Sunday, June 28, 2009

IWC Schaffhausen Portuguese Chrono Automatic with Brilliant-cut Diamonds - Ref. IW371439 – 41 / Ref. IW371442 – 44 (2006)

IWC turns some of its most beautiful timepieces into even more exclusive horological works of art. The Portuguese Chrono-Automatic in white and rose gold proclaims the new freedom: Not only women, but also men can adorn themselves with a few precious stones.

The word diamonds immediately brings to mind Marilyn Monroe’s song, “Diamonds Are a Girl’s Best Friends”. The fact that this global currency for expressing deep feelings mainly ends up with a lady holds true to this day. It is also true,however, that this privilege of adorning oneself with the most treasured objects was never exclusively female. The emancipated male, too, is adopting an inquisitive approach to the myth of precious stones, to which the master craftsman imparts form and fire with his cutting skill. IWC, as the first port of call for distinctive men’s watches, has always recognized the need to interpret the timepiece on the wrist not only as an instrument, but also as a male ornament. Yet both must go together in harmony.

For this very good reason, the choice of watch for a setting with flawless diamonds that is as discreet as it is elaborate fell to the Portuguese Chrono-Automatic in the 41 mm diameter case. This also happens to be the most refined mechanical chronograph from Schaffhausen. A watch with a great tradition and a sublime stylistic appeal. And, in addition, a watch which, in spite of its size, is seen increasingly frequently on female wrists.

These star-studded watches from Schaffhausen are available in the two case materials white gold and rose gold – in three different versions each: with flawless diamonds on the inner ring, with diamonds on the inner ring and strap lugs, and with diamonds on the inner ring, strap lugs, case flanks and the buttons, set by the hand of a master craftsman. Whereas the white gold variant with its slate grey dial and setting represents perfect understatement, the rose gold variant with its black dial and the fire of the gemstones appears as a vivacious and striking beauty. All watches are supplied with crocodile leather straps and precious metal clasps.

The watch with a stop function and a 30-minute counter is wound by the automatic movement.A see-through sapphire glass of hardness grade 9 overarches the elegant dial. This glass is almost as hard as the diamonds which light the Portuguese firework.

Technical details
Model: Portuguese Chrono-Automatic with diamonds
Ref. IW371439 – 41 / Ref. IW371442 – 44

Calibre :79350
Vibrations :28,800/h / 4 Hz
Jewels :31
Power reserve :44 h
Winding :automatic

Material :18 ct. white gold, 18 ct. rose gold
Glass :sapphire, convex, antireflective coating
Water-resistant :3 bar (30 m)
Diameter :40.9 mm
Height :12.3 mm

Watch in white gold with diamonds on the inner ring :109 g
Watch in white gold with diamonds on the inner ring and strap lugs :106 g
Watch in white gold with diamonds on the inner ring, strap lugs, case flanks and buttons :105 g
Watch in rose gold with diamonds on the inner ring :106 g
Watch in rose gold with diamonds on the inner ring and strap lugs :103 g
Watch in rose gold with diamonds on the inner ring, strap lugs, case flanks and buttons :102 g

Hublot Euro Chronometer Exclusive Edition

This watch was specially designed by Hublot for referees who officiated at the Euro 2008 matches . This exclusive watch was not available for sale but gifted to 44 referees who were the part of Euro 2008 matches .The movement has been specially adapted by the watchmaking brand to the time of a match. The dial displays 45 minutes, plus 15 minutes of extra play, while the time can be read from the centre of the dial.
Sporting a steel watch case and bezel and rubber strap, the watch has all the design hallmarks of a great Hublot Classic, except for the distinctive 45 minute counter display, plus additional 15 minutes for extra time! The movement has been specially developed by Hublot in conjunction with Dubois-Dépraz.

Hublot BMC "All Black" Range Bike

Hublot and BMC are pleased to offer a preview of the new bike about to join the "All Black" range. The watchmaker's partnership with bike manufacturer has resulted in the creation of an exceptional racing bike made from light, high-performance materials and which, like Hublot watches, represents a true feat of design and technology.

The watchmaking company is now putting its name to a diverse range of products, while ensuring its partnerships remain relevant and consistent. Having already designed a very limited edition of skis (111 pairs) with Swiss manufacturer Zai, it has used the same ideology that governs the production of its watches to develop a limited edition of 30 racing bikes: lightness, quality and rarity...

The distinctive "All Black" bike is made from innovative materials created using state of the art technology. A flair for design and material assembly, careful finishing and a desire for top performance are values about which both Hublot and BMC are passionate. The result is an exceptionally light, rigid bike, on which each component is designed and adapted in order to create a coherent whole, and which allows the optimal transfer of energy. The pedal bearings contain ceramic material to reduce friction and the frame is made from carbon fibre for strength and rigidity.

This is a highly exclusive edition, with the first bike due to be race-tested at the "World Stars Cycling Criterium" in Monaco on 3 July, on the eve of the Tour de France. This will be a chance for the head of Hublot to personally measure up against legendary cyclists like Eddy Merckx, Tony Rominger, Richard Virenque, Laurent Jalabert and even Pedro Delgado, all of whom will be participating in this charity race organised by Star Team for the Children under the high patronage of HSH Prince Albert II of Monaco.

Andy Rihs, owner of BMC, is thrilled with this model produced in partnership with Hublot as, in addition to its elite sporting genetic code, Hublot has added a welcome touch of glamour! Likewise, Jean-Claude Biver, for whom sport represents a core value, is delighted to have worked with the Swiss company, whose reputation for sporting expertise is widely established.

Technical details
  • Frame BMC SLT01, carbon fibre and aluminium
  • Forks 48 SL carbon
  • Wheels DT Carbon RRC Aero
  • Saddle SLR Kit carbon
  • Groupset Campagnolo SuperRecord 11-speed
  • Pedals Speedplay Nanogram Titanium
  • Overall weight 6.9 kg

Saturday, June 27, 2009

De Bethune DB26

The new DE BETHUNE 2009 collection contains a very beautiful piece with contemporary appeal, the DB26. While the uncluttered appearance of the case and the dial reveals the exacting mastery of the various crafts carried out within the DE BETHUNE workshops, it also serves the better to conceal within its heart a new calibre, the DB2005, a perpetual calendar movement wholly developed and produced in the manufacture.

This timepiece is sure to establish itself as a great classic and will unquestionably enrich the watchmaking heritage of the brand. At first glance, it is the sapphire hands surrounded by hand-blued steel which attract the eye. The duo David Zanetta and Denis Flageollet have conceived and designed hands of perfect transparency which enable the person wearing this timepiece to read all the indications displayed in the windows of this perpetual calendar with the greatest of ease.

Whatever the position of the hands, the date, the day and the month can be clearly read. Then, for a fleeting moment, one admires the DE BETHUNE spherical moon rotating on its own axis, accurately indicating the phases of the celestial body. Consisting of two parts, one steel and the other platinum, this tiny sphere is flame-blued by hand. Next to it, a round window indicates the years of the leap-year cycle. As a further subtle touch, two blued steel indexes point to the month and the day in the windows for better visibility.

The pink or grey palladium gold plated case is 44.4 mm in diameter and has various special features which are revealed as soon as the watch is placed on the wrist. The moving cradles to which the strap is attached enable the timepiece to adapt itself perfectly to the size of its owner’s wrist. The winding crown is at 6 o’clock so as to form a perfect osmosis with the watch. The play of matt and brilliantly polished surfaces brings out all the subtle details of the case and the silvered dial.

