Monday, August 31, 2009

Angular Momentum - Shah Jahan & Mumtaz Mahal Verre Èglomisé Timepieces

Swiss luxury watch brand Angular Momentum presents their latest Timepiece collection- Verre Èglomisé Shah Jahan & Mumtaz Mahal - Limited Edition of 5 Timepieces.The timepiece possesses “two” Verre Èglomisé miniatures, the portrait of Shah Jahan on the back crystal and the portrait of his beloved wife Mumtaz Mahal on its front crystal.

Mumtaz Mahal: Verre Èglomisé - Miniature painting on the reverse of the sapphire crystal


Shah Jahan: Verre Èglomisé - Miniature painting on the reverse of the sapphire back crystal

Features: Stainless steel case, serti en pavé 1.420 ct. TW VVS brilliants, mechanical self-winding movement, case caliber 40.70mm. digital time display by Revolving-Disk.

The Story
Shah Jahan met Mumtaz Mahal and fell in love. He married her after five years and they were leading a very happy life. While giving birth to their last child, Mumtaz Mahal died due to some complications. A few years later Shah Jahan built the world‘s most beautiful monument „Taj Mahal“ in the memory of his wife. One of the wonders of the world „Taj Mahal“ has a beautiful love story behind its construction. Taj Mahal love story is about Shah Jahan and Mumtaz Mahal. Shah Jahan, initially named Prince Khurram, took birth in the year 1592. The son of Jehangir, the fourth Mughal emperor of India, he fell in love in Arjumand Banu Begum at first time. At that time he was 14 years old and she, a Muslim Persian princess, was 15.

After meeting her, Shah Jahan went back to his father and declared that he wanted to marry her. Read on to know more about the love story behind Taj Mahal of Agra… The match got solemnized after five years i.e., in the year 1612. Shah Jahan became the Emperor in the year 1628 and entrusted Arjumand Banu with the royal seal. He also bestowed her with the tile of Mumtaz Mahal, meaning the „Jewel of the Palace“. Though Shah Jahan had other wives also, but, Mumtaz Mahal was his favorite and accompanied him everywhere, even on military campaigns. In the year 1631, when Mumtaz Mahal was giving birth to their 14th child, she died due to some complications.

It is said that Shah Jahan was so heartbroken after her death that he ordered the court into mourning for two years. Some time after her death, Shah Jahan undertook the task of erecting the world‘s most beautiful monument in the memory of his beloved. It took 22 years and the labor of 22,000 workers to construct the monument, which is also said to be the last wish of Mumtaz Mahal. This magnificent monument came to be known as „Taj Mahal“ and now counts amongst the Seven Wonders of the World.

Shahab-ud-din Muhammad Shah Jahan I (full title: Al-Sultan al-‘Azam wal Khaqan al-Mukarram, Abu‘l-Muzaffar Shihab ud-din Muhammad, Sahib-i-Qiran-i-Sani, Shah Jahan I Padshah Ghazi Zillu‘llah [Firdaus-Ashiyani]) (also spelled Shah Jehan, Shahjehan, January 5, 1592 – January 22, 1666) was the ruler of the Mughal Empire in the Indian subcontinent from 1628 until 1658. The name Shah Jahan comes from Persian meaning “King of the World.”

He was the fifth Mughal ruler after Babur, Humayun, Akbar, and Jahangir. While young, he was a favourite of Akbar. Even while very young, he could be pointed out to be the successor to the Mughal throne after the death of Jahangir. He succeeded to the throne upon his father’s death in 1627. He is considered to be one of the greatest Mughals and his reign has been called the Golden Age of Mughals. Like Akbar, he was eager to expand his empire. The chief events of his reign were the destruction of the kingdom of Ahmadnagar (1636), the loss of Kandahar to the Persians (1653), and a second war against the Deccan princes (1655). In 1658 he fell ill, and was confined by his son Aurangzeb in the citadel of Agra until his death in 1666. On the eve of his death in 1666, the Mughal Empire spanned almost 750,000,000 acres (3,000,000 km2), about 9/10 the size of modern India.

The period of his reign was the golden age of Mughal architecture. Shah Jahan erected many splendid monuments, the most famous of which is the Taj Mahal at Agra built as a tomb for his wife Mumtaz Mahal (birth name Arjumand Banu Begum). The Pearl Mosque at Agra and the palace and great mosque at Delhi also commemorate him. The celebrated Peacock Throne, said to be worth millions of dollars by modern estimates, also dates from his reign. He was the founder of Shahjahanabad, now known as ‘Old Delhi’. The important buildings of Shah Jahan were the Diwan-i-Am and Diwani- Khas in the fort of Delhi, the Jama Masjid, the Moti Masjid and the Taj. It is pointed out that the Palace of Delhi is the most magnificent in the East.

Carl F. Bucherer Patravi ChronoDate Annual

«Small complication» is the name used for the rare mechanical additional function found in this timepiece of Carl F. Bucherer: a calendar which takes the different lengths of months into account and which only has to be corrected once a year, at the end of February. The Patravi ChronoDate Annual also features a host of other outstanding attributes.

Thanks to Julius Caesar. The great Roman statesman reformed the calendar used at that time by defining 30 or 31 days as the length of a month, with the exception of February. Unfortunately without any regularity. Any one who wears a wristwatch will be aware of this irregularity: at the end of a month with 30 days, at the end of February in any case, the date must be corrected manually. With the Patravi ChronoDate Annual Carl F. Bucherer presents a timepiece which renders manual correction superfluous.

A complicated system of numerous wheels, levers and sliding gear switch exactly to the first of the month, irrespective of whether 30 or 31 days have passed. The computing power provided by the automatic movement, which is only 30 mm wide and 7.3 mm high, in such a small space is impressive. The owner of this watch will soon appreciate the major convenience of this small complication. The only correction required is a minor adjustment via the crown at the end of February.

Another major advantage is the type of date indicator. In the new Patravi ChronoDate Annual the current date appears in a large window of the face. This shows the passionate commitment of watch designers at Carl F. Bucherer to aesthetic elegance. They have not placed the beautifully framed date indicator in the usual position, but at the 12- o'clock position. This means that all the functions are arranged symmetrically on the watch face and the date, probably one of the most useful information in everyday business, can be easily read immediately.

The month is displayed in the small window between 4 o’clock and 5 o’clock. A type of timepiece which is still immensely popular with enthusiasts of mechanical timepieces. Ninety years of expertise are expressed in the Patravi ChronoDate Annual, which shows its well-earned respect for the company's founder and grandfather of the current owner. Carl Friedrich Bucherer started his own watchmaking business in 1919 in Lucerne and today the name Bucherer symbolises top-quality jewelry and watchmaking craftsmanship world-wide as well as Swiss quality which is steeped in tradition.

So much technical finesse deserves of course an elegant case. The movement of the Patravi ChronoDate Annual from Carl F. Bucherer is protected by a strong almost 108 gram gold case, whose base is fixed by means of seven screws. And single-sided anti-reflective sapphire crystal glass allows an optimum view of the silver-plated watch face at any time. This sophisticated man’s watch is fastened to the wrist by means of a hand-sewn strap made from top-quality alligator leather with a comfortable folding clasp made of 18-carat gold.

Technical details
Reference number: 00.10619.03.93.01
  • Movement: automatic, CFB 1957.1 caliber, chronometer, diameter 30 mm, height 7.3 mm, 49 jewels, power reserve 42 hours
  • Functions: chronograph, big date, annual calendar
  • Case:18 K rose gold, screw-down crown, sapphire crystal with anti-reflective coating on both sides, water-resistant to 50 m (5 atm), diameter 42 mm, height 14.1 mm
  • Watchband: hand-stitched Louisijavascript:void(0)ana alligator leather strap, 18 K rose gold folding clasp

Sunday, August 30, 2009

Antoine Preziuso Esquisse

This jewellery timepiece reflects the artistic character of Antoine Preziuso. All starts from a sketch, an Esquisse in french. And in this case, it starts and ends by an Esquisse. White and black diamonds set on a solid gold dial translate the drawing Antoine Preziuso made while creating this piece.

Technical data
  • Case: Diamond-like Carbon DLC coated stainless steel case
  • Dial: Solid 18kt white gold completely hand-set with white and black diamonds to reproduce the sketch of the dial as Preziuso creates it.
  • Movement: High quality 2892ETA all hand engraved.
  • Strap: Polished galucha.

Montblanc Star 4810 Automatic

Focusing on the basics has created a timeless design. Watches that outlive all fashion trends feature a surprisingly classical and simple design. A case in point is the traditional three-hand watch in the new Montblanc Star 4810 Automatic with 18 carat red gold. It clearly shows hours, minutes and seconds, and in a large field at 6 O’clock the date. Together with the luminescent Roman numerals, these clear-cut elements give the silver dial a stylish and distinguished look.
The elegant design is offset by an engine-turning design with the shape of the Montblanc signet. With alternating angles of incidence, the Montblanc star seems to vibrate on the dial and capture the dynamism of passing time. Selected to meet the highest demands, the solid red gold case forms a harmonious unity with the elegant brown alligator strap.

The new Star 4810 Automatic – 41.5 mm in diameter and with a COSC- certified automatic movement – is the calm continuation of the classical watch range Montblanc Star, which was once the start of the success story of Montblanc in the world of haute horlogerie.

Montblanc Collection Villeret 1858 - Introduction

Just in time for the 150th anniversary of the founding of the watchmaking manufacture Minerva, extensive renovations at the premises of the newly founded Institut Minerva de Recherche en Haute Horlogerie in Rue Principalein Villeret were completed in October 2008. Refurbishment took almost one and a half years and the idea was, wherever possible,to retain everything worth preserving and to ensure that the historic foundations of the traditional watchmaking company were as well equipped to deal with the future as they have been over the past 150 years.

As a result,the renovated building contains solid oak floorboards and herringbone parquet that is well over a century old. The windows, on the other hand, were replaced by modern double-glazed versions,although here too the frames and mullions are exact replicas of their historical forebears. The inner double windows were retained and put back into their original places after repainting. The electrical infrastructure and the IT systems have been replaced in their entirety.

The machinery,of course, remained untouched; apart from state-of-the-art CNC and wire-erosion systems, there is a wealth of machines many years old, which would normally be found only in a museum. The watchmaking workshops, too, where some of the tools, machines and measuring instruments look extremely antiquated, remained basically untouched. Watchmakers tend to get used to their work-benches–known in the trade as ‘établis’–and are generally prepared to give up the things they are familiar with only if it is impossible to retain them.

