and framed by a bezel set with over 500 diamonds and pink sapphires. A heart-cut diamond also appears at 12 o’clock, while the pin buckle is set with a pearshaped pink sapphire.

The exquisite beauty of this exceptional two-hand watch also lies in the slenderness of its movement. Blancpain is proudly reintroducing the famous “Lady Bird” Calibre 615, still regarded as the world’s smallest self-winding movement and which can be admired through the sapphire crystal case-back. This shaped watch is delivered with two genuine satin straps – one black and the other white. It comes in an extremely elegant presentation box featuring a design reflecting the pure lines of this dainty Valentine’s Day model crafted in a strictly limited edition of 14.

* The visual is a watercolour rendering of the model.

Thomas Prescher Qatarwatch

That is normally the beginning of a time sculpture manufactured by Thomas Prescher. With excellent design, finest materials and perfect processing these dreams become reality step by step. Recently Thomas Prescher was asked if he could do a watch with a flag or national symbol. After asking for what country, the answer was: “Qatar”.

After a lot of research about this exceptional country, a picture of its Coat of arms inspired Thomas Prescher. The coat of arms of Qatar (Arabic: شعار قطر‎) shows two crossed swords in a yellow circle. Between the swords there is a traditional sailing ship called dhow, sailing over the waves beside an island with two palm trees. The yellow circle is surrounded by a white and brown band, which is divided horizontally with a zigzag line.

The realisation of the watch: One sword tip shows the minutes, while the other indicates the hours. With this retrograde system, after the swords reach the end of the index sector they jump back to the beginning to rise again.After pushing the button in the crown the swords move to a resting position to show the original coat of arms in gold and noble colours.

After a second push the swords move back to continue to show the actual time.Thomas Prescher has developed this exquisite concept to give the connoisseur the choice: Having the figure continuously showing the time or allowing it to simply remain in its non-temporal state. This could be only achieved through the use of a complicated and ingenious new system, which Thomas Prescher created specially for his watches, after studying and repairing old originals.Excellent design, the finest materials, perfect processing, invaluable beauty for generations.

Sunday, December 20, 2009

Vacheron Constantin Jubilé 1755 watch (2005)

With its name referring to the chronological source of the world’s oldest watch Manufacture in uninterrupted activity since its founding, this model commemorates 250 years of existence: everything about the Jubilé 1755 watch created by Vacheron Constantin recalls the temporal roots of the brand, as well as the celebration of the passage of time through its essential daily calendar functions.

The Jubilé 1755 watch serves as an emblematic assertion of the watchmaking know-how of Vacheron Constantin, which has equipped it with a totally new calibre carrying the Poinçon de Genève quality hallmark, a testimony to experience forged over one quarter of a millennium.

Launched in 2005,this highly classical model, which was never produced after , echoes the brand’s date of birth. More specifically, the year 1755 is registered in the historical records of the creation of the watchmaking workshop of Jean-Marc Vacheron. The document from the Geneva archives specifies that the master had hired an apprentice that year.

That means he had already been exercising his profession independently for a certain period of time, doubtless for several years. In this respect, the Jubilé 1755 embodies a link between the experience already acquired by the watchmaker at that time, and that which has been accumulated over the past quarter of a millennium within the Brand to which he gave life.

Highly symbolic both by its name and by the pure horological standards it expresses, this model was produced in a limited numbered edition of 1755, in the three gold colours – yellow, pink and white – as well as in platinum. It embodies the brand’s core values through its meticulous finishing details, the high level of quality displayed right down to the smallest details, and the perfection of its overall proportions. These lofty standards are further underscored by the totally new movement driving it, mechanical self-winding Calibre 2475.

Designed and developed by the Vacheron Constantin engineers and watchmakers, it harmoniously combines timekeeping and calendar functions with a display of the power reserve, the day, the date, as well as a sweep seconds-hand. Beating to the rhythm of 28,800 vibrations per hour, the finest compromise between the quest for precision and the determination to ensure long-term reliability, this calibre has a power reserve of over 40 hours. It is distinguished by the Poinçon de Genève, the most rigorous finishing quality hallmark within the field of Haute Horlogerie.