This perpetual calendar incorporates the new DB2005 calibre derived from the 2004 calibre. It was developed during 2008 and presented in 2009. Incorporating all the latest DE BETHUNE technologies, this hand-wound mechanical calibre consists of 339 components and has a self-adjusting double spring barrel. The spring barrels are specially designed to eliminate friction and to transmit the maximum amount of energy efficiently.

At the heart of the regulating organ is the titanium / platinum balance with flat terminal curve protected by the triple parachute anti-shock system which reduces variations to a minimum and protects the pivots. With its lightness, this balance enables mechanical friction to be reduced and it has an ideal inertia / mass ratio. The shape of the weights on the balance reduces the effect of viscous air friction.

The principle of the flat terminal curve, in the same plane as the balance spring, compensates for decentring and facilitates its fixing. In this way the delicate process of adjusting its rate is avoided. With 25 jewels, the movement makes 28,800 vibrations per hour and has a power reserve of 5 days readable on the back of the watch.

A testimony to DE BETHUNE’s technical knowledge and skill, the latest DB26 fitted with this new calibre combines technological sophistication with restraint. This rare piece joins an already rich collection of numerous different calibres, including three new ones developed in 2008.

All designed and executed entirely within the company’s workshops, they are the fruit of the horological knowledge of two men, David Zanetta and Denis Flageollet, surrounded by an enthusiastic team with immense expertise and skill.

Technical Description
Case material : rose gold or grey palladium gold
Case shape : round
Case dimensions : 44,4mm in diameter and 16,1mm thick
Lugs : pivoted

Hands : sapphire hands surrounded by hand-blued steel

Crystal : sapphire, 1800 Vickers hardness with double anti-reflective treatment
Crown : screw-down at 6 o’clock, settings in 3 positions

DB 2005 – hand-wound mechanical - 339 parts – decorated and « colimaçonné », steel chamfered and polished by hand – double self-adjusting mainspring barrels – titanium / platinum balance with flat terminal curve protected by a triple-parachute anti-shock system
Jewels : 25
Frequency : 28'800 vibrations per hour
Power reserve : 5 days

Hours, minutes
Perpetual calendar indicating date at 9 o’clock,day / month through windows
Moon phase indication and leap year indication at 3 o’clock
Power reserve indicator on the back
Correctors : day, month and moon phase

Alligator leather with sport type ardillon buckle

Romain Jerome Moon Dust-DNA Crisis Tourbillon Unique Timepiece

We have all stared in wonder at the majestic celestial luminary with its soft glow that lights up the night. In turn reddish or ochre-coloured, radiantly bright or draped in black, the Moon takes on an infinite variety of fascinating hues and gentle nuances. Meanwhile, the accounts of astronauts who have been privileged to see it at close range testify to an entirely different reality. The Moon stripped of its abstract beauty and its smooth luminosity imposes its huge, spherical presence.

Viewed from that close, the Moon is a grim, ravaged world composed of sombre shades of grey, oceans of dust and ashes, along with craggy cliffs and craters of lava that cooled down three billion years ago. When bathed in the light of the sun, its austere stone-grey appearance is replaced by a softly rosy chestnut brown tinge.
While only some may remember its exact colours, everyone can call to mind this light that is so strangely mysterious to the human gaze. In order to reflect these subtle shades, the Romain Jerome watchmakers have for once adopted a revolutionary procedure from the world of art, by applying a mineral coating comprising authentic Moon Dust combined with natural pigments.

This year, as seen through the eyes of Yvan Arpa, the Moon is white, silver or black for automatic models, and sandy coloured for the Tourbillons in the Moon Dust-DNA collection.

Technical details
Model: Crisis Tourbillon
  • BNB Caliber 1000RJ Tourbillon
  • Mechanical movement with manual winding-mechanism
  • A one-minute tourbillon suspended without ball bearing is arranged at 6 O’clock
  • Frequency: 21,600 vph
  • Jewels: 19
  • Power reserve: 120 hours
  • Function: hours, minutes, tourbillon
  • Dial: mineral structure containing Moon Dust*
  • Case: 46 mm
  • Bezel: Carbon fibres evoke solar panels of spacecraft – titanium and steel comprising fragments from the Apollo XI spacecraft*
  • Paws: blackened steel
  • Screws: Star screws
  • Crown designed as space tools
  • Hands inspired by Sputnik antennas
  • Strap: alligator leather partly woven with fibres from an ISS* spacesuit
  • Buckle: blackened satin-finished steel folding buckle
  • Unique piece
Romain Jerome guarantees that the origin of each of these materials is duly certified by a legal document authenticated in Switzerland. Each piece in the Moon Dust-DNA collection will also be accompanied by a certificate from the Association of Space Explorers (ASE) saluting the approach of Romain Jerome and the tribute it is thereby rendering to the conquest of space.

Romain Jerome Titanic DNA Day&Night Spiral Limited Edition

The concept of Day&Night, a timepiece that does not tell the time, was such a success that Romain Jerome has responded to customers’ demand by developing a new limited edition of 9 timepieces.

Launched in 2008 at Baselworld, Day&Night was a potent symbol of the philosophical thinking of watchmakers Romain Jerome.

It brought a new system of time measurement hingeing on the sequential operation of two Tourbillons that divided the temporal world into two segments: day versus night. Received with immense public acclaim, but also evoking considerable controversy, this creation of Haute Horlogerie, formerly devoid of hands, is now entrusted with the contradictory and conventional task of displaying the time of day as ordinary people understand it – what a heresy.

However, Right-Thinking people should not rejoice too soon: the new edition of Day&Night changes tack and this time celebrates watchmaking creativity by offering food for thought on the creative freedom of the movement, symbolized here by a spiral applied on its dial.
Technical details
  • Movement: "RJ One" created by BNB exclusively for RJ
  • Case: steel and titanium. Diameter 46 mm.
  • Paws: black ceramic
  • Dial: metal blade made of brass in the form of an Archimedes spiral
  • Functions: sequential Double Tourbillon, hours, minutes
  • Bezel: stabilized oxidized steel from the Titanic*
  • Back: sapphire crystal with double antireflective treatment / bridges in stylized cross design
  • Glass: sapphire crystal with double antireflective treatment
  • Water resistance: 5 atm.
  • Strap: full Hornback crocodile leather
  • Clasp: folding clasp
  • Limited edition: 9 pieces
The rusted steel horological creations in the ‘Titanic DNA’ series features an oxidized steel bezel which is the result of an extraordinary blend of authentic steel from the wreck lying 3840 meters under the sea, and from the Harland & Wolff shipyard in Belfast, where the Titanic was constructed nearly a century ago. Official certificates of authenticity guarantee the origin of materials used.

Friday, June 26, 2009

IWC Schaffhausen Portuguese Perpetual Calendar 42mm in Platinum - Ref. IW502219

The Portuguese Perpetual Calendar is a mechanical time machine in a class of its own, with its incomparable perpetual calendar, seven-day movement and automatic Pellaton winding system. As Reference 5022, it will be housed only 250 times in a 42 mm diameter platinum case.

The Portuguese Perpetual Calendar leaves little, if anything, for the watch lover to desire: autonomous perpetual calendar, perpetual moon phase display, complete four-digit year display, seven-day automatic movement with Pellaton winding system and power reserve display.