The most conspicuous change in the entire renovation took place on the attic floor, where the entire middle section of the gable roof has given way to a glazed atrium;this has blended in so perfectly with the existing structure that it appears always to have been there. It is a kind of penthouse,with a narrow balcony on the street side wherein future journalists, visitors and, above all, customers can be received who have come to pick up their watch from the Montblanc Collection Villeret 1858 personally.Now that the renovations are finished, the building remains a perfect reflection of the way the company works:a place in which tradition and innovation harmonise perfectly.

But not only the building itself underwent renovation. As part of the extensive work of refurbishment,the watch manufacturing company set up a new workshop that has enabled it to fulfill a dream,with the resources that will equip it to make its own balance springs from start to finish. This has made the Institut Minerva de Recherche en Haute Horlogerie one of the most exclusive watch manufacturers in the world, because only a handful of leading watch-makers still have the where with alto do this. Since the company in Villeret also produces key components such as the balance, pallets and escape wheel in its own workshops, it means the Institutis able to tailor-make complete sets of parts for each movement without external assistance.

The only item outsourced is the raw material for the balance wire.This is made of an alloy that is ideally suited to the needs of large balances with a frequency of 18,000 bph. The untreated wire is drawn through increasingly fine templates until it has been attenuated to the desired diameter of less than 1/10 mm, each pass reducing its thickness by about 15%. Extremely fine diameters like this call for a very sure hand and necessarily reduce the speed at which the wire can be pulled to the stately pace of a few centimetres per minute. After several hours,once the wire has reached the required thinness,it is rolled flat between polished steel cylinders until it has the final rectangular cross-section required for the purpose.

At this point the material is ready,but there remains much to be done until the balance spring that will breathe life into one of Montblanc’s exclusive watch movements is complete. To achieve this,a piece of the finished wire some 10 cm in length is hand-twisted into a spiral shape, undergoes a special tempering process and is fixed in its final form. The manufacturers prefer not to disclose any further details of the techniques involved, pointing out merely that they have invested years in perfecting the individual processes. Now the company is able to produce some of the most exclusive balance springs available, and these are destined for use solely in the exquisite timepieces that comprise the Montblanc Collection Villeret 1858.

The Institut Minerva de Recherche en Haute Horlogerie
There are only a handful of watch manufactures in the whole world able to cover a watch-making spectrum that extends from the art of handmade watches according to old Swiss tradition through to the state-of-the-art engineering behind the industry of today. One of these is the Institut Minerva de Recherche en Haute Horlogerie, which has grown out of the small,exclusive workshop that was once Minerva. The company was founded in 1858in the village of Villeretin the Jura and very soon began specialising in the production of chronographs of the very highest quality.

Only very few watch manufacturers can still look back on such along,uninterrupted history,and over the years Minerva has held fast to the working methods traditionally associated with Swiss watchmaking at its best. It is none other than the art of traditional haute horlogerie, which is carried out largely by hand. Only a very small number of master watchmakers today have the knowledge and expertise needed for this extremely rare and exclusive form of watchmaking. Important components such as the generously sized balance, with its high moment of inertia, are made in-house. The company also produces its own tailor-made balance springs and counts their active length using old, traditional methods, while the mise en fonction of the chronograph control is carried out meticulously by hand for each individual movement. There are no longer many watch manufacturers who are able to produce such vital components for their timepieces by hand, using traditional methods.

In 2007, in order to preserve its authenticity, Minerva joined forces with Montblanc,which is equally devoted to preserving and practising handed-down manufacturing traditions in all its business activities. As a result, the Institut Minerva de Recherche en Haute Horlogerie was founded. Montblanc thus makes an enormous contribution towards keeping a unique form of expertise alive and preserving this invaluable expertise for posterity. The unwavering commitment of the Institut Minerva de Recherche en Haute Horlogerie to handcrafted watchmaking makes it the perfect partner for Montblanc Montre SA in Le Locle, which recently designed and produced its own movement developed entirely in-house. The chronograph movement: an achievement that has firmly established it as a watchmakers’ workshop,successfully blending the art of traditional watch¬making with the production methods of the 21st century.

Montblanc Collection Villeret 1858
Since 2007, the name Montblanc Collection Villeret 1858 has stood for timepieces manufactured in accordance with the tenets of traditional haute horlogerie. Each demands such a high level of specialised craftsmanship and finishing that annual production is limited to just a few hundred watches. Movements, of which each type is limited to a maximum of 288 pieces, have been specially developed for these watches. The figure 288 stands for the sum total of two gross (one gross equalling twelve dozen), which has traditional significance in watchmaking.

Central to the development of new movements is a focus on classical‘garde-temps’(timekeeper) philosophy,with special attention being paid–in view of Minerva’s history – to the chronographs. In terms of their form, all movements rely on the outstanding legacy of Minerva, which set new standards with the unmistakable aesthetics of its beautifully shaped bridges and levers. The individual parts are finished to a level of perfection mastered by only a very limited number of specialists.

The parts of the movement and other components used in the manufacture of watches in the Montblanc Collection Villeret 1858 pass through the hands of highly specialised and qualified master watchmakers hundreds of times. Production capacity is thus naturally limited,and the year 1858 dictates the number of the various models manufactured in each limited edition. Taking the formula 1/8/58 as a basis, production will comprise one unique piece in platinum together with eight in white gold and 58in rose gold.
Montblanc Collection Villeret 1858 Grand Chronographe Régulateur
As if strict limitation were not exclusive enough,the various movements will also be crafted as highly individual, unique works of art featuring designs based on the personal wishes of their future owners. Buyers discuss their wishes and ideas with the maître horloger and a designer at the Institut Minerva de Recherche en Haute Horlogerie, subsequently receiving a series of suggestions, from which they can choose to suit their preferences.

Of course the stylistic statement made by even a unique piece like one of the these watches must be in line with the Montblanc Collection Villeret 1858 as a whole, but otherwise there is virtually no limit to the customer‘s wishes as regards design. Whether he requires a dial of solid platinum or naturals late, pavé diamonds running the entire spectrum from yellow to brilliant white, or cloisonné enamel is immaterial,as long as it is technically possible and does not interfere with the watch’s functionality.

Montblanc Collection Villeret 1858 -Grand Tourbillon Heures Mystérieuses
Customers who choose to embellish their timepiece from the Montblanc Collection Villeret 1858 with a work of art like this have the guarantee that their choice of wristwatch will exist once, and once only, worldwide. It’s an exclusive feature that generates real pride of ownership but at the same time considerably increases the watch’s value as a collector’s item.

With their authentic haute horlogerie character, the limitation of each calibre to just 288 pieces, and their extremely limited availability (if not tailor-made uniqueness), the watches in the Montblanc Collection Villeret 1858 meet all the conditions one would expect of a genuine collector’s item. Several lines of haute horlogerie watches have appeared in the Montblanc Collection Villeret 1858 since 2007. Each of them has attracted enormous attention within the industry and has instantly been appreciated by many connoisseurs.

The timepieces in the Montblanc Collection Villeret 1858 are items with a high cultural value and can rightfully be considered very special works of art. In recognition of this–as well as their extremely limited availability–each timepiece in the Montblanc Collection Villeret 1858 is accompanied by a set of lithographs presented in a leather-bound case: historic depictions of the old Minerva manufacture, landscape impressions of the Jura mountains, illustrations of watch movements, and a lithograph of the watch in question.

The latter is at the very heart of each portfolio because, like the watch itself,it is unique. It bears the watch’s serial number, its number in the limited edition, and the handwritten signature of master watchmaker Demetrio Cabiddu. Each set of lithographs is assembled individually and is thus an element in the philosophy that makes each and every watch in the Montblanc Collection Villeret 1858 something very unique.

Saturday, August 29, 2009

Montblanc Collection Villeret 1858 -The Grand Chronographe Régulateur

Introduced at Salon International de la Haute Horlogerie 2009, the Grand Chronographe Régulateur is further proof of the innovative impetus at the Institut Minerva de Recherche en Haute Horlogerie provided through cooperation with Montblanc, the aim of which was to generate one new movement every year.

The most eye-catching features on the new chronograph are the regulator dial with its small hour circle at 12 o'clock and a large central minute hand. These are complemented by a second time zone display, a day/night indicator, a combined power reserve / winding display, the continuously running seconds hand and the chronograph function with its single-button operation, a large centre chronograph hand and all the design features typically associated with the Institut Minerva de Recherche en Haute Horlogerie.
The commitment of the Institut Minerva to the tradition of authentic Swiss watchmaking should not be misconstrued as nostalgia. In fact, it is quite the contrary: the art of watchmaking depends on a process of continuous innovation, and is still pursued purposefully in Villeret to this day. For the express goal of the Institut Minerva is to foster innovation and provide active support for new ideas and talent. It should therefore come as no surprise that, apart from certain familiar elements, the latest addition to the Montblanc Collection Villeret 1858 comes with new features which one would not necessarily associate with a traditional manufacture and its 150-year history.

A high-precision pendulum clock featuring a regulator-type dial with a small off-centre hour circle and large central minute hand was often to be found in watchmaking workshops in the past. Its extreme precision helped watchmakers to time and set their own movements. The regulator dial blends perfectly with the 'garde-temps' philosophy that inspires the Institut Minerva de Recherche en Haute Horlogerie to make watches for the Montblanc Collection Villeret 1858.

Monopusher chronograph controlled by a column wheel
The MB M16.30 calibre is a chronograph movement with a large central seconds hand, a small minute counter at 3 o'clock and a classical column wheel with a horizontal clutch. The chronograph levers are meticulously hand-crafted and finished, while the chronograph bridge, too – in the V-shape typical of Minerva – is hand-chamfered and polished. The heavy screw balance with its Phillips balance spring oscillates at the classic speed of 18 000 beats per hour (2.5 Hertz), which enables the user to record times to an accuracy of one-fifth of a second.

Second time zone and day/night indicator
A second time zone display is ideal for users who are frequently on the move. To meet this need, the Grand Chronographe Régulateur shows local time on the upper, skeletonised hour hand in the small hour circle at 12 o'clock, while the blued hour hand below shows the time at home. When the owner is in his home time zone, the two hands are precisely superimposed, one above the other, but whenever he moves into a different time zone, he can set the appropriate hour hand to local time in one-hour steps using the button at 10 o'clock. A small 24-hour dial with a day/night display keeps the wearer informed of his home time.