The 22-carat gold oscillating weight is entirely decorated and perpetuates the level of perfection to which Vacheron Constantin is accustomed. It becomes apparent at first glance that the designers’ work has been governed by this deep-felt concern for aesthetic perfection: the shape of the bridges, the highlighting of the essential gear-trains, along with the finishing and decoration of all visible parts, transfigures the mechanism into a moving masterpiece.

Polished/bevelled steel parts and decorated surfaces, as indeed on all the mechanical movements carrying the Vacheron Constantin signature, convey the values of inner beauty upheld by the brand, a standard of craftsmanship provided by a top-flight team of watchmakers and craftsmen working in harmony with the extremely stringent criteria of the Poinçon de Genève. As well as being visible on the movement, the prestigious quality hallmark reserved for the watchmaking elite also appears on the finely guilloché dial which is stamped with a secret signature.

In addition to the gold hands, the dial is enlivened by four blued steel hands for the sweep seconds, the power-reserve moving over a segment at 6 o’clock, as well as those indicating the day of the week and the date in two horizontally placed subdials.

The watch is clothed in a case measuring 40 mm in diameter and featuring hand-soldered lugs, and teamed with a hand-sewn strap in alligator mississipiensis fitted with a buckle matching the precious metal of the case. The limited edition of 1755 comprises 500 watches fashioned in each of the three gold colours, as well as 250 clad in platinum, along with a series of five watches reserved for the brand’s heritage collection.

Technical details

Case
Materials: 18-carat 750 pink gold (5N), 750 yellow gold (3N), rhodium-plated 750 white gold, 950 platinum
Diameter and thickness: 40mm, 12,10mm
Inter-horn width: 20mm at the wristband attachment
Shape and construction: round, 3 parts, screw-on bezel
Case-back: secured by screws
Crystals: sapphire, glareproofed on the inside,mounted on a joint
Finishing: polished case, fine knurling on the bezel and case-back “250th anniversary” type soldered lugs
Water resistance: 30 metres

Dials
Dial material for versions with gold cases: nickel silver
Dial material for version with platinum case: 950 platinum
Description for gold models: light silvered finishing, guilloché “250th anniversary” motif, 18-carat gold Roman numerals and appliques
Description for platinum model: brilliant-brushed finishing, guilloché “250th anniversary” motif, 18-carat Roman numerals and appliqués

Hands
Hour and minute: in 18-carat gold, fan-shaped, inspired by a 1926 vintage model
Seconds: in blued steel, baton-shaped
Counters: in blued steel, dagger-shaped.

Movement
Mechanical self-winding Calibre 2475– Entirely developed and crafted by Vacheron Constantin

Indications & functions 
Hours and minutes
Sweep seconds
Day & date
Power-reserve

Other technical characteristics:
Energy: mechanical, self-winding, Cal. 2475
Regulating organ: flat balance-spring, Geneva balance-spring stud
Frequency: 4Hz (28,000 vph)
Power reserve: >43 hours
Jewelling : 27 jewels

Other characteristics:
Winding stem: 2 positions : winding, time-setting
Day adjustment: using a corrector housed in the case
Date adjustment: using a corrector housed in the case
Main dimensions:
Caging diameter: 25.60mm
Total diameter: 26.20mm
Total thickness: 5.50mm

Strap
Strap: hand-sewn alligator leather with a silky satin finish,
Buckle: pin buckle, 18-carat gold or 950 platinum.

Edition
Launched in 2005,“Jubilé 1755” was produced a limited edition of 1755, crafted in pink gold, yellow gold, white gold and platinum, of which five are reserved for the Vacheron Constantin heritage collection.

Thursday, December 17, 2009

Vacheron Constantin Kalla Duchesse Haute Joaillerie Watch Collection (2006)

In 1979, Vacheron Constantin caused a sensation by introducing a model destined to become a legend, Kallista. This quintessence of absolutes, embodying the perfect union between watchmaking and jewellery, remains unmatched to this day.