This masterpiece of the watchmaker’s art from Schaffhausen is now available precisely 250 times as the Reference 5022 with the classic moon phase display in a 42 mm platinum case. A time machine that would be difficult to improve, it is an exclusivity without equal. Let us consider for a moment the perpetual moon phase of the IWC calendar. It is one of the most accurate ever created because of the space available in this large-calibre movement.

The majority of moon phase displays, which are only capable of indicating a moon cycle of 29 days and 12 hours, run incorrectly by a whole day after only 32 months and require adjustment. The IWC calendar, on the other hand, deviates from the actual lunar orbit of 29 days, 12 hours, 44 minutes and 15 seconds by just 12 seconds, giving a deviation of only one day in every 577.5 years.
The autonomous perpetual calendar from IWC relieves the wearer of the need to make any corrections, even in leap years, and always shows all calendar indications on the silver-plated dial correctly: date, day, month and the year in four digits. If the watch is not worn for some time, all the indications, including the moon phase display, can be advanced via the crown by one day at a time.

This will seldom be required, however, because the ingenious mechanism in the IWC 51610 calibre manufactory movement – the largest automatic movement in series production – achieves an absolutely ideal combination. With its patented automatic Pellaton winding system, it produces a power reserve of seven days after being worn for only a short period. This is a reassuring time reserve, even if the watch is occasionally not worn for a couple of days.

The case of the Ref. 5022 measures merely 42 mm, instead of the 44 mm of its larger sister model.

Technical details
Model: Portuguese Perpetual Calendar 42mm in platinum
Ref. IW502219

Perpetual calendar, perpetual moon phase display, four-digit year display, mechanicalmovement, automatic Pellaton winding system, power reserve display for sevendays, small seconds hand with stop function, Breguet spring, rotor with 18 ct. gold medallion, platinum variant limited to 250 watches

Calibre 51610
Vibrations: 21,600/ h / 3 Hz
Jewels: 64
Power reserve: 7 d (168 h)
Winding: automatic

Material: platinum
Glass: sapphire glass, convex, antireflective, sapphire glass see-through back
Folding clasp: platinum
Water-resistant: 3 bar (30 m)
Diameter: 42.3 mm; Height: 15.6 mm
Weight: Watch in platinum with crocodile leather strap (black): 170 g

Romain Jerome Titanic DNA One-of-a-Kind Timepiece by French artist André Chéca

The House of Romain Jerome proudly associates with the French artist André Chéca in creating an original work reinterpreting Yvan Arpa’s cherished Titanic-DNA. This one-of-a-kind creation, mid-way between a work of art and an original traditional timepiece, is entirely crafted by hand in the Geneva workshops, where each element of the object is melted and fashioned according to the traditional lost-wax casting technique.

The design of this model with its tortured lines is inspired by the Titanic-DNA collection and echoes the main features of these timepieces in a patinated bronze case measuring approximately 72 mm in diameter and 21 mm thick.
The anchor-shaped hands glide over a bronze dial incorporating the famous rusted transverse cross made of steel actually salvaged from the Titanic*. 280 grams of bronze and oxidised steel combine to form an extraordinary creation that contrasts and even “clashes” with the standardised array of smoothly sophisticated timepieces produced by 618 other Swiss watch brands.

Titanic-DNA by Chéca embodies a stubborn refusal to conform to this horological uniformity that empoisons artistic creativity!

*The rusted steel horological creations in the ‘Titanic DNA’ series features an oxidized steel bezel which is the result of an extraordinary blend of authentic steel from the wreck lying 3840 meters under the sea, and from the Harland & Wolff shipyard in Belfast, where the Titanic was constructed nearly a century ago.Official certificates of authenticity guarantee the origin of materials used.

Aspen Jewelry and Watches - Aspen One Limited Edition

Launched this year, Aspen One is the first luxury timepiece introduced by Aspen Jewelry and Watches. Aspen One, a limited edition Swissmade timepiece is a tribute to Aspen and to its crown jewel, Aspen Mountain. Retailing at $38,900, Aspen One has partnered with Aspen-based jewelry boutique, Meridian Jewelers as the exclusive Colorado retailer that will represent the eight varieties of the Aspen One watch.

Aspen Jewelry and Watches founder René van Ass, a Netherlands native and entrepreneur, is known for developing brands and media concepts. He states, “Aspen is internationally known for its natural beauty, perfect slopes, and the glamorous appeal of its famous visitors. Aspen is a brand…a very strong brand. Aspen Jewelry and Watches has been granted the worldwide license to use the Aspen name for the collections we are introducing, the first being Aspen One. By marketing this collection, we are marketing Aspen as it is...and what it was. We will emphasize Aspen’s rich history and we want people all over the world to fall in love with Aspen even more.”

The precious Swiss-made timepiece offered in four color combinations of 18 kt white or rosé gold, carries unique features that communicate elements specific to Aspen. A specially-designed compass shows you where you are once on top of Aspen Mountain, and the watch tells you when it is time to change your ski-strap to your après-ski strap (done in a few seconds with a technique similar to removing a ski from a boot) at four o’ clock.

The Aspen One collection contains 3,267 pieces, exactly the number of feet from the bottom to the top of the mountain. On the top of Aspen Mountain, a monument has been constructed that will feature the names of all watch buyers and their unique virtual elevation number. The first watch will be auctioned in Europe to benefit child cancer research and the second watch will be given to the celebrity guest of Aspen One.

In United states, you can buy Aspen One watches from Meridian Jewelers,525 E Cooper Ave,Aspen, CO 81611.

Thursday, June 25, 2009

MeisterSinger Singulator

German watch brand MeisterSinger presents "The Singulator"- a world first watch with features that no other regulator can boast itself with. Instead of the usual central minute hand, the Singulator has a central hour hand à la MeisterSinger - plus a small second hand and small minute hand. That's a construction which would make normal gears grind their teeth in desperation. Too unprecise because of too much tolerance. The solution is a completely new technology called LIGA which incorporates lithography, electroforming and molding. A precision liga of its own. Spring wheel instead of gear. Gearing without tolerance for maximum precision.
While the sapphire glass gives a clear view of the dial, the exhibition back allows the wearer to look into the heart of the Singulator – the intricate Unitas 6497 hand-wound movement.
The technical refinements of the swan neck movement and the minuscule fine screws of the screw-balance will make every watch lover’s heart beat faster. The dial is in four colours, white, black, ivory and brown with toning crocodile strap and a choice of buckle or deployment clasp.
Technical details
Model: Singulator
  • Movement: MS.0109 Base Unitas, Hand-wound
  • Diameter: 43 mm
  • Case: Stainless steel, 4-screwed exhibition back, water resistant to 5 bar, Sapphire crystal, curved and 3 mm thick
  • Power reserve: 46 hours
  • Special features: Regulator with single-hand technique (central hour hand, decentralised minutes and seconds)
  • Versions: White, Black, Ivory
A regulator is originally a pendulum clock with weight drive and compensation pendulum. Pendulum Clocks of high precision were used up to the 1960's as calibration tools for scientific purposes. The deviation in gear speed of very good pendulum clocks is less than 1 second per month. A regulator for scientific purposes and for better instrument read-out usually shows the time on three axles of the dial: a central minute, the hour at twelve and the second at six o'clock.