Power reserve display with winding zone indication
One genuine watchmaking innovation is the large power reserve display in the lower half of the dial, which has two indicators to provide two important pieces of information about the watch's running time. When the movement still has sufficient power, the two hands are precisely superimposed and indicate the remaining power reserve. When the tension in the mainspring has reached a low point (French BAS), the upper hand remains static, while the lower, red hand moves into the red area, indicating that it is time for the watch to be manually wound again by hand. A new type of mechanism, consisting of 19 individual parts, was devised to achieve this and has been registered for patent.
Collector's items in a limited edition
As a tribute to Minerva's foundation in 1858, the Grand Chronograph Régulateur timepieces in the Montblanc Collection Villeret 1858 will be produced in a strictly limited edition in accordance with the 1 / 8 / 58 formula: unique watches in platinum, editions of eight watches in 18 ct. white gold and 58 pieces in 18 ct. red gold. The cases feature a convex bezel, a steeply domed sapphire glass and a sapphire glass see-through back protected by a hinged cuvette, which is released by a patented mechanism.

Montblanc Advent Calendar - The World´s Most Expensive Advent Calendar

The excitement and feverish anticipation of the surprises hidden behind the little doors on an Advent calendar; being allowed to open one door each day and to discover something very special behind it, are cherised childhood memories. Montblanc, world-famous manufacturer of exquisite writing instruments, leather goods, watches, jewellery and accessories, created this unique luxury Advent calendar worth 1 Million Swiss Francs.
Introduced by Montblanc in 2002, the “world’s most expensive Advent calendar” which costs about 1 Million Swiss Francs, is an exact reproduction, on a scale of 1:20, of the “Villa Montblanc” in Le Locle, situated in the Jura region of Switzerland. Since 1997, the Montblanc Meisterstück watch collection has been handcrafted in Le Locle, at Montblanc Montre S.A., following the tradition of Swiss watchmaking.

The faithful reproduction of this Art Nouveau villa is 1.42 m high and is furnished with the most expensive Montblanc products. Behind the 24 illuminated windows there are 60 exquisite products from the finest Montblanc collections: luxury writing instruments, exclusive leather goods, jewellery accessories and watches -masterpieces crafted in precious metals, gems and the finest leather.

The crowning glory is the door opened on Christmas Eve – behind it one will discover the highlights of the Montblanc collection: Montblanc’s most expensive fountain pen, the solid gold Meisterstück Solitaire Royal, which is encrusted with 4,810 flawless diamonds and is worth SFR 200,000 as well as a selection of other diamond-covered products from the Solitaire Royal Collection. Behind one of the other 24 doors there is another exceptionally rare collector’s item: the first Limited Edition Patron of Art writing instrument, named after Lorenzo di Medici, which was launched 1992. This stunning solid gold fountain pen has a collectors’ value of more than SFR 40,000.

Like the real “Villa Montblanc” in Le Locle, the Montblanc Advent Calendar offers an opportunity to take pleasure in the beautiful things in life. And that is precisely what each of the exquisite Montblanc products behind the windows and doors of the miniature Villa Montblanc inspire one to do: to cherish a unique moment, reflect and enjoy – to take time for moments in life which really matter.

Gerald Genta Gefica Safari (2007)

The thought of waking up in the savannah evokes memories of distant roaring and the hum of a twin-engine plane bringing supplies to a lodge. As soon as the first crimson rays of a gigantic sun appear on the horizon, the primal beauty of the African earth is suddenly brought to light.

Contemporary man senses the force of this nature as well as its potential threat. Through adventures, he savours the awakening of the senses: the intense vibrancy of colours, the unity of shapes, the fascination of scents and the touch of materials. His body shakes off its numbness as the archaic strength of this earth is revealed within him, and his mind sets off on pleasurable flights of fancy.

Gefica Safari links urban man to this primeval world through a unique harmony of basic and contemporary materials. Its form and its materials, which evolve through time, enhance the virility and sensuality of the emotions they arouse.At the dawn of the world, some 4,000 years ago, men took the first steps in the science of materials by discovering the alloy of copper and pewter: bronze. In harmony with its times and with contemporary smelting and alloy technologies, Gérald Genta offers a world-first combination of bronze and titanium with the new Gefica Safari.

In 1988, Gérald Genta presented the first Gefica, born from a discussion between friends during a Big Five gaming hunt in Africa. From the merging of the first two letters of their surnames – Geoffroy, Fissore and Canali – came a name: GEFICA. Initially intended to be a hunter’s watch, the revolutionary use of bronze for its exterior was driven by a concern for invisibility, because this non-shiny material avoided any risk of the sun glinting off it at an inopportune moment.

In 2007, the Gérald Genta brand revived the material and the model in a resolutely 21st century spirit: today’s man is a urban predator, who paradoxically seeks to protect nature. The spirit of the new Gefica is thus profoundly urban, while the shapes, the materials and the colours are drawn from Mother Earth.

Right from the outset, the brand has distinguished itself through its provocative and innovative approach to the use of materials. It was the first Haute Horlogerie brand to introduce materials such as carbon fibre, rubber, tantalum, bronze, wood and liquid ceramics into Haute Horlogerie models while combining them with precious counterparts. It has thereby acquired a legitimacy that is now firmly established, in an era where breaking with classic traditions seems an obvious choice. Thanks to this legitimate expertise in working with unusual materials that the Gérald Genta engineers have mastered for almost 20 years, the new Gefica Safari is crafted in bronze and combined with titanium, giving it a truly unique character. Thanks to the inherent properties of these materials, such an object evolves over the years as the bronze gradually acquires a patina and the harmony between materials is embellished with the passing of time.

This spectacular model with its complex architecture evokes the volcanic topography of Africa, the geometry of the Primitive Arts of this continent, and their aesthetic influence on the Art Deco movement of the early 20th century. Its statuesque shapes instantly propel us into a world of raw sensations, while radiating an aesthetic blend of reminiscences and contemporary character. The world of the early hunters is thus transposed and sublimated within the urban jungle of contemporary mankind.

Right from the start, the eye is drawn to the two-tone bronze and titanium case, gliding over its flaring shape before encountering the contrast between the raised convex sapphire crystal and the hollowed concave dial. From the edge of the bezel shaped like the rim of a volcano crater, the gaze follows the dome and plunges down the rounded slopes of the dial, admiring the sweep of the curved red seconds hand, before coming to rest on a back marked by horizontal grooves. Shapes, materials and colours unite to immerse us in the aesthetic and sensual world of African art and its multiple influences. The twin rows of titanium beads on the case middle and the crown, echo the body painting on bronze-coloured skin and the geometrical shapes represented in tribal Art; whilst the natural hues recall nature and the colours of the African Mother Earth. The graphic design of the numerals indicating the time also reflect the Art Deco world that was so strongly inspired by the same source.

For over ten years, the Gérald Genta brand has been refining, developing, enhancing the reliability and successfully marketing this original combination of complications featuring the so-called “incremental” hour display and “reinitialisation” minute indication. It is to date the only contemporary Haute Horlogerie brand to have earned genuine legitimacy in the construction of this type of mechanism in wristwatches through the experience it has acquired. Over the years, various issues such as shock-resistance, the precision of the instant minute and date jumps have had to be resolved, and safety systems relating to winding and time-setting have also been developed in order to ensure the reliability of the mechanism. Gérald Genta has filed three patents exclusively linked to this mechanism, which in terms of the technical difficulties involved in the various horological complications is fairly close to those implied by the making of a perpetual calendar.

The Manufacture-made self-winding movement, which is the engine driving this model, is equipped with the jumping hour, retrograde minute and date complication module entirely developed, built and assembled in the workshops of the Manufacture Gérald Genta, in the Vallée de Joux. In keeping with its approach to Haute Horlogerie, this calibre is entirely decorated with circular-graining performed on a movement featuring “Potter” finishing. The 18-carat gold oscillating weight is also entirely circular-grained and engraved with the “Gérald Genta” brand name.

Since the launch of its first models featuring this type of display, the aesthetic lines through which it is conveyed have never betrayed the sophisticated technical substance of each of its movements, nor the contemporary design of the collections. The launch of the Gefica Safari represents an additional step towards confirming Gérald Genta’s status as a Manufacture producing exceptional watch models, consistently equipped with mechanical complications protected by sophisticated exteriors and endowed with the potential to arouse emotions that is inherent in prestige objects.

Technical details
  • Exclusive Gérald Genta self-winding movement, hand-decorated, “Potter” finishing, equipped with jumping hours appearing through a round aperture at 12 o’clock, a graduated 180° retrograde minute segment in the upper part of the dial between 9 and 3 o’clock and a 180° retrograde date segment in the lower part of the dial between 5 and 7 o’clock. 45-hour power reserve
  • Flared case with sandblasted bronze and titanium middle adorned with a double row of titanium beads, hollowed lugs, sandblasted bronze bezel and bronze and titanium beaded crown
  • Hollowed multi-layer dial with sandblasted finish, galvanic-coloured base with raised horizontal motif
  • Art Deco style hour, minute and date numerals
  • Curved seconds hand following the dial profile
  • Convex sapphire crystal glare-proofed on both sides and case-back fitted with a sapphire crystal glare-proofed on the inside, secured with 8 pentagonal screws
  • Exclusive Gérald Genta hand-sewn alligator leather strap
  • Titanium triple-folding clasp carrying the openworked brand symbol on the buckle
  • Water-resistant to 10 Atm

Montblanc Writing Instruments - Montblanc and Van Cleef & Arpels Limited Edition Mystery Masterpiece (2006)

In 2006,to commemorate their company’s centenary year, Montblanc and Van Cleef & Arpels joined together to create a fascinating expression of the finest craftsmanship and exquisite jewellery: the Limited Edition Mystery Masterpiece.

This outstanding edition, truly the peak of the century-spanning tradition and expertise that these two Maisons are best known for,was planned to release in three different variations, set either with rubies, sapphires or emeralds. Each of these exquisite creations is strictly limited to only three pieces worldwide.
The first, the ruby-set Mystery Masterpiece, was unveiled for the first time in December 2006. The Limited Edition Mystery Masterpiece is an outstanding proof of the passionate dedication to the spirit of innovation which has inspired Montblanc and Van Cleef & Arpels throughout their hundred-year history.

The legendary “Mystery Setting”, a technique patented in 1933 by Van Cleef & Arpels, magically conceals the gemstone settings and perfects the illusion of vivid blossoms formed from rubies, sapphires or emeralds – while Montblanc’s meticulously crafted skeleton body enables the delicate white gold ornaments to literally float on the background of transparent resin. This beguiling interplay of form and colour culminates in a Montblanc star made of round diamonds on the top of the cap and an exquisite butterfly in white gold set with diamonds on the clip.