The history of jewellery-watches features certain milestones that in the recent past have turned the spotlight on horological and jewellery creativity. The birth of the Kallista remains the most spectacular such landmark event, since this one-of-a-kind record-holding work of art is recognised as the most expensive watch in the world (5 million dollars at the time, 11 million dollars today). Equipped with a mechanical hand-wound movement and set with 118 emerald-cut diamonds on a case sculpted from a solid gold block weighing over one kilo, the Kallista required more than 6,000 hours of work performed over a full 20 months by the world’s finest jewellers. Kallista, meaning “the most wonderful” in Greek, truly deserves its name.

The models composing the Kalla Duchesse Haute Joaillerie line(2006)are entirely in keeping with this tradition binding Vacheron Constantin to the world of top-flight jewellery-making, and in an even broader sense to the “Métiers d’Art” cultivated by the Maison over many generations. Rather than restricting itself to a mere exercise in sophisticated gem-setting, the Manufacture wished to combine the purely horological spirit driving Vacheron Constantin since its founding, with the mastery it has developed in the most refined gem-cutting and setting techniques.

Each of the diamonds adorning the case – 162 (9 carats) or 182 (11.63 carats), according to its size – is dealt with exclusively using the techniques of skilled hand- craftsmanship. Once selected, each gem is individually cut to its assigned shape: baguette, square or trapeze. The distinctive accomplished on the Kalla Duchesse relates to the contours of its 18-carat white gold case forming a spherical tonneau shape, clothed in trapeze-cut diamonds. The horizontal radius, which is fullest at the case centre, dwindles progressively into the bracelet or strap.

The sophistication of this design implies adjusting the trapeze shape of each of the baguette-cut diamonds, before fitting them individually into their recess. This type of gem-setting, calling for extremely distinctive expertise, is known as the “inverted pyramid” technique. The patient work performed on the case magnificently reflects the splendid paving on the dial. Composed of an 18-carat white gold plaque, it is studded with 62 or 98 trapeze-cut diamonds, depending on the model, respectively totalling 5 or 6.7 carats.

The bracelet of the Kalla Duchesse enables the gem-setter to exercise his art according to another very special technique known as “Parisian mesh”. The latter ensures the bracelet moulds the wrist to perfection, while avoiding any potential gaps that might appear between the links along the profile, due to the rigidity of the supporting structure crafted from 18-carat white gold, and the diamonds. This refined technique enables the bracelet to flow seamlessly around the wrist.

To give life to this Haute Joaillerie masterpiece, Vacheron Constantin has fitted it with a Manufacture-made proprietary watchmaking heart entirely finished and decorated by hand, mechanical hand-wound VC Calibre 1400. It proudly bears the token of the strictest and most demanding standard applying to a mechanical movement, the Poinçon de Genève quality hallmark. Beating at 28,800 vibrations per hour, the Calibre 1400 driving the Kalla Duchesse Haute Joaillerie is housed within a diamond cage available in two sizes, on a bracelet set with either 380 or 560 diamonds. A leather strap in alligator mississipiensis is also available, complete with a white gold pin buckle paved with 13 or 27 diamonds.

The Kalla Duchesse large-size model is entirely paved with 841 diamonds totalling over 58 carats, while the small model is set with 605 diamonds totalling over 44 carats. A genuine masterpiece, the Kalla Duchesse Haute Joaillerie admirably sublimates the arts of jewellery and Haute Horlogerie, transcending them to enshrine a vibrantly luminous creation.