But the term regulator is not only used in association with pendulum clocks, but also for wrist watches. The characteristics of those watches are the above-mentioned configuration, with the central minute and the decentral hour and second.

Tuesday, June 23, 2009

Graff Luxury Watches - GraffSuperstar

The absolute splendour of 59 carats of pure diamonds on the wrist, in a limited edition of 30 watches. Fashioned in 18kt white gold, GraffSuperstar features invisible settings on the dial and case. Gracing the watch case and dial are 176 trilliant and trapeze Graff-cut diamonds. The bracelet totals 94 diamonds in three scintillating rows.

MB&F and Sage Vaughn HM2 Only Watch

There is a butterfly trapped in the movement of the latest watch to emerge from MB&F (Maximilian Büsser & Friends). And it has no hope of escaping, because the complicated movement is wrapped in barbed wire. This emotionally charged piece, a one-of-a-kind interpretation of MB&F’s Horological Machine No2, is signed by the American artist Sage Vaughn. It will be auctioned at Only Watch, the charity auction to benefit research into Duchenne Muscular Dystrophy to be held in Monaco on 24 September 2009 under the patronage of HSH Prince Albert II.
The auction is held every two years and brings together the cream of Switzerland’s haute horlogerie watchmakers. Each contributes a unique watch, or the number one from a limited series, to be auctioned without a reserve price. All the proceeds from Only Watch go to enabling the Monegasque Association against Duchenne Muscular Dystrophy (AMM) to support international research projects into that disease – a field in which the Association has been actively involved since 2005.

Duchenne Muscular Dystrophy is a serious genetic disorder that affects one in every 3,500 boys. It is characterised by a progressive weakening of the muscles, resulting in respiratory and cardiac problems that become fatal as the child gets older. In Europe there are around 30,000 sufferers of the disease.

As yet there is no cure for the disease, but considerable progress is being made. One of the most important breakthroughs is the development of Saut d’Exon – a surgical technique that enables the cellular machinery to “forget” to read that part of the gene that carries the abnormality of the illness. This technique was developed by Luis Garcia, Head of Research at CNRS, and his team. Mr Garcia is a key player in the field of Duchenne Muscular Dystrophy. He and his group are among the 20 research teams that have benefited from AMM’s financial support.

The case of Horological Machine No2 is the most complex case in the history of watchmaking, but its modular structure is inspired by the meccano model kits that were his toys. The 22-karat gold automatic rotor has the jewel-like hand-finish reserved for the elite of traditional watch movements, but it owes its iconic sickle shape to the double-headed battleaxe wielded by his childhood comic hero, Grendizer. All the great sci-fi TV series – Star Trek, Thunderbird, Dr Who and Star Wars – have played a role in MB&F’s creations. It is the tension between fascination with that imaginary world and a love of high-end horology at its purest that gives the machines their vitality.
The Inspiration
Büsser and his team were, as he says, “shocked into” creating a piece of horology for the Only Watch event, and were determined that their timepiece should convey that emotion. But horology has its limits. How could it be used to express the beauty and vulnerability of childhood, and the valiant struggle of a child who may well be in a wheelchair before he is twelve?

There are no coincidences in life, and at the time, a new gallery in Geneva was given over entirely to the work of Sage Vaughn, an American painter and former graffiti artist whose solo show in New York last summer had been one of the art world’s most talked-about events. This young artist has fought and conquered his own demon – a seven-year heroin addiction – and the pain of that struggle is felt in the emotional power of his work. The images of gaily-dressed children or bright birds or butterflies putting on a brave front against bleak urban backgrounds had haunted Max Büsser. He had bought one of the art works, a baseball bat adorned with a collage of butterflies, pinned down by nails. Here was the tension between light-hearted innocence and something darker that he was seeking.

A trip to the US proved him right. Sage Vaughn understood the mission at once and immediately proposed to donate his time and talent. Max Büsser came back with the initial sketch for the watch, and the result is faithful to it. The entire upper face of the watch – the surface of the rectangular case and the two projecting portholes – is crafted in sapphire crystal, revealing the HM2’s complex engine. The hundreds of minute components display the meticulous hand finish that is MB&F’s hallmark. But they are imprisoned in barbed wire.
A blue butterfly struggles to escape from the same fate, but its wings are clipped. In the finished work, the barbed wire is handcrafted in blackened gold and the butterfly in blued gold. But the scene has all the emotional power of the first rough by Sage Vaughn – a pencil sketch of the movement criss-crossed by barbed wire drawn in red pencil.
The watch is a unique interpretation of Horological Machine No2, launched as limited series in 2008. HM2 typifies the radical approach to high-end horology taken by Max Büsser and his Friends. It is a high-tech time machine of the twenty-first century and an incredibly sophisticated micromechanical work of art. It houses the world’s first mechanical movement – “engine” in MB&F language – to offer an instantaneous jumping hour, concentric retrograde minutes, retrograde date hand, a bi-hemisphere moon phase and automatic winding. The case alone contains more than 100 parts – more than many complete movements – and is the most complex case in watchmaking history. Altogether the watch has over 450 components.

About Sage Vaughn
Sage Vaughn was born in Jackson, Oregon in 1976 and grew up in Reseda, California. He now lives and works in Los Angeles. As a child he developed his talent for art in the company of his father, the artist Richard Smitty Vaughn Junior. His father would take him to the Los Angeles zoo, where they would sit all day, sketching the animals. His hippie parents had little money for toys, but they encouraged him to draw and to develop his own style. Later, he became an avid participant in the graffiti culture. Today he favours painting, but the city of his graffiti days is ever present in his work. It is shown in its least flattering light, in the grey walls and stylised cityscapes and freeways that form an austere backdrop to his vibrant foreground figures. He has also preserved the same free and easy touch and energy. This is most visible in the paint runs used in certain areas of his work.

Sage Vaughn’s paintings question the human condition and the difficulty of living in a contemporary environment. The bright birds and insects serve as an affirmation of life, but they also remind us of our strategies for survival in a modern society. Imperceptible at first glance, black tattoos in the birds’ plumage spell out the names of gangs or codes. They evoke the individual’s need for recognition, but also a subculture, linked in the collective conscience to violence and rebellion in the streets.

Sometimes, children replace the birds in the foreground. Not yet formatted by society, they seem to have the energy to survive and reinvent the world. Sporting masks and brightly coloured costumes, they look like superheroes. Yet there is nothing joyous or innocent about them. Each is desperately alone, abandoned in a hostile setting.

The message could thus be seen as a bitter one: the American dream of bucolic happiness is shattered. Sage Vaughn likes to cloud the issue, however, and scramble what might be seen as clear cut. His paintings do not stop at that admission of failure. To live is, of course, difficult but the simple fact of being alive brings hope. In the wake of Melville, whose novels the painter admires, Vaughn knows that even during war, birds do continue to sing and children to play.