The rhodium-plated solid gold nib is finely engraved in commemoration of the anniversary for which this truly exceptional Mystery Masterpiece has been created: “One Hundred Years of Van Cleef & Arpels and Montblanc”.

Montblanc Writing Instruments - Montblanc Meisterstück Solitaire Ceramics Black Prisma

Unusual materials and geometrical structures characterise the latest highlight in the classical line of Montblanc Meisterstück Solitaire writing instruments. The Meisterstück Solitaire “Ceramics Black Prisma” Edition lives from the exciting mixture of a platinised, high-gloss body and a cap of black high-tech ceramics, with a square pattern that is an optical and haptic experience.

Introduced in 2008,the fascination of the Montblanc Meisterstück Solitaire “Ceramics Black Prisma” Edition, lies in the exciting balance between traditional Montblanc characteristics – such as the legendary Meisterstück silhouette and the three-ring design of the cap – and modern materials. Montblanc combines the cool gleam of the smooth, platinised body with a cap of black, high-tech ceramics. The appealing appearance of this material, which comes from the world of precision engineering, is enhanced by an attraction felt whenever one touches the square surface structure. Minimalistic, straightforward lines are here the aesthetic context for a writing-instrument design that combines tradition and modernity in a completely new way.
The Montblanc Meisterstück Solitaire “Ceramics Black Prisma” Collection has an engraved serial number on the clip and available in the more than 360 Montblanc boutiques around the world and from selected trade partners as a fountain-pen, in two different sizes and with four different nib widths to guarantee individual writing pleasure, ballpoint pen, rollerball and mechanical pencil.

Montblanc Writing Instruments - Montblanc StarWalker Black Mystery

Since 2003, purism and innovation have been united in Montblanc's most famous new writing instrument line, ‘StarWalker’. The prestigious brand is once again leading the way in terms of style and looks with the ‘StarWalker Black Mystery’ line, comprising fountain pen, ballpoint pen and fineliner. The most striking characteristic of the new ‘StarWalker Black Mystery’ is the linear laser-engraved pattern on the precious black lacquer, which, along with the floating Montblanc emblem in the cap top, enhances most effectively the unmistakably dynamic design of the ‘StarWalker’ that is both contemporary and sophisticated.

Exceptionality, dynamism and functional elegance – three characteristics that inspired Montblanc to create the Montblanc StarWalker line, heralding a new era in writing instrument design. In the meantime, the StarWalker has become one of the most successful and spectacular new developments in the ‘art of writing’. The modern, purist style of the line succeeds brilliantly in keeping an exciting balance between loyalty to the typical features of the brand and, at the same time, stepping decisively into the future – from deep-seated Montblanc tradition to new and visionary writing instrument creations. The message sent, however, remains the same: consciously taking time, in this fast-moving world, to send a hand-written greeting as an expression of highly personal esteem.
Exclusive materials are combined in the StarWalker Black Mystery line with a graphic surface structure. The deep black lacquer of the barrel and cap is set off by a filigree laser-engraved pattern: linear and futuristic, in keeping with the overall design of Black Mystery. This modern look is echoed by further forward-looking features such as the dynamic StarWalker silhouette, the slender, subtly protruding clip, the platinum-plated fittings and in particular the unique transparent cap top, in which the legendary Montblanc emblem seems to float through the infinity of time and space. It is a symbol of the skill of the master craftsmen at Montblanc who devote all their experience and passion to the making of every single writing instrument, thereby imbuing it with something truly unique: a soul.

In addition to the fountain pen, with its hand-crafted rhodium-plated nib made of 14 k gold, the StarWalker Black Mystery line will be available from January 2009 as a ballpoint pen and a powerful fineliner, featuring an innovative spring mechanism at the tip.

Carl F. Bucherer Patravi T-24 Ladies

Carl F. Bucherer is expanding its Patravi collection with an enthrallingly elegant ladies watch. The Patravi T-24 Ladies is presented in a distinctive barrel-shaped case, set with precious diamonds.

The watches in the Patravi collection are modern classics with refined, mechanical functions and strongly characterised designs. They are future-oriented timepieces, combining tradition and modernity in impressive harmony. Whoever values noble discretion and extraordinary elegance, will certainly treasure the Patravi T-24 with its perfectly shaped, ergonomic, beautifully designed tonneau case. Its high quality automatic movement has a 24-hour display, which is adjusted independently of the hour and minute hands and can be used as a second time zone. The practical power reserve indication is positioned opposite this at six o’clock, and the date is displayed in a small window at three o’clock.

Now Carl F. Bucherer is extending this highly coveted line with an enthrallingly beautiful ladies watch. The highlight of this new model: twelve bars on the bezel of the case, which is made of steel or warm pink gold, comprise altogether 48 diamonds in compact groups of four. In addition, the formation of the bars and diamonds has the practical application of showing the time, indicating the hours and minutes. The 24-hour display, beneath twelve o’clock on the Patravi T-24 Ladies, functions in an elegant, oval zone. Finally the power reserve indication now stands out in stronger contrast against its surrounding background.

Thoroughly refined, and yet not exaggerated, the dials of the new Patravi T-24 Ladies come in smart white with hour index marks that reflect in the night or in luxury, white mother-of-pearl with nine diamonds. The choice of luxury bracelets provides a perfect match for this feminine timepiece. The selection includes high quality stingray, python or alligator leather, or polished and satin-finished stainless steel components.

Model details
Reference number: 00.10612.08.74.31
Movement: automatic CFB 1953 caliber, 42-hour power reserve, 28 jewels
Functions: 24-hour display for second time zone, date, power reserve indication
Case: stainless steel, 48 TW vvs 0.6 ct. diamonds, screwdown crown, sapphire crystal with anti-reflective coating on both sides, water-resistant to 50 m (5 atm), dimensions 36 x 41.2 mm
Dial: mother-of-pearl, 9 TW vvs diamonds
Bracelet: stainless steel with stainless steel folding clasp

Variations:
00.10612.03.74.11 pink gold case, stingray leather strap with pink gold buckle
00.10612.03.74.01 pink gold case without diamonds, alligator leather strap with pink gold buckle
00.10612.08.74.11 python leather strap
00.10612.08.74.01 case without diamonds, alligator leather strap
00.10612.08.74.21 case without diamonds

Reference number: 00.10612.08.23.11
Movement: automatic CFB 1953 calibre, 42-hour power reserve, 28 jewels
Functions: 24-hour display for second time zone, date, power reserve indication
Case: stainless steel, 48 TW vvs diamonds 0.6 ct., screwdown crown, sapphire crystal with with anti-reflective coating on both sides, water-resistant to 50 m (5 atm), dimensions 36 x 41.2 mm
Bracelet: alligator leather with stainless steel folding clasp.

Variations:
00.10612.08.23.01 case without diamonds
00.10612.08.23.31 stainless steel bracelet
00.10612.08.23.21 case without diamonds, stainless steel bracelet

Montblanc Writing Instruments - Montblanc Patron of Art Edition Max von Oppenheim

Since 1992, Montblanc has honoured important historical patrons of culture and sciences with the renowned Patron of Art Edition, eagerly awaited by collectors all over the world. This year's edition is dedicated to the great archaeologist and art patron Max von Oppenheim, who discovered an unknown culture in the Near East and made its cultural legacy accessible to the general public. Max von Oppenheim dedicated his life to the art of the Orient. His passion is reflected in the unusual design of the 925 sterling silver fountain pen, which recalls Oppenheim's greatest discovery: the Temple Palace at Tell Halaf in Syria.. The presentation of the annual Patron of Art Edition is linked with the ‘Montblanc de la Culture Arts Patronage Award’, a unique cultural prize honouring contemporary figures in the field of international art sponsorship.

Max von Oppenheim
Baron Max von Oppenheim (1860-1946) was the son of a prominent family of bankers in Cologne. Despite successfully qualifying in law and embarking on a diplomatic career, he devoted his life to the exploration of the Orient. His archaeological discoveries, his research into Bedouin culture and his precious collections of treasures made him famous the world over. During private excavation campaigns, Max von Oppenheim, who spoke Arabic like a native, uncovered evidence of a previously unheard-of prehistoric culture in Tell Halaf in Syria. The most impressive finds include the ‘Temple Palace’ of Prince Kapara from the 9th or 10th century BC with its huge animal sculptures and decorative reliefs.

In order to preserve his collection for the future, Oppenheim established a cultural foundation, the ‘Max Freiherr von Oppenheim-Stiftung’, in 1929 in Berlin and the ‘Tell Halaf Museum’ in 1930. During the Second World War, however, large parts of the collection and his library containing 40,000 volumes were destroyed. The remains which could be salvaged have been painstakingly restored in recent years to recreate the monumental sculptures, which are due to go on display at Berlin's Pergamon Museum for the first time in 2010 and subsequently travel the world in a touring exhibition.

People like Max von Oppenheim, who achieved great things in the past, are inspirational figures for the present. Since 1992, Montblanc has been honouring notable personalities and patrons of culture with a precious, individually designed ‘Patron of Art Edition’. This year's writing jewel in 925 sterling silver is dedicated to Max von Oppenheim and his archaeological discovery Tell Halaf. The gold-plated rings encircling barrel and cap are decorated with reliefs inspired by motifs on the temple façade, such as the famous hunting scene with horse and chariot, the original of which on display in the Metropolitan Museum of Art in New York.
Furthermore, barrel and cap of the pen bear a geometric pattern which can be found not only in the temple but also on prehistoric ceramics from Tell Halaf. The coating of translucent lacquer adds to the design a fascinating three-dimensional effect. The fine engraving of a Bedouin caravan on the hand-crafted 18 k gold nib is the culmination of this tribute to Oppenheim and his major contribution to research into the history and culture of the Bedouins, committed to paper over a period of 40 years.

Like the rare prehistoric treasures of the Orient, the Montblanc Patron of Art Edition Max von Oppenheim is limited, as shown by the edition number engraved on the clip. Just 4,810 pieces of this collectors' item will be available exclusively from Montblanc boutiques and at selected trade partners from March 2009.

Montblanc de la Culture Arts Patronage Award
The Montblanc de la Culture Arts Patronage Award represents an exemplary bond, forged between past and present. Since 1992, this cultural award has been directly linked with the Patron of Art Edition and combines the tribute to an historical art patron with the acknowledgment of those who, investing vast amounts of time and extraordinary personal commitment, take on cultural responsibility in the present day.