Reference: 81650/000G-9169 and 81650/T01G-9169
  • Calibre :1400, mechanical hand-wound,Poinçon de Genève quality hallmark
  • Indications: hours and minutes
  • Movement thickness: 2.60 mm
  • Movement diameter: 20.35mm, corresponding to 9 lignes
  • Number of jewels: 20
  • Frequency: 28 800 vibrations/hour
  • Case: 18-carat white gold entirely paved with 162 trapeze-cut diamonds (approximately 9 cts)
  • Dial: 18-carat white gold entirely paved with 62 trapeze-cut diamonds (approximately 5 cts)
  • Water resistance to 30 m
  • Strap/bracelet: In hand-sewn padded alligator mississipiensis leather,or in 18-carat white gold entirely set with 380 baguette-cut diamonds (approximately 30 cts)
  • Buckle: on leather strap, 18-carat white gold pin buckle set with 13 brilliants.
Reference: 81750/000G-9198 and 81750/S01G-9198
  • Calibre :1400, mechanical hand-wound,Poinçon de Genève quality hallmark
  • Indications: hours and minutes
  • Movement thickness: 2.60 mm
  • Movement diameter: 20.35mm, corresponding to 9 lignes
  • Number of jewels: 20
  • Frequency: 28 800 vibrations/hour
  • Case: 18-carat white gold entirely paved with 182 trapeze-cut diamonds (approximately 11.63 cts)
  • Dial: 18-carat white gold entirely paved with 98 trapeze-cut diamonds (approximately 6.67 cts)
  • Water resistance to 30 m
  • Strap/bracelet: In hand-sewn padded alligator mississipiensis leather,or in 18-carat white gold entirely set with 560 baguette-cut diamonds (approximately 40 cts)
  • Buckle: On leather strap, 18-carat white gold pin buckle set with 27 brilliants

Thursday, December 10, 2009

Omega Valentine’s Day Collection - De Ville Co-Axial Chronograph & Fine Jewellery Constellation Griffes Collection

Swiss luxury watch brand OMEGA has some proposals for gifts which will last well beyond this Valentine’s Day. And the next. And the one after that. And the one after that. She will cherish her De Ville Co-Axial Chronograph forever. It is at once elegant and sporty, blending OMEGA’s state-ofthe- industry Co-Axial technology with extraordinary design.

Its bezel is paved with 42 diamonds and it has a full chronograph function, a perfect complement for a busy contemporary lifestyle. And if she already has an OMEGA watch, remember their Fine Jewellery Constellation Griffes Collection which features rings and pendants whose timeless design was inspired by Omega's famous watches.
And he will love his De Ville 4-Counters Co-Axial Chronograph with its four sub-dials dramatically spread across the face of the watch. In a staggered row, from left to right, they feature the small seconds, a seven-day counter, the 12-hour counter and the 30-minute counter. Just above the centre of the watch is a window which shows the day of the week. Like the Ladies’ De Ville Co-Axial Chronograph, this COSC-certified chronometer is at once sporty and elegant. Make this Valentine’s Day one to remember with an OMEGA De Ville Co-Axial Chronograph. It will still be expressing your feelings next Valentine’s Day. Technical details
Movement
Exclusive Omega calibre 3890
Self-winding chronograph
Officially certified chronometer
Jewels: 33
Frequency: 28’800 A/h (4 Hz)
Power reserve: 52 hours
Exclusive features with: Co-Axial Escapement & Omega free sprung-balance
Luxury finish

Case
Stainless Steel
Diameter: 41.00 mm
Height: 15.90 mm
Water resistant up to: 100 m (330 ft)
Brushed case
Brushed crown with polished embossed Ω; brushed pushers
Domed scratch-resistant sapphire crystal with anti-reflective treatment on both sides
Brushed screw-in caseback stamped with God Chronos medallion

Dial
Grey dial with black subdials
Applied brushed 18Ct gold , date window, subdial top numerals (60 – 7 – 12 – 3) and index (no Super-LumiNova)
Chrono 12-hour & 7-day recording to view upside down
Transferred red “REC” in the 3 chrono subdials
Transferred “Co-Axial Chronometer” in 9H subdial

Hands
Brushed facetted 18Ct gold hour-minute hands; white Super-LumiNova
Brushed 18Ct gold chronograph subdial and skeletonised small-seconds hands
Brushed rhodium-plated central chronograph hand; red tip

Bracelet
Brushed-polished 9-row stainless steel bracelet(Omega patented screw-and-pin system) with safety butterfly clasp incrusted with polished 18Ct red gold Ω;

Ring Griffes Constellation (small model)
RG R37BGA01006XX
Material: 18 k rose gold
Est. weight: 5.70 g
Techn. Info. : 1 smoky quartz rose-cut
Weight: 0.58 ct
16 diamonds 1.05-1.10 mm
Total weight: 0.08 ct
Colour: G / Clarity: from IF to VVS