Technical details
Jean-Marc Wiederrecht/Agenhor designed functionality regulated and powered by a Girard-Perregaux oscillator and gear train
Blued 22K gold Battle Ax automatic winding rotor
Balance oscillating at 28,800 bph
Number of components: 349 including 44 jewels

Left dial: Retrograde Date and Bi-Hemisphere Moon Phase
Right Dial: Jumping Hours and Concentric Retrograde Minutes

Sage Vaughn sculpture
Blackened 18K gold barbed wire which imprisons the movement, symbol of the illness capturing the body
Blued 18K butterfly on movement bridge, symbol of innocence and childhood

Piece unique – 18K white gold/titanium with sapphire “double dome” glass
Dimensions (exclusive of crown and lugs): 59mm x 38mm x 13mm
Water resistant to 30 meters (3 ATM)
Sapphire crystals: Dial side with anti-reflective treatment on both faces. Display back signed by Sage Vaughn

Brushed sapphire for minutes and date
Black disks for hours and moon phase

Black hand-stitched alligator with 18K gold and titanium custom designed deployment buckle

Presentation box
Sage Vaughn piece unique painted wooden “coffret”

Graff Luxury Watches - MasterGraff Tourbillon

Designed to the exclusive specifications of Laurence Graff, the MasterGraff Tourbillon is a delicate and intricate mix of aesthetic features: a tourbillon carriage secured to a sapphire plate provides elegant transparency, whilst the movement’s bridges, bars and oscillating weight display precise faceting, reminiscent of beautifully cut Graff diamonds.

MasterGraff is available in several limited editions: thirty models in both 18kt white or pink gold; twenty models in white gold set with 217 diamonds totalling 16.50 carats; and five models in platinum, set with 24 large diamonds totalling 28.80 carats.
MasterGraff Tourbillon white gold
MasterGraff Tourbillon Techno time
MasterGraff Tourbillon Diamonds
MasterGraff Tourbillon Black DLC
The MasterGraff tourbillon may also be set with selections, or combinations, of rubies, emeralds and sapphires. The MasterGraff sport edition is available in two models, both of black DLC: one with a self-winding movement and one with a hand-wound movement. Each model is limited to 30 pieces.

Sunday, June 21, 2009

Graff Luxury Watches - The GraffStar Collection

A distinctive dress watch for ladies and men displaying elegant decorative work refined by patient craftsmanship. The GraffStar’s self-winding mechanical movement provides the hours, minutes and seconds on a discreet white or black dial face enhanced with a star pattern in relief.
GraffStar Rose Gold
GraffStar diamond with white face
GraffStar diamond with black face
GraffStar ladies diamond
GraffStar ladies white gold
GraffStar comes in either 18kt white or pink gold and a special 18kt white gold edition enhanced with diamonds in invisible settings, a version set with either rubies, emeralds or sapphires is also available. All models come equipped with a croco or satin strap in a choice of colours fitted with the exclusive Graff deployment buckle.

Saturday, June 20, 2009

Richard Mille Extra-Flat RM 016 Titalyt® Version

After launching eight new products, Richard Mille presents a new version of the extra-flat RM 016 caliber, a watch in grade 5 titanium having received Titalyt® treatment, a first in watch making. This titanium oxidation process using electro plasma increases the hardness of the metal and therefore its capacity to withstand friction, wear and corrosion in accordance with AMS 2488D aerospace material norms. This biocompatible treatment is used in the aerospace, automobile and medical industries.
The Richard Mille collection has already established a strong identity and the RM 016, in this Titalyt® version, is given a prominent profile with its exclusively treated case. The case of the RM 016 Titalyt® is immediately recognizable thanks to its unique and extraordinary color. The case is also shockproof and scratchproof. The strap harmonizes perfectly with the case.
Richard Mille once more asserts his creativity with this new model, finding inspiration in the most innovative sectors such as aerospace and biomedicine. RM 016 Titalyt® : an automatic winding skeleton movement with hours, minutes, date indicator and variable geometry rotor.

Friday, June 19, 2009

Thomas Prescher Tempusvivendi Collection - SCULPTURA UNA

Days, weeks, months, years – time passes from eternity into eternity. Mankind continues to divide the infinite band of time into ever finer divisions – hours, minutes, seconds. Time is formed by man’s repetition of it, giving it a new form – SCULPTURA UNA. Minutes and hours are created from the smallest unit within the infinite band of days – with man circling down into it again and again.

Special features
  • Double retrograde indication of time
  • Continuously running display of minutes and jumping display of hours(temporal display)
  • Special device for switching between the hands displaying the time and being in a non-temporal resting position (activated by button in crown)

  • Diameter :33 mm or 37 mm, including module
  • Height :7 mm, including module
  • Displays: Jumping hours (retrograde), minutes (retrograde), each shown by one hand on a semicircular scale, central seconds indication
  • Winding: Automatic
  • Power reserve: 40 hours
  • Number of jewels: 25 bearing jewels
  • Frequency: 28800 beats per hour (4Hz)
  • Escapement: Swiss lever escapement
  • Balance spring: flat hairspring
  • Shock protection: Incabloc
  • Decoration: Completely hand-engraved and gold-plated
  • Rotor: 18-karat gold, completely hand-engraved
Case, dial and strap
  • Case material:18-karat gold
  • Diameter :39 mm or 43 mm
  • Height :16.1 mm
  • Glass: Sapphire glass on front (convex) and on back (flat)
  • Crown: Contains button for activating time display
  • Dial material: Coloured, painted precious metal 
  • Hands: Steal-blue, -white or in different colours
  • Inlay: 18-karat gold plated 
  • Name plates:18-karat gold
  • Number plates: 18-karat gold
  • Water resistance :1 atm(10 meters)
  • Strap: Hand-cut and –sewn alligator skin uppers and lowers
  • Buckle: 18-karat gold

Thomas Prescher Tempusvivendi Collection - SAMURAI

Miyamoto Musashi was born in 1584 in the village of Miyamoto, near Tokyo. His ancestors came from the powerful Harima-Clan and were all samurai. Musashi grew up in stormy times when Hideyoshi was busy reuniting the country after many years of civil war.

At the age of seven, Musashi’s father disappeared and an uncle who worked as a priest took care of the young boy. It was said that he was a tall, willful and rapidly learning child. Whether his uncle or his aggressive nature brought him to Kendyô- sword fighting – is not known. The first time he killed an opponent in a duel, Musashi was only thirteen years of age. When he was about sixteen he left his homeland and went on a warrior’s pilgrimage to perfect his sword fighting skills.
Tempusvivendi Collection - SAMURAI White Gold
More than sixty duels and six wars followed, in which he went without defeat. Hisunique fencing style with two swords, his bravery, and his courage were already legendary in his lifetime. According to his written notes, he finally came to fully understand the essence of swordfight at the age of fifty. This same year he and his adopted son Lori settled down on the island of Kyûshû, which Musashi wouldn’t leave until his death in 1645. From 1634 to 1643 he lived there as a guest at the castle of Hosokawa Chûri, where he spent his time teaching, painting and writing poems.
Tempusvivendi Collection - SAMURAI Yellow Gold
Musashi spent the last two years of his life as a hermit in the cave Reigendô where he wrote his famous «Book of the Five Rings,» Gorin-no-sho. He finished this unique work, in which he wrote about the art of the sword fight, strategy, and the method of hand to hand combat only a few weeks before his death. With this work of art Musashi became a real Kensei, the wise man of the sword. To this day, he remains a symbolic figure of the Samurai’s art of Japanese sword fighting.

Technical details

Special features
Double retrograde indication of timeContinuously running display of minutes and jumping display of hours(temporal display)
Special device for switching between the figure displaying the time and being in a non-temporal resting position (activated by button in crown)

Diameter: 37 mm including module
Height : 7 mm including module
Displays: Jumping hours (retrograde), minutes (retrograde). each shown by one of the figure’s extremities on a semicircular scale
Winding: automatic
Power reserve: 40 hours
Number of jewels: 25 bearing jewels
Frequency: 28800 beats per hour (4Hz)
Escapement: Swiss lever escapement
Balance spring :flat hairspring
Shock protection: Incabloc
Decoration: Completely hand-engraved and gold-plated
Rotor: 18-karat gold, completely hand-engraved.