With the Montblanc de la Culture Arts Patronage Award Montblanc seeks to acknowledge the increasing significance of private patronage, convey its role to the public, and give new impetus to the promotion of culture. Every year, an acclaimed jury chooses eleven award winners from all over the world, who receive financial support for a cultural project of their choice. Montblanc also presents them with a precious variation of the current Patron of Art Edition – named this year after the great ancient historian and explorer of the Orient, Max von Oppenheim.

Gerald Genta Arena Tourbillon Retrograde Hours (2008)

More stature, more straight lines and more contrast - this Arena watch accentuates the masculine side of its nature. It goes on the offensive to revive the look of the characteristic Gérald Genta tourbillon and retrograde hours movement.

A bold brand, an ever-astonishing watch. With its 45 mm diameter (as compared to 41 mm previously) the Arena line’s case with its grooved caseband is one of the largest on the market. It is even more amazing in this extremely luxurious version featuring a platinum structure and a palladium bezel– a precious pairing that subtly makes use of the nuance between the grey and white reflections. Palladium in its pure state gleams with a luminous clarity that Gérald Genta has enjoyed using since being the first to choose this metal to adorn its watch exteriors.

On the multi-layer dial, the retrograde numbers are displayed in polished, rhodium-plated appliques on a circular, brushed, tantalum-coloured arc, while the minutes follow a circle punctuated by transferred white hour-markers. Both the hours and the minutes are ticked off by masculine-looking dagger-shaped skeleton hands. The background features a skilfully openworked satin-brushed grey metal grid which makes a striking contrast with the “old gold” colour of the seconds hand, the decorative screw heads and the Potter-finish movement.

The tourbillon appearing through a generous opening at 6 o’clock is topped with an elongated bridge that has been specifically redesigned along more sporty lines. Overall, the skeleton-type dial built on several levels reflects the high degree of sophistication of the mechanism driving the watch.

The movement, which is developed and built within the Manufacture and comprises some 400 parts, embodies tried and tested expertise. Gérald Genta was indeed among the first brands to make a self-winding tourbillon in 1990. This model is remarkable due to its thinness (5.9 mm), its considerable power reserve (64 hours) and the perfectly integrated retrograde hours.

It boasts all the finishing touches characteristic of Haute Horlogerie, such as circular graining, bevelling, polishing, circular brushing, straightening and hand-drawn sides. At the end of the production process, it is immersed in a galvanic bath that gives it the “old gold” colour, inspired by vintage movements. The famous “Potter finish” developed by Gérald Genta exalts the beauty of the fine workmanship that may be admired through the sapphire crystal caseback.

Montblanc Writing Instruments - Edition Ingrid Bergman

Montblanc’s new Special Edition honors the renowned Hollywood actress Ingrid Bergman, following the Hollywood legends Greta Garbo and Marlene Dietrich who have been honored by the “Diva” line of Montblanc writing instruments in previous years. Regarded as one of the great international stars in the history of entertainment, three Editions of Montblanc writing instruments, created for the discerning woman, are inspired by Bergman’s outstanding talent, riveting persona, sophisticated elegance and charismatic radiance.

Honesty, grace, determination, refinement, warmth, sensuality - the three masterly designs of Montblanc Edition Ingrid Bergman beautifully capture the multi-faceted character of the uniquely gifted Stockholm-born legend. Through a career spanning half-a-century, Ingrid Bergman appeared in over 50 movies performing in the five languages she spoke fluently - Swedish, German, French, English and Italian. She worked with legendary actors - Humphrey Bogart, Cary Grant, as well as Gary Cooper, and received critical acclaim on the Broadway stage and in London’s West End. A prolific writer, Bergman also kept an acting diary and Ingrid Bergman: My Story, her autobiography, became a best seller when it was published in 1980. Montblanc Edition Ingrid Bergman, therefore, celebrates Ingrid Bergman’s unrivaled status as a cultural icon and also pays tribute to the outstanding array of three Academy Awards which, along with a “Tony” Award and two Emmy Awards, acknowledged the high points of her lengthy career, which was launched by a chance encounter

The Italian names of the three styles of writing instruments within Montblanc Edition Ingrid Bergman - La Donna, L’Attrice and La Diva - allude to the six years she lived in Italy, with her four children and second husband Roberto Rossellini. He was one of an A-list roll call of international film directors with whom Bergman worked including George Cukor, Alfred Hitchcock, Ingmar Bergman, Victor Flemming and Jean Renoir. Bergman’s decision to have a child out of wedlock with famed Italian Neo Realist Rossellini - with whom she fell in love on the set of the 1949 film Stromboli and married a year later - made her an outcast in the U.S. In 1960, however, she made a triumphant return to Hollywood. Appearing at the 32nd Academy Awards, she received a standing ovation as she arrived on stage to present the Best Picture prize. “I have no regrets. I wouldn’t have lived my life the way I did if I was going to worry about what people were going to say,” she disclosed.

Every Montblanc Edition Ingrid Bergman writing instrument features Montblanc’s 18 K red gold nib with its distinctive heart-shape incision. Topping the opulent cap of each writing instrument is the Montblanc iconic emblem. Upon L’Attrice and La Diva it is rendered in mother of pearl. All three editions - La Donna, L’Attrice and La Diva - are adorned with a lady-like amethyst. This precious stone symbolizes other attributes associated with Bergman including calmness, clarity and tolerance. Aware of her power as a world renowned film star, she utilized her position of notoriety as a platform to speak out on issues about which she felt strongly such as segregation. The “royal purple” shade of the amethyst is also appropriate because it has been said that Bergman’s refusal to wear heavy make-up onscreen contributed to the “air of nobility” she projected. On all three versions Bergman`s elegant personal signature is featured.

Montblanc Ingrid Bergman Edition La Donna
The sleek black precious resin barrel of La Donna reflects Ingrid Bergman’s statuesque presence and timeless, refined style.



An ingenious detail is the lush, pleat-pattern mother-of-pearl-hued lacquered metal cap. This motif alludes to the gathers of a richly draped skirt, a sartorial item in which Bergman appeared ubiquitously. While the red gold plated fittings of La Donna allude to Bergman’s unrivaled skill to believably project passion on screen - as a leading lady of legendary romance films such as Casablanca and Spellbound - La Donna is available as a cartridge fountain pen, a ballpoint and as a rollerball.

Montblanc Ingrid Bergman Limited Edition L’Attrice
L’Attrice has been produced as a limited edition fountain pen restricted to 75 pieces. This number refers to 1975, the year in which Ingrid Bergman collected her third Academy Award. The accolade honored her standout performance in Murder on the Orient Express as the elderly missionary Greta Ohlsson. The theatrical possibilities of the role - which was smaller than the Russian princess director Sidney Lumet had originally envisioned Bergman portraying - had intrigued her more. Appearing merely in one scene, she delivered a powerful five-minute monologue. Captured in a single take, Lumet recalled: “It ran the gamut of emotions - I’ve never seen anything like it. Even though she had been a great screen beauty, there was never any effort on her part to glamorize herself. She just played Greta. A lot of actresses in her place might have demanded special lighting or makeup or camera angles to minimize her age, but not Ingrid.”



L’Attrice features an 18 K red gold nib with Montblanc’s distinctive heart-shape incision. The floral motif upon the mother-of-pearl-hued lacquer barrel, and the red gold, from which its lavish Ingrid Bergman signature-engraved cap has been produced, are appropriate touches, given that a hybrid tea rose is named in honor of Ingrid Bergman. Finally, another luxurious flourish upon the cap of L’Attrice is a red gold clip. Adorned with an amethyst on the clip, the cap features a ring embellished with sparkling, brilliant cut diamonds.

Montblanc Ingrid Bergman Limited Edition La Diva
Ingrid Bergman is considered among an “elite” group of film professionals who received a trio of Academy Awards - for her roles in the 1944 thriller Gaslight, the 1956 drama Anastasia as well as the in 1974 released mystery Murder on the Orient Express. La Diva celebrates this rare, outstanding achievement and the series of three, in which this extremely limited edition writing instrument has been exclusively produced, signifies Bergman’s magic number of Oscars. “I think the Academy Awards is great for the film industry - something that will be built up through the years, something with a tradition behind it,” she believed. And so, just as Bergman regarded the Oscar as the ultimate acting honor, La Diva has been conceived as the apex writing instrument within the Montblanc Edition Ingrid Bergman.



Made entirely of 18 K hand engraved solid red gold, it is festooned with shimmering brilliant-cut diamonds. The centre piece of this enchanting writing instrument is the ornamental flower on the clip, set with an amethyst, inspired by a wonderful piece of jewellery that Ingrid Bergman used to wear.

The Montblanc Edition Ingrid Bergman will be available in Montblanc Boutiques worldwide starting from September 2009.

Romain Jerome Writing Instruments - The Titanic DNA Writing Implement Series

The object’s design, halfway between a work of art and a writing instrument, borrows the material, colours, and signature elements of the timepieces inspired by that maritime masterpiece, the Titanic. In the detailed form of the famous vessel’s ventilator cowls, and topped with a cap whose clip is shaped like a staircase handrail, its opening is covered with a sapphire crystal, revealing an 18-carat-gold fountain pen nib, artfully engraved with the image of the Titanic.

The barrel of the object bears a ring of oxidized steel, born of the fusion between rusted steel from the wreck of the Titanic and steel supplied by the Harland & Wolff shipyards, where the great ship was built almost a century ago.
Additional unusual features add to the mystique of this unique instrument, including:
  • A propeller resembling the secondary propeller of the Titanic.
  • An ink reservoir fitted with a piston discernable through a porthole.
  • A miniature replica of the ship’s wheelhouse mechanism at the object’s base.
  • Steel and/or diamond rivets gracing the instrument’s remarkable lines.
The ensemble, with its Belle Époque aura, comes with a blown-glass inkpot filled with cuttlefish ink, formulated using a classic recipe of past eras.
The wheelhouse steering gear at the object’s base is engaged by a toothed wheel which, in turn, rotates the propeller, which moves the piston upwards, thus letting the ink be drawn into the pen nib. Yvan Arpa, in artistic collaboration with Jean-Pierre Lépine and his son, Benjamin Lépine, brought this most uncommon writing instrument into being, interpreting the fountain pen much more as an objet d'art than a simple tool.

The Titanic-DNA writing implement series is available in six styles, combining a variety of materials including brass, PVD, stainless steel, palladium, and gold. Each comes in a limited edition of just 88 units. These works of art are made exclusively for RJ by Benjamin and Jean-Pierre Lépine.