Griffes Constellation Pendant Necklace
RG N71BGA0100605
Material: 18 k rose gold
Est. weight: 5.72 g
Techn. Info. : 1 smoky quartz rose-cut
Weight: 0.58 ct
16 diamonds 1.05-1.10 mm
Total weight: 0.08 ct
Colour: G / Clarity: from IF to VVS

Wednesday, December 9, 2009

BREGUET Opens its New Boutique at Ekaterinburg

Legendary Swiss watch brand BREGUET opened its first Boutique in the Oural-region in Ekaterinburg on 24 November 2009. Occupying a prime site on Prospect Lenina, at the number 25, the BREGUET Boutique spreads its 142 square meters of elegant atmosphere, corresponding to the prestige of BREGUET. It has been designed into a superb showcase to present an exclusive selection of perfectly refined and impeccably finished timepieces as well as luxurious and exquisite jewelry suites.

The boutique’s decoration scheme focuses on the quality of its constituent materials and the refinement of its decorative details. The choice of materials stemmed from a study of Breguet timepieces. Selected historic designs served as aesthetic references such as the famous “Clou de Paris” pattern in blued glass frames recalling the bluish enamelling of its pocket watches. Spatial partitioning draws its inspiration from the elliptic patterns abounding in BREGUET’s own work, resulting in sinuous shapes and surfaces accompanying our guests throughout their visit to the boutique and museum.

These magnificent premises are a must destination in Ekaterinburg for anyone and everyone fascinated by the world of Breguet. Here, between centuries-old tradition and permanent innovation, its watchmaking genius flourishes. Here, the precious stones gracing its wonderfully creative gem jewellery reflects the demanding art of its master gem-setters. Here, too, centuries of European history and culture come together under the approving eyes of numerous famous clients, including Tsar Alexander I, Prince Orloff, Prince Poniatowski or Sergei Rachmaninov and famous writers such as Pushkin.

Monday, December 7, 2009

RGM Reference 400 Automatic Chronograph

The latest in the family of RGM chronographs is Reference 400, a new automatic with design cues that hearken back to some of the glory days of classic auto racing. This self-winding marvel blends a functional layout with eye-catching color to produce a bold statement resulting from distinct harmonious elements.

Ref. 400 chronographs represent a slight departure from the previous Professional models, but the attention to detail and the quality remain indisputably RGM. Brushed and polished case elements, a new style of bezel, and the layered construction of the dial are all indications that significant thought and energy has been expended into producing a sporty chronograph with few peers.
The stainless steel case of 42.2 mm x 15.2 mm houses an accurate and reliable high-grade movement, visible though a broad display back. A theme of layering or stacking is continued from the exterior (bezel, pushers) to the face of the watch, whose layered dial and geometric hands allow maximum readability.

Features of the dial include legible and luminous indications, displayed with a style that is colorful and dynamic but avoids becoming obtrusive. The Ref, 400 watches bring a nostalgic style into 21st Century context.

The effect of this watch is clearly influenced by designs of decades past—the age of racing Cobras, the GT40, and CanAm series come to mind--while the product is distinctly modern. This is ensured by the use of sapphire crystals front & back, anti-reflective coatings and the most up-to-date Valgranges Cal. A07.211 movement.
Watches in the Ref. 400 series are available from RGM immediately. Options include dial color choices (Blue, Black, Silver, Orange), various colors and materials for straps, and the willingness of RGM to create custom versions of their watches for discerning customers.

Angular Momentum La Boulle Classic "Day & Night"

Swiss luxury watch maker Angular Momentum’s latest creation is La Boulle Classic "Day & Night".Circular one-body case, stainless steel Staybrite 1.4435 NCu, mirror polished bezel, satin finished sides, centered polished "boulle" corns, polished Louis XV crown, front and back sapphire crystal, mechanical self-winding movements 24 hour, alligator or Lizard strap. Case caliber 42.00 mm.
Dial "Verre Èglomise" double "arabique" numbers and index on white/black ground on the reverse of a glass dial, golden "poire" hand.The "Boulle" timepieces are made piece by piece on demand and are available in case calibers from 39.00 mm to 47.00 mm, case height 11.50 mm.