Case, dial and strap
Case material: 18-karat gold
Diameter: 43 mm
Height:16.1 mm
Glass: Sapphire glass on front (convex) and on back (flat)
Crown: Contains button for activating time display
Dial material: onyx or precious metal
Figure: 18-karat gold
Index plates: 18-karat gold
Name plates: 18-karat gold
Water resistance: 1 atm (10 meters).
Strap: hand-cut and –sewn alligator skin uppers and lowers
Buckle: 18-karat gold

Thursday, June 18, 2009

Thomas Prescher Tempusvivendi Collection - American Eagle

On June 20, 1782, the bald eagle was declared the American Eagle, the heraldic animal of the United States of America. The bald eagle – the largest bird of prey in North America – embodies boldness, courage, and strength. Native Americans worship it as a holy animal; with it they create a union with eternity.

The olive branch in the right claw of the eagle symbolizes a readiness for comprehensive peace among states and peoples; the proud head looking to the left underscores this exceptional virtue of the American people. The bundle of sticks in the left claw of the eagle shows the warning power and strength of the American nation to every attacker without further ado.

The number thirteen – also the number of the founding states of the union – on and around the eagle becomes a continuing symbol for the cohesion of the community of states. Thirteen pentagram- like stars shine within a hexagram, thirteen arrows, thirteen olive leaves, and thirteen fruits continue the symbolism and unite it with America’s special virtues.

Thirteen stripes across the breast of the American Eagle build a bridge to the first flag of the United States of America. Thirteen letters in the motto «E Pluribus Unum» – one from many – summarize the meaning of all these symbols. Thus, the American Eagle became a unique symbol for the special strength, the unique character, and the exceptional virtues of the grand American nation.

Technical details
Special features
Double retrograde indication of time
Continuously running display of minutes and jumping display of hours (temporal display)
Special device for switching between the figure displaying the time and being in a non-temporal resting position (activated by button in crown)

Diameter 37 mm, including module
Height 7 mm, including module
Displays: Jumping hours (retrograde), minutes (retrograde). each shown by one of the figure’s extremities on a semicircular scale
Winding: Automatic
Power reserve: 40 hours
Number of jewels: 25 bearing jewels
Frequency: 28800 beats per hour (4Hz)
Escapement: Swiss lever escapement
Balance spring :flat hairspring
Shock protection: Incabloc
Decoration :completely hand-engraved and gold-plated
Rotor: 18-karat gold, completely hand-engraved

Case, dial and strap
Case material: 18-karat gold
Diameter: 43 mm; Height :16.1 mm
Glass: Sapphire glass on front (convex) and on back (flat)
Crown contains button for activating time display
Dial material: Onyx or precious metal
Figure:18-karat gold
Index plates: 18-karat gold
Name plates:18-karat gold
Water resistance: 1 atm (10 meters)
Strap: Hand-cut and –sewn alligator skin uppers and lowers
Buckle: 18-karat gold

Tuesday, June 16, 2009

Vacheron Constantin Tour de l’Ile Grande Complication Watch

Originally unveiled in 2005, the“Tour de l’Ile” is a limited edition of 7, crafted in 18-carat pink gold (5N), all individually numbered and each featuring a unique hand-guilloché motif on the back dial, thereby guaranteeing its authenticity and its uniqueness. It is one of the most complicated mechanical wrist watches ever made.

Of all the wristwatches imagined and produced by Vacheron Constantin to celebrate its 250th anniversary, the Tour de l’Ile is a study in superlatives. Calling this a “Grande Complication” model is a dramatic understatement: it is fact the world’s most complex watch ever made, with its original combination of 16 complications that can be read off on a double-face display. Its design-engineers have developed a calibre smoothly integrating a series of grand horological complications and astronomical indications in order to make it a genuine wristwatch that is perfectly suited to and comfortable on the wrist.

Authentic mastery of the highest levels of watchmaking complications, while remaining the exclusive preserve of a limited number of brands, has nonetheless witnessed a spectacular burst of inflation over the past years and might thus tend to become trivialised. Vacheron Constantin is contributing to reasserting a balance in this extremely specific field. The loftiest spheres of horological complexity, combined with a demonstration of the skills so closely entwined with it, may only be reached by a small and elite circle. The Tour de l’Ile establishes a reference in this subtle area, exploring uncharted territory in technical Haute Horlogerie and auguring well for the exceptional potential of the brand.

It took the Vacheron Constantin design-engineers and the watchmakers over 10,000 hours of research and development to create this sheer masterpiece of horological technique, named in reference to one of the historical sites of the venerable firm, located next to the current Maison Vacheron Constantin on the Quai de l’Ile. An additional statistic provides an instant glimpse of the density of this exceptional calibre: no less than 834 parts are housed within a case measuring 47 mm in diameter.

This accomplishment is further enhanced by the fact that this extremely complex movement has been granted the Poinçon de Genève quality hallmark. This accomplishment is further enhanced by the fact that this extremely complex movement, for which a patent has been filed to protect its double-face display module, has been granted the Poinçon de Genève quality hallmark.

The gold case with its hand-soldered lugs, which maintains beautiful and harmonious proportions despite its substantial content, is now distinguished by a symmetrical double protuberance on either side of the bezel. Rather than choosing the usual solution of a sliding bolt integrated within the case middle and which is used to action the minute repeater mechanism on request, Vacheron Constantin has resolutely chosen the path of innovation: the double projection in the shape of catches on the watch bezel enables optimal winding of the mechanism by spreading the force between the thumb and the forefinger, considerably facilitating the operation.

The tone is thus set, and it soon becomes apparent that the engineers re-examined all elements from start to finish in order to innovate each time it appeared desirable, or to confirm the choices of their predecessors in cases where these options naturally prevailed, even under their critical contemporary scrutiny.

Attentive observation of the hand-guilloché silvered yellow gold dial enables one to identify an impressive array of complications, starting with the sovereign finesse and graceful elegance of the 60-second tourbillon that stands out at 6 o’clock, while the moon phase appears in a blue sky carrying a hand-engraved gold moon. To its right, a smaller subdial with a small blued hand indicates the torque of the striking-mechanism, meaning the state of winding of the minute repeater mechanism.

In addition to the hour and minute hands running over a slightly off-centred minute circle, the main dial on the front side features a power-reserve display in a segment at 9 o’clock, along with the applied and hand-engraved Poinçon de Genève quality hallmark. At this stage of observation, 6 complications are easily apparent on a balanced dial ensuring perfect legibility of the information provided, as well as perfectly mastered aesthetics.

The back is a fine match for the front, thanks to a wealth of fascinating, subtle and surprising information that is arranged in an aesthetically pleasing manner. On the upper part, the dials of the perpetual calendar, arranged in a triangle, display the days of the week, the months and the date from left to right.

A small aperture at 1 o’clock signals the leap years. In the dial centre, a blued hand sweeps over a small segment dedicated to the equation of time, meaning the observable running difference between mean or real time and that displayed on clocks and divided for practical purposes into equal sections. Two other astronomical indications are shown by hands moving over two segments at 4 o’clock and 8 o’clock: sunrise and sunset times. Calculations have been made for the latitude and longitude of Geneva.