Gerald Genta Boutique Geneva

Gérald Genta eloquently expresses its personality through a warm and yet understated contemporary setting, based on a clever blend of light and shade. Amber-coloured velvet engages in a fascinating dialogue with Fontaines ashwood, while natural brown leather echoes the dark shade of Macassar ebony. Brass and Murano glass accents add radiant touches to the cosy atmosphere, bathed in light diffused by length-wise white onyx ceiling lamps. The height of refinement!

The cocoon-like layout engenders a convivial spirit in an area where visitors can move around freely and enjoy a clear overall view of the products presented in the central and mural displays. Sales advisors can choose to present them on the counter display or in the comfortable lounge set up behind an openwork screen. Gérald Genta wished to create a sophisticated and yet non-extravagant showcase that focus firmly on its collections.

Founded in 1969, the brand produces exclusively complicated timepieces, the simplest being a jumping-hour and retrograde-minute model. They are known for their ingeniously combined mechanisms and daring aesthetics. Time-honoured materials rub shoulders with avant-garde counterparts, fashioned with the expertise inherent to Swiss Haute Horlogerie and composing the most surprising harmonies.

Address:
Gérald Genta Boutique – 35 rue du Rhône – 1204 Genève

Gerald Genta Theodora Foundation One of a Kind Watch (2007)

In 2007, Gérald Genta created a one-of-a-kind watch to be auctioned on behalf of the Theodora Foundation which brings a little pleasure into hospital wards around Switzerland.

While acquiring and consolidating its avant-garde image through watch collections that are loved and appreciated by trendsetters, collectors and connoisseurs, Gérald Genta has also continued to cultivate a particularly playful expression of its expertise through its Fantasy Line. Depicting various Disney characters on colourful dials feature unique the brand’s unique combination of jumping hour and retrograde minute displays, these delightful watches are an opportunity for adults to remember the child that lingers inside every human soul. It was thus entirely natural for Gérald Genta to be drawn to the work of the Theodora Foundation and to draw inspiration from it for a unique watch.



“Clown doctors” to bring a smile to sick children
Founded in 1993, the Theodora Foundation is a not-for-profit organisation devoted to brightening sick children’s time in hospital by financing and organising bedside visits by professional clowns who offer them “magical moments of fun, music, stories and laughter”. As the founders André and Jan Poulie explain, training by leading nursing schools, specialised doctors and artistic directors enables the artists to visit children in paediatric departments, and especially those on long-term stays. Embodying a truly borderless concept inspired by Michael Christensen (alias Dr. Stubs) of the New York’s Babies and Children’s hospital, the activities of the Theodora Foundation now span nine countries and cater to the needs of hundreds of thousands of children each year.

Its split-level white-lacquered dial features a playfully intricate ring motif graced with 13 different colours reflecting the Theodora Foundation logo. Each colour is individually applied and then successively dried in the oven, making 13 separate firings. This fascinating geometrical and chromatic work of art is highlighted by a sparkling row of brilliant-cut diamonds circling the bezel. Powered by a self-winding movement with central hour and minute hands echoing the ring pattern, a 42-hour power reserve and the brand’s trademark 30-second retrograde seconds display complete with dedicated red pointer, it offers a technically sophisticated horological interpretation of a timeless design theme.

This model embodies the perfect Gérald Genta mix of serious watchmaking and inventively fun designs, completely in tune with the philosophy of the Theodora Foundation which is totally serious about bringing a touch of fun into the lives of children who so desperately need it.

Théodora Foundation
The Théodora Foundation was born in Switzerland, in 1993, at the initiative of André and Jan Poulie. It is thus named in tribute to their mother, Théodora, who managed to brighten André’s daily life as a child during an extended hospital stay. The mission of its Dream doctors is to care for sick children through laughter. They currently operate in over 40 establishments around Switzerland and the concept has been taken up in eight other countries. In all, around 30 specifically trained professional artists pay regular visits to 95 hospitals or specialised institutions and adapt their clown shows to the situation of each child they meet, around 220,000 times a year.

Gérald Genta, an Haute Horlogerie brand well versed in the use of humour, was naturally inclined to support the Théodora Foundation. For the second year running, it is donated a one-of-a-kind watch to the auction on its behalf. This self-winding ladies’ watch displays the hours and the minutes by central hands, and the seconds on one of the brand’s typical retrograde counters, appearing at 6 o’clock. The particularly entertaining dial features a richly colourful and complex composition set against a white lacquered background. The thirteen individually rings appear on various levels and are individually coloured using a sophisticated technique. This enchanting decorative effect is further magnified by a circle of diamonds set on the bezel of the white gold case

Gerald Genta Boutique Shanghai

Back in 2007, Gérald Genta opened its very first own-name boutique in Shanghai. With its walls meeting the floor on a curving slope, this shop looks every inch like the flagship of a fleet that will soon extend around the world.

Behind the grey storefront lies an understated and warm contemporary environment based on a particularly sophisticated composition blending subtle light and shade effects. The backdrop is composed of Fontaines ashwood, delicately sculpted and divided into panels by the luminous lines of engine-turned steel with an oldgold patina – a nod to the Potter finish on Gérald Genta movements evoking vintage mainplates. The warm amber colour of the wood, considered as a symbol of life by ancient European civilisations, is reflected on the velvet-covered surfaces that enhance the inviting feel of this elegant interior design.

A striking contrast is ensured by brown leather and the dark hues of ebony –a wood so noble that it has given its name in French to the profession of “ébéniste” or cabinet-maker, a term referring to an artisan specialising in the crafting of luxury furniture. Light is subtly diffused through lengthways ceiling lamps in white onyx. Sheer refinement! The furnishing also enhances the sense of well-being and conviviality. Visitors circulate around a central counter and can easily discover the full range of products, in the centre or in the distinctive wall displays on either side.

Sales assistants can choose to present the watches either on a dedicated zone on the counter top, or in the comfortable lounge area set up behind an openwork panel. Gérald Genta wanted to create a sophisticated yet non-ostentatious showcase essentially dedicated to highlighting its collections.

Founded in 1969, the brand produces exclusively complication watches, the simplest being jumping hours and retrograde minutes. They vie with each other in providing ingenious combinations of innovative mechanisms distinguished by their avant-garde design. The bold brand-signature approach is expressed in particular through the surprising choice of materials not commonly used in the world of Haute Horlogerie. The renaissance of the Gefica Safari is one such example.

The initial model, unveiled in 1988, was already clad in bronze. The new version combines titanium with bronze, and is destined to become even more beautiful over time as it acquires a rich patina. Equipped with a state-of-the-art Biretro movement, it can be admired in the Parisian boutique among the entire range of Gérald Genta creations. Buoyed by its success, the brand has scheduled an intensive schedule of boutique openings. After Paris, Geneva, Shanghai, and nearly Hong Kong and in most of the world’s major cities over the next three years.

Address
Gérald Genta Boutique:
Shop B115- Basement 1,
Plazza 6 – N° 1266 Nanjing West Road – Shanghai

Carl F. Bucherer Patravi Tribute to Fritz Brun

The Patravi Tribute to Fritz Brun was born out of respect for a man who went his own way in search of perfection: a memento to a great musician. Carl F. Bucherer’s watchmakers have channeled all their skill and experience into this first-class chronograph, rounding it off with a perpetual calendar and moon phase display. The lavishly decorated movement is protected by a magnificent, handcrafted case comprising no fewer than 52 individual parts. The Patravi Tribute to Fritz Brun is available in a limited edition in rose gold and white gold. A fitting reminder of a truly remarkable personality.

Two names. Two personalities. Both pioneers in their own time: Carl Friedrich Bucherer, the watchmaker, and Fritz Brun, the musician. He was born on 18 August 1878 in Lucerne, and after studying music in Cologne, Berlin and London first worked as a piano teacher. One of his jobs was in Bern where, in 1909, he was appointed chief conductor of the Bern Music Society. He left an indelible mark on the Swiss music of the first half of the 20th century and in 1922 was awarded an honorary doctorrate by the university for his services.

During his time in Bern, Fritz Brun composed various works for chamber orchestras, a choral work called “Verheissung” and his third to seventh symphonies. All ten of his symphonies are very much in the tradition of Brahms and Bruckner. His works were awarded numerous awards and prizes. Until his death in 1959, Fritz Brun spent his twilight years in Morcote on the Lake of Lugano, surrounded by close friends like Hermann Hesse and Othmar Schoek.

In 2003, to mark Fritz Brun’s 125th birthday, Carl F. Bucherer presented the Patravi Tribute to Fritz Brun, limited to 125 pieces: 75 in rose gold and 50 in white gold. A chronograph with a perpetual calendar and moon phase display, together with a richly decorated movement. It has a rotor made of 21 K gold.

The movement’s accuracy was tested for a period of 15 days by the Swiss chronometer institute and awarded the traditional chronometer certificate. The case consists of 52 highly complex individual parts. Each of the numbered and certified Patravi Tribute to Fritz Brun watches is unique.

Technical details:
Reference number: 00.10614.02.33.01
  • Movement: automatic, CFB 1959.1 caliber, chronometer, diameter 30 mm, height 7.7 mm, 38 jewels, power reserve 42 hours
  • Functions: chronograph, perpetual calendar, date, day of the week, month, leap year and moon phase
  • Case: 18 K white gold, screw-down crown, sapphire crystal with anti-reflective coating on both sides, water-resistant to 50 m (5 atm), diameter 42 mm
  • Wristband: hand-stitched Louisiana alligator strap, 18 K white gold folding clasp
  • Limited edition: 50 watches

ETA SA Manufacture Horlogère Suisse - Brand Profile,History and Products

ETA SA , currently owned by Swatch Group is the one of largest manufactures of mechanical and quartz watch movements in the world. Its roots can be traced back to 1793 when Isaac and David Benguerel, Julien and François Humbert-Droz established the first factory to make ébauches at At Fontainemelon (Neuchâtel),Switzerland. ETA SA Manufacture Horlogère Suisse was formed from a number of independent factories that were set up at the end of the 18th century.

This historical account gives a brief view of the development of the chief companies in the group and of the products.

Time Line:
1793:At Fontainemelon (Neuchâtel), Isaac and David Benguerel, Julien and François Humbert-Droz set up the first factory to make ébauches (movement blanks).

1816:Fabriques d’Horlogerie de Fontainemelon (FHF) built its first factory.

1838:Purchase of Corgémont factory in order to benefit from the hydraulic energy provided by the River Suze.

1856:At Grenchen, Urs Schild, a schoolmaster, and Dr. Girard set up an ébauches factory which was to be the first watch factory in the canton of Solothurn and the origin of ETA.