Sunday, December 6, 2009

Jacob Jensen Design Studio : Brand Profile,History and Products

Jacob Jensen Design Studio is a world renowned danish industrial design company .Maybe it’s the B&O stereo in the living room. Maybe it’s the Gaggenau stove or the Margrethe bowl in the kitchen, or the weather station, the Nilfisk vacuum cleaner, the telephone, or the JoJo cable reel in the workshop. The Labofa office chair you are sitting on, the watch on your arm or the windmill you pass by. With more than 500 products designed since the beginning of the 1950’s, Jacob Jensen is possibly the most represented designer in the Danish home.Through an original, simple, and today classic form language, he has time and again shown us that the products, which are a part of our everyday lives, can contain a quiet beauty. Jacob Jensen is for many Danes the very symbol of good design, mainly due to his work for B&O.

Internationally, Jacob Jensen is one of the most award-winning designers in the world. He is represented in museums all over the globe, among these The Museum of Modern Art in New York, where 15 of his products are included in their permanent collection. Christian Holmsted Olesen, Curator at The Danish Museum of Art & Design, writes that with regard to his design historical importance, several of Jacob Jensen’s works can be seen as “sophisticated extracts of 20th century design”.

Portrait:Jacob Jensen


Jacob Jensen is an industrial designer, trained in the furniture division of the School of Arts and Craft in Copenhagen. His unique design has reached its international position because it combines and distills two main streams in 20th century design. On the one hand, the idealistic European Bauhaus tradition, with its minimalist “Less is More”, and its modernist “Form follows Function”. On the other hand, the American design icon Raymond Loewy’s consumer-oriented MAYA principle: Most Advanced Yet Acceptable”. Jacob Jensen’s achievement in the history of design is his creation of an ultra modern minimalist form language with extraordinary consumer appeal. By maintaining that “Form follows Feelings” he brings curiosity and excitement into Bauhaus.Christian Holmsted Olesen characterizes Jacob Jensen’s form language as “mature modernism”. Jacob Jensen himself calls his design philosophy: “Different but not strange”. This results in a design, which distances itself emphatically from its competitors, but at the same time, is immediately comprehensible.

A central element in Jacob Jensen’s design strategy is new ideas which give the consumer a “saturated experience of value”. Among his many innovations is the separation of primary everyday functions from the secondary fine-tuning functions, sensi-touch, active cylinder in the office chair, etc. Innovations which have created a basis for new design breakthroughs and made many of the products “unusually durable”, in the words of Christian Holmsted Olesen. As a whole, Jacob Jensen’s design is extremely homogeneous. His form language is so unique and universal that people all over the world recognize a Jacob Jensen design at a distance. With its contrasts of black and silver and floating electronic surfaces, Jacob Jensen has created a visionary language of design, reaching far into the future. A form language, which as Jacob Jensen now turns 80, continues to unfold.

Classic Clock


Jacob Jensen Design is characterized by a homogeneous and easily recognisable form language. A language originally developed by Jacob Jensen and further developed and carried on to new product types by his son Timothy Jacob Jensen. For many people “Jacob Jensen” is not a person or a studio or a product portfolio. It is an elegant, streamlined form language in silver and black. The form language “Jacob Jensen” is however more than elegant contrasts. It is a thought- through entity, which embraces distance, closeness, and touch.

Distance: A single, streamlined, ultramodern form, combined with contrasts in silver and black. It is this part of the form language which is primarily associated with Jacob Jensen and which is so striking that people all over the world, recognize a Jacob Jensen design at a distance.

Closeness: Worked-through aesthetic details, in relation both to the design of the three-dimensional, such as switches, and graphics. It is particularly in this care for detail, that Jacob Jensen’s roots in Danish furniture crafts become visible.

Touch: Something magical happens when you touch the product. A display comes to life, a lid slides open in meditative slowness, an unexpected user panel appears. There is a seductive gift included.