One then reaches the climax of this guided tour, moving towards the peak of perfection with an extremely precise sky chart: that of the Northern hemisphere such as one rarely sees it, except if one happens to be looking up from the bottom of a very deep chasm, or from an astronomical observatory in which the telescopes share that same virtue. This complication thus depicts the starlit sky in real time, meaning as you might also see it in broad daylight.

This miniature horological marvel, which went down in the history of the wristwatch and of watchmaking in general, was produced in a strictly limited edition of just 7. Each of the watches was personalised with a unique and exclusive guilloché motif on the back dial, for each of the seven owners of this truly extraordinary masterpiece summing up 250 years of Vacheron Constantin history.

Technical details

Calibre 2750 – 834 parts – Over 10,000 hours of R&D
Energy: mechanical, hand-winding
Regulating organs: Breguet overcoil balance-spring, balance with screws
Frequency: 2.5Hz (18,000 vph)
Power reserve: 58 hours
Jewelling: 39 jewels

Other characteristics:
Winding stem :2 positions
Adjustment of the second time zone and moon phase: Using 2 push-pieces housed in the case
Adjustment of the perpetual calendar: Using 2 push-pieces housed in the case
Adjustment of the sidereal disc: Using the crown and a lockable push-button

Main dimensions:
Caging diameter: 35.40mm
Total diameter: 36.0mm
Total thickness: 11.25mm

Indications & functions
Hours and minutes
Seconds at 6 o’clock
Repetition of the quarters and minutes on request
“Tourbillon” device
Power reserve indication
Second time zone
Phases of the moon
Age of the moon
Torque of the striking mechanism
Perpetual calendar (day, date, month and leap years)
Perpetual equation of time
Sky chart

Material: 18-carat 750 pink gold
Diameter and thickness: 47mm, 17.8mm
Inter-horn width: 23mm at the strap attachment
Shape and construction: Round, 3 parts. Bezel fitted with 2 catches used to activate the striking mechanism by rotating to the right. Sky chart correction system by rotating the crown
Case-back: Secured by a snap-in system
Crystals: Sapphire, glare-proofed on the inner face, mounted on a joint
Finishing: Polished case, fine knurling on the bezel and case-back soldered lugs
Water resistance: dust-resistant

Dial material: 18-carat silvered gold
Description of front dial: Light silvered finishing, hand-guilloché “250th anniversary” motif
Description of back dial: Light silvered finishing, unique individual hand-guilloché motif, 3 appliques in rhodium-plated 18-carat gold

Hands and subdials
Hours and minutes hands in 18-carat pink gold, fan-shaped, inspired by a 1926 vintage model
Seconds hand in 18-carat pink gold, baton-shaped, on tourbillon carriage
Subdials in n blued steel, dagger-shaped.

Strap : Hand-sewn alligator leather with a silky satin finish
Buckle: Pin buckle, 18-carat pink gold (5N)

Blancpain Leman Tourbillon Grande Date Diamants (Ref.2825-4963-55B)

Prestigious, complex and created by the most expert craftsmen, the Blancpain patented “rail-effect” gem-setting on the Leman Tourbillon Grande Date Diamants made a striking entrance on to the watch making scene in 2006, associated with Blancpain Calibre 6925, a self-winding large date tourbillon movement with a 7-day power reserve. The result expresses a truly spectacular encounter between Haute Horlogerie and Haute Joaillerie.
Since 1735, Blancpain has presented a considerable number of world firsts. The Manufacture in Le Brassus is pursuing this path by regularly introducing major innovations in the field of horological complications, the performance of mechanical movements, the functionality of the watch, design, and now in the world of jewellery.
The original and exclusive “rail effect” gem-setting on the dial of the new Leman Tourbillon Grande Date Diamants is entirely in keeping with this philosophy of constant innovation. Blancpain has conducted considerable research in order to develop this new gem-setting style – for which a patent has been field – with a view to breathing fresh life into contemporary and dynamic variations of jewellery watches. This gem-setting is presented as a world first on the Tourbillon Grande Date Diamants model of the Leman collection, featuring an understated effect.
Focused around the heart of the tourbillon, the harmoniously curved motif illuminates the dial paved 194 diamonds totaling 1 carat. The lugs and bezel are also set with 166 diamonds (1, 8 carats).

The outward radiance of this exceptional timepiece is matched by its interior beauty. The Tourbillon Grande Date Diamants in the Leman collection house Blancpain Calibre 6925, a mechanical self-winding movement with a 7-day power reserve, composed of 307 components.
This subtle mechanism, in addition to its remarkable flying tourbillon visible at 12 o’ clock, features a large date display at 6 o’ clock, along with the usual hour and minute hands. Representing the signature feature of Haute Horlogerie models, the beveling of the components, along with Cotes de Geneve and circular-grained decorative motif, are just some of the manual operations performed by craftsmen with golden hands and amazing dexterity.

The white gold 38-mm diameter case of the Tourbillon Grande Date Diamants is water-resistant to 30 metres. Its sapphire case-back enables one to admire the finishing work lavished on all the parts and to contemplate the to-and-fro motion of the hand-chased platinum oscillating weight. The white crocodile leather strap is equipped with a white gold folding clasp.

IWC Schaffhausen Portuguese Regulateur Tourbillon, Ref. IW5444 (2007)

The Portuguese Regulateur from IWC, which, with the distinctive arrangement of its hands, evokes the mother of all precision watches, is enhanced with a tourbillon.Two horological developments, which complement one another ideally, are combined here in the service of accuracy. Exclusivity is guaranteed with an edition of 100 examples each in platinum, white gold and rose gold.

IWC has previously released three tourbillons which have two features in common.They are all rare, being limited in number due to the enormous horological effort involved, and they are “floating”. By being mounted in bearings on one side only, the mechanical fascination of the escapement in its rotating carriage can delight the observer undisturbed in its full beauty. This was already the case with the “whirlwind”, as it literally translates, for the ultra-complicated Destriero Scafusia in 1993, which, with its titanium cage, also achieved a record light weight. For even with its 100 component parts, it weighed only 2.96 grams.

To mark the millennium, a limited edition of the Da Vinci received a tourbillon. Like the tourbillon in the Destriero, this could be viewed through the glass back. In 2004, the watchmakers at IWC then positioned the whirlwind of the Portuguese Tourbillon Mystère directly in the display window, where the escapement rotating carriage appears to float freely in space in the midst of a decorated plate segment and forms an “animated twelve”. The best things come in fours: the Portuguese Regulateur with manual winding, which, with the spatially separate indicators for the hours, minutes and seconds, evokes the mother of mechanical precision timepieces, is now taking a step up into the regal class, likewise in a limited series. Two horological developments, both previously in the service of accurate time recording, are now combined in a single watch. More than 200 years ago, balance errors in the balances of the time could be compensated for with the tourbillon. For it actually outsmarted the gravitational attraction of the earth, which only amplified such errors even more.

Minimal slow running in the first half of the rotation of the cage, in which the balance pulsates “against the earth’s gravity”, was compensated for in the second half of the rotation by equally minimal fast running. This assumes that the watch was always worn in the same position, which was indeed the case for pocket watches at the time. This function no longer has any practical role to play now that the tourbillon is worn on the wrist. Yet this in no way detracts from this most beautiful of the complications, which can only be accomplished by master watchmakers.