1862:The first steam engine was built at FHF.

1876:ETA expanded its operations to make complete watches, thus becoming a «Manufacture». FHF, now a limited company, had 400 employees and produced 240’000 ébauches per year.

1896:Adolf Schild-Hugi set up the AS ébauches factory in Grenchen. He began with 19 employees and produced 12 1⁄2´´´ cylinder calibre and pin-pallet ébauches.

1900:Paul Robert equipped a whole FHF workshop with new American machines to make tools, some of which were unknown in Europe until then. In this way he introduced a spirit of industrial innovation in the company which is still seen today.

1905:At AS (Grenchen) the first jewelled-lever ébauches were produced. Building no 2 was constructed.

1913:FHF produced 1 million ébauches with 1’030 employees.

1914:Interchangeability of parts was used for the first time in the watch industry by AS, AS also won a Gold Medal at the National Exhibition in Berne.

1926:The first AS automatic watch, based on the Harwood system, was manufactured. The work force reached a figure of 2’100. ETA, AS and FHF took part with other companies in the creation of Ebauches SA.

1928:Ebauches SA created a social fund which was to serve as the basis for the employees’future Pension Fund.

1939:Start of the Second World War. The production of ébauches was kept going in all the factories in spite of enormous difficulties. ETA established itself as the leading manufacturer of ébauches for automatic movements.

1940:Creation of the Foundation in favour of the personnel of Ebauches SA.

1941:Creation of Ebauches SA’s independent Pension Fund providing compensation in case of death as well as pensions for men from the age of 65 and women from 60.

1943:ETA and Eterna set up the first workshop for apprentices in the watch industry.

1950:FHF introduced the principle of cutting stems and pinions on an automatic lathe and later granted Tornos a licence for this technology. Ebauches SA controlled nearly 20 production and sales companies. Complete ranges of products were offered to the «établisseurs» (assemblers) at published tariffs.

1955:FHF developed simple, reliable and low-price mechanical calibres designed for mass production. They were later named «Standard calibres».

1960:FHF introduced the first electronically controlled linear transfer machine for making main plates. The Fontainemelon East factory was built for the Mechanical Engineering department. The three large companies affiliated to Ebauches SA - AS, ETA and FHF - employed over 5’500 people. Each of the companies had its own product range.

1962:FHF built a new factory at Fontaines for the manufacture of pinions.

1968:At ETA, the first movements for men’s automatic watches with day, date and rapid correction were made. FHF celebrated its 175th anniversary: the factory employed 1’450 people. The first ladies’ electronic balance wheel movement, calibre 9200, was developed and a new factory at Corgémont built to profile-turn parts on automatic lathes.

1969:ETA took over the Felsa ébauches factory at Grenchen. Jewel-setting was automated: a breakthrough in the watch industry.

1970:At Ebauches Electroniques Marin (EEM), manufacture of first quartz movements with digital and analog displays started.

1971:The first ladies’ automatic movements including day, date and rapid corrector were made at ETA.

1973:FHF opened the Sion factory to manufacture mechanical parts. Tape transfer machines, combining blanking and milling, started operating.

1975:ETA brought out the men’s flattest automatic mechanical movement, with centre second, date and rapid correction, to be mass-produced (calibre 2892). Manufacture of integrated circuits began at EEM, ensuring the group’s technological independence.

1976:The effect of the world recession was felt. ETA employees were retrained internally to make quartz movements. ETA launched the first Flatline quartz movement with date and centre second, with a height of 3.6 mm (calibre 940).

1978:ETA and AS (A. Schild SA) merged. The calibre range was replanned.

1979:Production of tuning fork quartz resonators began at ETA’s diversification department which was to become Micro Crystal. The «Delirium», the world’s flattest quartz watch, with a height of 1.98 mm was produced following revolutionary principles, with the movement integrated into the case-back. FHF brought out the mini-quartz, the world’s smallest movement.

1980:The ladies’ «Delirium» model and the world’s first watch measuring less than one millimetre (Delirium IV, 0.98 mm) made their appearance. The number of ETA employees reached 2’200.

1981:ETA Grenchen celebrated its 125th anniversary. Two new movements were added to the quartz range. «Flatline II» now had a height of 2.5 mm. The 9´´´ Elegance calibre 210, with a height of less than one millimetre, was launched.

1982:Due to the economic situation, the ETA, FHF and EEM organizations were simplified. The general management was established in Grenchen, with marketing at Marin and the chief production units at Grenchen, Fontainemelon, Sion, Les Bioux and Marin. In November, «SWATCH», a fashion watch made of synthetic material and based on an integrated system, produced and sold by ETA, was successfully launched in the United States.

1983:The success of «SWATCH» was confirmed on the European markets. «Flatline III», a line of products that are flatter than 2 mm was launched.

1984:The rapprochement between the two big watch groups
- SSIH Société Suisse de l’Industrie Horlogère SA, including watch factories and manufactures and Asuag Allgemeine Schweizerische Uhrenindustrie AG, a producer of piece parts and watches with its own brands was realized at the end of 1983 on the industrial advice of Nicolas G. Hayek, HAYEK ENGINEERING SA, Zurich. The new company resulting of the merger has taken the following names:
- 1984: Asuag-SSIH Société Suisse pour l’Industrie Horlogère SA and
- 1985: SMH Société Suisse de Microélectronique et d’Horlogerie SA.

1985:End of the internal reorganization: ETA SA Fabriques d’Ebauches took in all the activities done before by Ebauches SA and employed more than 4’000 people. The 10 millionth SWATCH was produced in September. On the whole, more than 44 million pieces have been produced. The transfer machines of the plant of Fontainemelon were celebrating their 25th anniversary.

1986:The installation of a new automated assembly line for SWATCH significantly increased production capacity for this mass consumption watch. Total production reached 47.5 million units. ETA produced the Rock Watch marketed by Tissot and launched the ECOLINE family.

1987:The TwoTimer, distributed by Tissot, a combined multifunction watch with an analog and digital display and an integrated case, started coming off the robotized production lines of ETA. The FLATLINE range was extended by adding the «Old Timer» specialities, with a choice of moon phases, centre date hand, and month and day indicated by 2 small hands. ETA launched the FlikFlak watch for young children.

1988:The 50 millionth SWATCH was produced. ETA launched a revolutionary line of quartz chronograph movements whose most complex model, with 5 motors and dual display, measured the time to 1/100 second (calibre family 251).

1990:ETA engineers developed a new mechanical movement with perpetual calendar (calibre 2890). First SWATCH chronographs came out of production.

1991:ETA engineers presented a new electronic quartz movement with perpetual calendar programmed up to the year 2099 (calibre 252). The «Viatech», a round, non-repairable multifunction quartz watch with analog and digital display, distributed by Tissot, started coming off the ETA production lines. The first SWATCH automatic mechanical models were launched in the European markets. Fabriques de Fournitures FFB of Bonnétage (F) joined the ETA group.

1992:On 7th April, the 100 millionth SWATCH came off the ETA production line, an event widely reported by the media. Michel SA and SMH Engineering SA became part of ETA SA. Production at the former components factory «Vénus» in Moutier was started again. ETA bought up Parrenin factory in Villers-le-Lac (France), which was integrated into FFB (F). Many new products were launched, f.ex. the SWATCH Pager (Tone-Only and digital versions) and the Stop SWATCH. The following new calibres were introduced for the traditional clientele:
- very flat 83⁄4´´´ automatic movement - 2000
- Ecoline 800 - 805 family of quartz movements of synthetic material.

For Ulysse Nardin, ETA fitted the Mecaline 111⁄2´´´ calibre 2892-2 with three special mechanisms, a micromechanical marvel. With the development of a miniaturized stepping motor for dashboard instruments, ETA launched out into the promising automotive market amongst others under the name of SWITEC.

1993:The race to innovate continued for SWATCH with the launching of the following new products:
- a chronograph displaying 1/10th second and calendar
- Aqua Chrono water-resistant to 200 m
- MusiCall
- SWATCH the Beep pager (450 MHz)
The Normflatline 6 3⁄4´´´ - 8´´´ quartz calibre 902 was launched, ideally combining metal and synthetic material.

A very substantial investment was made to reinforce the production facilities, notably for the automated assembly of SWATCH watches and mass consumption quartz movements. Diantus, the watch and movement assembly facility, was set up in its new Mendrisio factory. 1993 marked the 50th anniversary of the training of apprentices and the announcement of a year of ecology in ETA.

1994:ETA now had 15 factories in Switzerland, 3 in France, 1 in Germany, Thailand and Malaysia, a total of 21. In October, the first watch cases of stainless steel for SWATCH came off the production lines, using the MIM technology (Metal Injection Moulding).

1995:A new system of thermocompensation was built into 6 FLATLINE 8 1⁄4´´´, 10 1⁄2´´´ and 111⁄2´´´ movements. This system improves precision 20-fold as compared to a standard quartz movement. The 11 1⁄2´´´ 252.611 calibre also has a perpetual calendar (programmed up to the year 2099), a time-zone mechanism and a battery end-of-life indicator, and runs on a lithium 3V battery (life-span 10 years).On 1st August, ETA opened a sales office in South Korea. On 5th September, a fire completely destroyed the southern section of the production unit at Fontainemelon.

Innovation:
An important task facing ETA for SWATCH, which launched the following models:
- SWATCH Loomi with a multicoloured, luminous dial
- SWATCH Solar fitted with solar cells
- SWATCH Irony with an aluminium alloy case
- SWATCH Irony chronograph version with a fitted case in stainless steel (MIM)
- SWATCH Access Control can be programmed with individual ski pass data for easy access to ski lifts.

1996:On 20th January, ETA Thailand officially opened its new watch-parts factory which has an overall surface area of 7,136 m2. The beginning of March saw the laying of the foundation stone for the new wing of the production unit in Fontainemelon, which had been destroyed by fire the year before.

At the Basle Fair ETA introduced some major new products, including:
- the ETA Autoquartz 111⁄2´´´ movement (205.111), the «automatic movement with the precision of quartz», marketed first by Tissot, and
- the automatic chronograph 121⁄2´´´ movement (2894-2) which is only 6.10 mm high. Wearing a SWATCH Access, the Swiss astronaut Claude Nicollier orbited the earth 251 times, clocking up 6.5 million kilometres. Upon his return he presented it to Nicolas G. Hayek, Chairman of SMH, in perfect condition. The 200 millionth SWATCH came off the assembly line at ETA only 4 years after the 100 millionth model.