Rectangular Watch Series 800


Jacob Jensen names Hans Wegner, Jørn Utzon and the American designer Richard S. Latham as important sources of inspiration. Jacob Jensen laid the foundation for his form language during the 1950’s and, up through the 1960’s and 70’s, perfected it in his designs for B&O. In the context of design history the form language can be characterized as a merging of two main streams in 20th century design. On the one hand the idealistic European Bauhaus tradition, with its minimalist “Less is More” and its modernist “Form follows Function”. On the other hand, the American design icon Raymond Loewy’s consumer-oriented MAYA principle: “Most Advanced Yet Acceptable”.

Jacob Jensen’s form language has, under the leadership of Timothy Jacob Jensen, been further refined and developed, primarily in the dimensions of closeness and touch. Timothy Jacob Jensen has carried the form language to a number of new areas and product categories, including the kitchen - Gaggenau, lifa, Thermex, together with timers, scales, etc., under the Jacob Jensen brand and personal accessories such as watches, spectacles, cuff-links and jewelry. Further, there are smoke alarms, weather stations, modems, telephones, wood burning stoves, soap dishes, wind turbines - and also traffic roundabouts – all in the Jensen form language.Jacob Jensen’s form language has proved to contain an unusually large potential. It has grown and spread for almost 50 years, leaped from generation to generation, and is now so solidly proven that it has become the foundation for the international trademark Jacob Jensen.

Timer Clock


Biography of Jacob Jensen
Jacob Jensen was born on April 29, 1926 in Copenhagen, the son of an upholsterer, Alfred Jensen, and his wife Olga Jensen. He grew up in the rough environment of the Vesterbro area, left school after the seventh grade, completed his training as an upholsterer in 1946, and went on the road for some months, as was the custom for newly trained artisans.His father established his own furniture workshop in 1947 in Gartnergade, Copenhagen where Jacob joined him. Here he developed furniture, including a sofa bed, and began to design chairs. He was discovered by chance and encouraged to attend the School of Arts and Craft.He was accepted at the School of Arts and Craft in the furniture division in 1948 as the only upholsterer among 11 furniture makers, one of these being Poul Kjærholm. The school was a breeding ground for the many furniture designers, which has made Danish furniture world famous. The international breakthrough of Danish Design occurred during the very years that Jacob Jensen attended the school. The training was based on the design methods of Kaare Klint and was taught by people such as Hans J. Wegner and Jørn Utzon. Utzon initiated a course in a brand new subject called “Industrial Design” which Jacob Jensen, greatly inspired, joined and completed as the only student. Jacob Jensen graduated from the School of Arts and Craft in 1952.

In 1952 there was only one studio in Scandinavia which employed industrial designers. This was Bernadotte & Bjørn in Copenhagen, with Sigvard Bernadotte, a son of the Swedish King, as one of the partners. Jacob Jensen worked here from 1952 to 1958, as studio chief from 1954. Here he learned about the growing market from the bottom up. According to Bernadotte, it was Jacob Jensen who in 1955 designed the company’s most successful product, the Margrethe bowl, which is still in production.In 1956, Jacob Jensen went to the USA to work for a number of leading studios. The contacts were established by Bernadotte and included the design star Raymond Loewy in New York and the design strategy studio Latham, Tyler & Jensen (LTJ) in Chicago. During his time in Chicago, Jacob Jensen was particularly inspired by Richard Latham. Latham thought in terms of survival strategies, incorporating both the market oriented American tradition and the idealistic Bauhaus inspired tradition. In 1960, Jacob became a partner in LTJ and managed the company’s European interests until 1975.