The regulator with its unusual arrangement of the hands, albeit a good century later, was fully in the service of accurate time recording. This special clock,which could be found in observatories and physical laboratories, but also in watch manufactories, banished the “slow” hour hand to an inner dial of its own – usually at “12.00” – because it would otherwise have interfered considerably, and above all for too long, when reading or setting the time accurately to the second on the inner dial at “6.00”. Clocks of this kind, which are encountered mainly as wall clocks or long-case clocks with ingenious escapements and temperature compensation for their pendulums, were professional timepieces, with which the astronomically determined, splitsecond accurate time could be maintained for as long as possible or passed on to other users. The Portuguese Regulateur from IWC has now been a beautiful reminder of this Golden Age of the mechanical timepiece for two years .

The dial has been redesigned for the special limited edition of 300 examples – adding all the material variants together – of the Portuguese Regulateur Tourbillon in a 43mm case made of platinum, white gold and rose gold. Unlike the “previous” regulateur, the separate counters for the hours and seconds are rhodium plated and are given discreet visual emphasis.

The hours are indicated with Roman numerals. The minute tourbillon, which now occupies a position at “9.00”, forms a visual triad together with the two inner dials for the hours and seconds. The tourbillon escapement was redesigned for this watch and adapted to the dimensions of the two counters for the hours and seconds: its diameter measures exactly 9.2 mm – a little smaller than the tourbillon of the Portuguese Mystère.

The dominant minute hand has been given a rather more substantial form, which harmonizes very pleasingly with the “classical” impression of the dial design. The colour of the dial differs in the three material variants: in the white gold model it is slate-grey ardoise, while the variants in rose gold (4N) and platinum have a silver-plated dial.

The basis of the drive mechanism for this manually wound watch with a power reserve of 52 hours is provided by the famous IWC pocket watch calibre 98 in its special 98845 version. And this is where it becomes truly exciting, both technically and visually, because the balance frequency in this movement has been increased from 18,000 to 28,800 beats/h (4 Hz). The balance thus oscillates eight times per second in its rotating cage. This is the fastestrunning pocket watch movement ever produced by IWC.

The modern balance is finely adjusted by an index-free system with four adjusting screws. This, and not least the higher frequency of the movement, assures an excellent escapement accuracy – the name regulateur says it all.

The nickel-plated movement is also a delight for the eyes when viewed through the sapphire glass back. The stripe decoration on the threequarter plate, which retains its semi-round form, guides the eye to the large, sweeping tourbillon bridge, which carries a small gold medallion with the IWC seal “Probus Scafusia” – good, solid craftsmanship from Schaffhausen.

Piaget Limelight Paradise Collection -Tropical Seas Themed Watches

Luxurious and playful. Crystalline and festive. Shimmering and fragrant… The jewellery and watches from the Limelight Paradise collection compose a fascinating ode to the magic of dreams and exotic surroundings. Whether warm seas, luxuriant tropical flowers or the refined world of yachting, the themes evoked by these creations confirm Piaget’s extraordinarily audacious creative liberty. A freedom that can only be fully expressed through the expertise of the master jewellery and watchmakers, whose talent has once again given rise to a collection endowed with an exquisitely extravagant personality.

First of all, the ceaseless wonderment of tropical waters. Blue-tinted aquamarines, green tourmalines, amethysts and diamonds create a smooth chromatic flow that is a sheer visual delight. The magic gemstones waft gracefully to shore on necklaces, earrings and watches, like drops of rain warmed by the sun.Then it’s time to explore the atolls. The delicate purity of coral is interpreted by gleaming precious metal and gems. Nature reigns supreme. White gold is skilfully fashioned to form the gentle arborescence of a luminous diamond-studded reef.

Finally, a stunning marine life encounter, in which hundreds of white gold, diamond and Akoya pearl “scales” undulate over a stretch of beautifully tanned skin. Worthy heirs to historical know-how, cuff-watches float gently away on the tide. The pink gold version is immersed by a delightful breaker wave of brown sapphires and copper-coloured, orange and pink garnets

Within this verdant paradise, yellow sapphires surrounded by five white chalcedony petals form resplendent frangipani flowers. A glowing token of genuine welcome, they rest tenderly against the skin or slide into the hair like a promise of tenderness. A ring, necklace, earrings and hairband whisper tales of the gentle island way of life. A secret watch revealing an entirely paved dial beneath a diamond-studded bed of flowers symbolises the magic of time that stands still to allow one to savour the moment in hand. The generously rounded white gold case is softened by a delicate openworked motif: the exquisitely scalloped material filters the light and covers time with a protective shadow, transforming the watch into a sparkling pattern of plant-life arabesques.

Suddenly, a few carefree butterflies drawn to the heady floral fragrance flit onto the twilight scene. Playing on the warm breezes, their diamond wings flutter around a 17-carat Ceylon diamond set on a white gold ring. A necklace, earrings and bracelet – adorned with fiery red rubies or sky blue sapphires –quiver joyfully around irresistibly graceful feminine curves.

The exhilaration of the open seas is expressed through the daintily interwoven rope motif. A necklace and earrings cast off for an exotic moonlit cruise, while diamonds form flamboyant sailing knots. An exciting premonition of adventure sends a tingle down the spine; the journey can begin.Limelight Paradise, a delightfully enchanting experience pervaded by serene beauty and voluptuous luxury. A feast for the senses in which paradise offers a taste of eternity.

Limelight Paradise Tropical Seas, Ref. G0A34168

- 18-carat white gold case paved with 140 brilliant-cut diamonds(approx. 1.3 ct)
- Dial set with 182 brilliant-cut diamonds (approx. 0.6 ct)
- Bracelet paved with 180 brilliant-cut diamonds (approx. 19.9 ct), 1 cabochon-cut blue aquamarine (approx. 7.1 ct), 1 cabochon-cut purple amethyst (approx. 6.4 ct) and 18 briolette-cut purple amethysts (approx. 21.7 ct)
- Piaget 56P quartz movement

Limelight Paradise Tropical Seas, Ref. G0A34171

- 18-carat pink gold cuff watch
- Case paved with 92 brilliant-cut brown garnets (approx. 0.9 ct),
- Dial set with 182 brilliant-cut brown garnets (approx. 0.6 ct),
- Bracelet paved with 161 brilliant-cut pink spinels , 1’298 brilliant-cut orange, pink and brown garnets and 23 brilliant-cut brown sapphires (total bracelet approx: 51.1 ct)
- Piaget 56P quartz movement

Limelight Paradise Tropical Seas, Ref. G0A34170

- 18-carat white gold cuff watch
- Case paved with 92 brilliant-cut diamonds (approx. 0.8 ct), dial set with 182 brilliant-cut diamonds (approx. 0.6 ct)
- Bracelet paved with 1’402 brilliant-cut diamonds (approx. 21.8 ct) and 80 white Akoya pearls
- Piaget 56P quartz movement

Limelight Paradise Tropical Seas, Ref. G0A34169

- 18-carat white gold secret watch with case paved with 566 brilliant-cut diamonds (approx. 13 ct) and 1 brilliant-cut yellow sapphire(approx. 1.8 ct)
- Dial set with 138 brilliant-cut diamonds (approx. 0.7 ct)
- Folding clasp set with 125 brilliant-cut diamonds (approx. 1 ct) on a white satin strap
- Piaget 56P quartz movement

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