1997:ETA now had 15 factories in Switzerland, 2 in France, 1 in Germany, Thailand, Malaysia and as of this year also in China. The newly built southern section of the production unit in Fontainemelon, destroyed by fire in 1995, was officially opened.

Several important novelties were added to the movement range of ETA:
- The 11 1⁄2´´´ ETA AUTOQUARTZ 205.911 calibre with an autonomy of 100 days
- The 11 1⁄2´´´ ETA 955.812 movement with a solar cell integrated into the dial and a lithium ion accumulator, which increases the autonomy to 100 days
- The multifunction quartz chronograph 10 1⁄2´´´ ETA 251.471 for ladies’ watches
- The quartz movements 4 7⁄8´´´ ETA E01.001 and E01.401 (24H), with a height of 2.60 mm they are among the smallest movements on the market.

Important innovations were realized also for SWATCH:
- SWATCH Skin, the flattest plastic watch on the market with a height of 3.95 mm only
- The new models «Big» and «Scuba» of the SWATCH Irony line, made of aluminium and equipped with a luminous dial
- Two new SWATCH Automatic models in standard and skeleton version, the case being made of stainless steel and produced in the MIM process (Metal Injection Moulding)
- The new SWATCH Access models «Pop Midi» and «Access Scuba» with a transponder and additional functions
- Two different alarms, the perpetual calendar and the luminescent dial further improved the performance of the SWATCH Pager Box.

Switec, a division of ETA, became a leader in the market of miniaturized stepping motors for the automotive industry. The 20 millionth stepping motor was produced, and a second generation of stepping motors with even better performance was launched. Michel, a division of ETA, received the «Best Improver Award» from Philips for their first-class quality as a supplier of components for razors. First year of activity in the new production unit Zhuhai SMH Watchmaking Company Ltd. (China). ETA concentrated the entire stock of movements and parts in a new modern building in Grenchen.

1998:ETA put the following new products on the market:
- The round calibre ECOLINE 10 1⁄2´´´ ETA 804.191 with 12-hour analog alarm and hour, minute, second and date display.
- The calibre ECOLINE «Swiss Made» 13 1⁄4´´´ ETA G10.711 is a chronograph made of plastic, equipped with an analog display of hours, minutes, small second and date as well as with ADD and SPLIT chronograph functions. This calibre offers new perspectives to the big family of ECOLINE products.
- The calibre NORMFLATLINE 5 1⁄2´´´x 6 3⁄4´´´ ETA E03.001, 1.35 mm high, is a movement for jewel watches displaying hours and minutes.
- ETA applied for a patent for the invention of «ETASTABLE», a procedure consisting of a thermic treatment of the balance spiral spring, which considerably improves the shock-resistance of mechanical movements.

Equally important novelties in the field of SWATCH:
- The «SWATCH Autoquarz»: the first quartz SWATCH with a micro-generator charging an accumulator.
- With the new «SWATCH Irony Scuba 200» a new product line was created, whose characteristics are its revolutionary design, water-resistance until 200 meters and its light weight thanks to the aluminium case.
- The new «SWATCH Chrono Alarm» offers an alarm function – 12-hour alarm in addition to the traditional chronograph functions. The watch displays hours, minutes, seconds, date, alarm time and chronometers minutes, seconds and 1/10 seconds.
- SWATCH invented the «BEAT» or internet time. This occasion has given the «SWATCH BEAT» world-wide exclusivity. In addition to its numerous functions, it incorporates the new concept of internet time.

1998 also included important events such as:
- The creation of an ETA web site with the address www.eta.ch.
- June 1998: The «Société Suisse de Microélectronique et d’Horlogerie SA» or SMH changed its name and became «The Swatch Group Ltd».
- 1998 was also the year of quality with the following ISO certifications: ETA Hong Kong, ETA Pforzheim, MICHEL, a division of ETA, SWITEC, a division of ETA.

1999:ETA completed the family of Autoquartz movements with the calibre 8 3⁄4´´´ 204.911, which is the world’s smallest movement with 3 hands and date among the models with generator.
- The calibre 13 1⁄4´´´ ETA 206.211 is an Autoquartz with a mechanical chronograph module mounted on the dial side.
- The calibre 13 1⁄4´´´ ETA E20.321 with display of hours, minutes and seconds by means of hands, liquid crystal display covering the whole dial and able to indicate another time zone, a perpetual calendar, a daily alarm, a diary alarm, a chronograph mechanism with 1/100 second and a countdown function enlarged the family of multifunctional chronographs.
- The calibre 131⁄4´´´ ETA 251.292 is a quartz chronograph with the functions fly-back hand and fly-back.

Equally important novelties in the field of SWATCH:
- The «SWATCH .Beat Aluminium»: it takes up the philosophy of the plastic .Beat, but with a metal case, which is water-resistant to 100 metres.
- The new «SWATCH .Beat Access» is fitted with an Access transponder.
- The new «SWATCH Skin Golden Jelly», entirely transparent, with its approximately 60 gold-plated parts.
- And finally the «SWATCH Irony Medium» with hours, minutes, seconds and date, made of inox and aluminium, also available in chronograph versions for men or women.
- ETA had its quality management system (QMS) certified with success according to international standards. The whole ETA SA now meets the requirements of the series of ISO 9000 standards.

2000:ETA continued to enlarge the family of Autoquartz movements with the calibre 11 1⁄2´´´ 205.961, equipped with hour, minute and second display and 24H GMT function, i.e. another time zone displayed by means of a second hour hand.

- The calibre 4 7⁄8´´´ ETA E01.701 with electronic time setting by means of a push-piece on the side or in the back of the case.
- The calibre 13 1⁄4´´´ ETA 251.242 is a quartz chronograph with alarm function without digital LCD display.

Equally important novelties in the field of SWATCH:
- The «SWATCH Irony Scuba 200 Chrono» is a big chronograph, water-resistant to 200 metres.
- The new «SWATCH Skin .Beat» is the flattest watch with digital display world-wide. It indicates the local time or the .beat time (Swatch Internet Time).
- The new «SWATCH .Beat Alumini» is the first small Swatch with digital LCD display.
- A small revolution in the world of watches with «SWATCH Square S2», which is the first rectangular Swatch. It displays hours, minutes and seconds by means of hands.
- The «SWATCH Scuba Access» with two transponders allows the user to refuel at different service stations and to pay with the function «Easypay». The watch can equally be used for the applications of the SkiData systems.
- The general organisation of ETA SA was reoriented in the project «ETA 2000 plus». The responsibility for the quality of products and services was integrated into the corresponding business units (BU) and service units (SU).
- Michel and Switec became an integral part of Micro Components SA in January 2001. This grouping in the field of microtechnology allows realistic optimism at the start of this 21st century.

2001:Owing to the entry into force of the new COSC regulations (Contrôle Officiel Suisse des Chronomètres) for quartz movements, ETA adapted ten calibres with a new electronic rate control system ensuring a precision of approx. +/- 10 seconds a year.
- The new ladies'quartz chronograph Ecoline 10 1⁄2´´´ ETA G15.211 offers numerous casing possibilities thanks to its dimensions, and is notably suitable for rectangular men's watches.
- ETA enlarged the range of traditional decorations for mechanical movements.

Equally important novelties in the field of SWATCH:
- The «SWATCH Skin Chrono» is the world's flattest chronograph.
- Neither tourbillon nor carrousel: the «SWATCH Diaphane One» sets all dial-side elements in motion thanks to its carriage, which makes one complete turn every 30 minutes.
- The «SWATCH Medium .beat Alu» differs from its family by its unisex dimensions.
- «Swatch X-Large»: the innovation consists in its dimensions, which are 30% larger than those of the Gent original model.

2002:The new middle-range movement line TRENDLINE comprising four calibres replaced the Normflatline Standard family. All movements feature three hands and a calendar, they are goldplated and equipped with an EOL battery end of life indicator.

- The calibre 3 3⁄4´´´ x 6 3⁄4´´´ ETA 280.702 displays the hours and minutes with hands. Its originality lies in its innovative hand-setting device. An ingenious electronic system enables the user to move the hands forwards or backwards by touching the back of the movement and thus of the watch with a micro magnet.

- The calibre family 7750 was completed by the ETA 7753 movement. Its minute counter was placed at 3 o'clock in order to leave the space at 12 o'clock free for the brand name and logo of the customer.

- The Mecaline Spécialité family was also enlarged by the chronographs 10 1⁄2´´´ ETA 2094 and 131⁄4´´´ ETA 7770 with Rattrapante hand.

Equally important novelties in the field of SWATCH:
- The new «SWATCH Square Chrono» completed the family of square Swatch watches by its larger size and its chronograph functions.
- The «SWATCH Diaphane Automatic» marries plastic with aluminium on the basis of an automatic movement.
- The «SWATCH 27th Canton» was launched at the beginning of the national exhibition Expo.02.The 27th Canton is not a state but a state of mind.

2003:At the beginning of the year, ETA SA abandoned the name «Fabriques d’Ebauches» and took on the new company name «Manufacture Horlogère Suisse», which is better suited to its activities.

- The calibre 13 1⁄4´´´ ETA 7754 was added to the family of the automatic chronographs 7750. This calibre is equipped with an additional hour hand that goes around once every 24 hours.

- The calibre family 2892 was completed by the automatic movement 111⁄2´´´ ETA 2896 «Magnified Date Window». Thanks to a new instantaneous calendar jump mechanism on the basic movement 2892A2 it was possible to enlarge the surface of the date window more than 2.7 times – the largest date display on the market for 111⁄2´´´ calibers.
- The automatic calibre 111⁄2´´´ ETA 2897, which is also based on the 2892 calibre family, offers a power reserve indicator showing the state of wind of the mainspring.
- The mechanical calibre 8 3⁄4´´´ ETA 1727-1, which is wound up manually, is equipped with a small second hand between the centre and six o’clock. This movement, robust for a ladies’ watch, is especially suited for jewel-watches.

Equally important novelties in the field of SWATCH:
- The «Swatch Gent Touch Loomi» is equipped with a new mechanism to activate the light. Thanks to a miniature accelerometer and a new integrated circuit that was developed in cooperation with EM Microélectronic-Marin SA the fluorescent dial can be activated simply by tapping on the crystal with your finger.
- The «Swatch Touch Alarm» is equipped with two hands. When you tap on the crystal, the hands will turn until they show the alarm time. A slight tap on the crystal will also stop the alarm.
- A tap on the «Swatch Touch Game» activates the functions of a random generator: The hands join and then randomly move to one of the answers marked on the dial.

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