In 1958, Jacob Jensen opened his own studio in Strandgade in Copenhagen. Soon after, Jacob Jensen Design moved to a suburb Frederiksberg with a staff of 8. This development involved more management than design, which did not suit Jacob Jensen’s taste. He reduced the staff to two and moved further outside the city to the village of Jyllinge. In this period, Jacob Jensen completed an extensive design concept for General Electric, which pointed towards Hi-Fi-systems of the future. General Electric chose not to use the design, which later became the basis of B&O’s form language and strategy.In 1966, Jacob Jensen Design moved to its present location, Hejlskov on the Limfjord. The house is a modern fortress, built by Jacob Hermann, one of Jacob Jensen’s former teachers at the School of Arts and Craft. It is situated in a beautiful and isolated landscape on the edge of the fjord. With Jacob Jensen is his American wife Patricia and their three children, Thomas, Katja and Timothy.The move to Hejlskov was partly related to Jacob Jensen’s new client, B&O in Struer, 50 kilometres from Hejlskov. The relationship was begun in 1964 and continued in various forms until 1991. During this period, Jacob Jensen designed over 200 products for B&O, creating the exclusive form language, which has provided the company with its international status and survival niche. (More can be read on this subject in the separate document, “Bang & Olufsen and Jacob Jensen”).Jacob Jensen’s design is exhibited in a number of art and design museums around the world. The most significant of the international exhibitions is the solo exhibition at MoMA in New York in 1978: “Bang & Olufsen – Design for Sound by Jacob Jensen”. The exhibition comprised 28 audio products. Both before and after the exhibition, MoMA purchased Jacob Jensen designs for its permanent collection, and today owns 19 pieces.

Jacob Jensen Design Studio


Jacob Jensen is primarily known for his B&O design, but as an industrial designer he has designed more than 500 products for a large number of clients. Among these are hearing aids for GH Danavox, Hi-Fi for General Electric, office chairs for Labofa, telephones for Alcatel-Kirk, cable reels for JoJo, wind turbines for NEG Micon, kitchen hardware for Gaggenau Haugeräte, along with watches, telephones, weather stations and more under the brand name JACOB JENSEN.Jacob Jensen Design has received around 70 design awards all over the world, including the USA, Japan, Germany, Italy, Austria, and England. In Denmark, Jacob Jensen has received the ID-award nine times, has been awarded the Knights Cross of the Order of Dannebrog, and is included in the Foreign Ministry’s list of “Great Danes”. (In a separate document there is a complete list with more than 100 exhibitions, awards, etc.)

Timothy & Jacob Jensen


In 1990, Timothy Jacob Jensen, the youngest son of Jacob’s first marriage, took over the company. Timothy was apprenticed to his father from 1978 to 1981 and is now the owner, director and chief designer. With Timothy at the helm, the studio continues to be an exceptionally sought after and highly awarded enterprise. Furthermore, Timothy has developed an international product line under the brand name JACOB JENSEN. The JACOB JENSEN house today includes the companies; JACOB JENSEN HOLDING, JACOB JENSEN DESIGN and JACOB JENSEN BRAND. Jacob Jensen is still an active designer on selected projects and regularly acts as a sparring partner for Timothy.

With its stylistically consistent mixture of sense and seduction, Jacob Jensens form language has proved to be unusually enduring and universal. It has survived the changing trends of fifty years. It has grown and spread to new product areas and cultures, and the JACOB JENSEN brand is now represented in over 30 countries. With its pure contrasts, simple effects and serene user interface, JACOB JENSEN is a language pointing far into the future.

Official website:www.jacobjensen.com

Jacob Jensen Weather Station

Jacob Jensen has put his mark to a wide range of products.From household products such as telephones, Hi-Fi equipment and ovens to watches, windmills, and many more industrial designs. All of them characterised by the simplicity and the light and elegant design. Totally free from unnecessary details or artificial frills.The Jacob Jensen Design is made with creativity and intelligence as a result of countless efforts to reach into the very soul of the product. Jacob Jensen has received more than one hundred international awards.Museum of Modern Art in New York exhibits today 19 of his designs.



The Weather Station range is an excellent example of the consideration and functionalism which reflects essential elements of every JACOB JENSEN™ product. Every single module can be integrated with each other into a whole - as few or as many as you wish. And you can place the products on your desk or mount them on the wall at your choice.

The Weather Station range includes:
Radio controlled clock
Barometer
Temperature Station (cordless)
Thermometer Sensor
Indoor Thermometer
Outdoor Thermometer (corded version)
Hygrometer
Alarm Clock
Desk Stand
Wall Mounting Plates

The discreet and elegant modules posses a perfect balance between form and function. Just sit back and enjoy the weather - regardless of the season.All products come with gift box, manual and batteries.

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