Saturday, January 30, 2010

IWC Schaffhausen : Portuguese Minute Repeater Ref. IW5449

The minute repeater mechanism from IWC Schaffhausen, which features in the Grande
Complication and Portuguese Minute Repeater,is one of the most beautiful and exclusive horological complications. This model, which was launched in 2009, is stylistically consistent with its predecessors – the most noticeable difference being that the seconds display has moved from “9 o’clock” to “6 o’clock”.

The minute repeater, which, because of its level of horological complexity, is built far less frequently today than the tourbillon, for example, is the most emotional of all the watch complications. Not only is it a feast for the eyes, but it is also music to the ears and penetrates directly into the realm of human feelings, where it strikes very archaic chords. Making the actual time audible and measurable once again, in the same way as the tower clocks with their striking mechanism, adds a quality to the perception of time beyond a fleeting or even lingering glance at the dial.



In the 1980s, when IWC Schaffhausen developed a minute repeater of its own for its Grande Complication model and invested many thousands of man-hours into this project, it not only arrived at a result that was technically outstanding in every respect, but it also acquired a taste for it. This acoustic work of art on the wrist,
which, in response to a movement of the slide, chimes out the time accurately to the minute on two gongs with different pitches, has since been a permanent feature of its speciality watches.

IWC has developed and produced a considerable number of repeating mechanisms in the last two decades – for the Grande Complication, the Il Destriero Scafusia and for various limited series of repeating watches ( built since 1995 in the case of the Portuguese model. All were powered by the proven IWC 95290 calibre pocket watch movement. This is a very accurate, very traditional and very slim drive mechanism of
the so-called Lépine type intended for openface pocket watches.

In the new Portuguese Minute Repeater, the case has grown by two millimetres to 44 millimetres, the height is now 14 millimetres, and the number of watches will be limited to 500 each in platinum and rose gold.



The Portuguese Minute Repeater has been given a larger case to accommodate a new drive mechanism. Once again, this is a hand-wound pocket watch movement – the 98950 calibre – of which the origins can be traced back to the 1920s and which has since been the subject of constant nurture, improvement and modernisation.It is a movement with real staying power,which has retained its virtues, but has also been enhanced with a few of the stylistic elements of the early Jones calibres: balance with highprecision adjustment cam on the balance bars, Breguet balance spring, nickel-silver three-quarter bridge, long precision adjustment index and special decoration with gilt engraving.To explain the small difference that is visible on the dial, involving the relocation of the seconds display from“9 o’clock” to “6 o’clock”, a few horological details need to be added: the 98000 calibre family has always been a so-called Savonette or hunter movement, designed for pocket watches with a hinged cover. This means that the winding stem (crown) and the small seconds hand lie at an angle of 90 degrees in relation to one another. Conversely, in the Lépine style, which includes the 95 calibre family, the wheel train arrangement has the winding stem and the small seconds hand in a straight line. It actually makes sense for an open-face pocket watch to have the seconds display at “6 o’clock”. This is a rather unusual position in a pocket watch for the wrist, which is viewed like a watch with a hinged cover, because the seconds display must then be positioned at “9 o’clock”. All previous Portuguese Minute Repeaters have featured and have been distinguishable by this minor eccentricity. Most wearers even find the unaccustomed arrangement charming. On the other hand, the present Portuguese Minute Repeater will appeal to lovers of the classic dial design.

Stylistically, the new Portuguese Minute Repeater is consistent with the previous models. The repeating mechanism, in which 205 individual parts act in concert as if in a mechanical orchestra, also remains largely the same. This strikes all the hours that have passed since the last twelve o’clock on its lower-pitched gong, the quarters that have passed since the last full hour as double strikes, and the minutes that have passed since the last quarter as strikes on the higher-pitched gong. It has an all-or-nothing mechanism, which ensures that the chiming sequence
is only activated when the lateral repeating slide is depressed correctly. The repeating slide brings the horological exclusivity of this speciality watch to the notice of a connoisseur. The transparent sapphire glass back provides a view of the finely decorated movement, of which the balance oscillates at a rate of 18,000 beats
per hour.



What watch lover has not dreamt about such a masterpiece from time to time? That is why IWC continues to hold onto this horological anachronism. Even if there is no longer any real “need” for it since the invention of the electric light and luminous hands.

Technical details:
Features:IWC minute repeater in a 44 millimetre diameter Portuguese case with a 98950 calibre mechanical movement, hand-wound, small hacking seconds, limited to 500 watches in platinum and 500 watches in 18 ct red gold.

Ref. IW5449

Movement
-Calibre 98950
-Beats 18,000/h
-Jewels 52
-Power reserve 46 h
-Winding hand-wound

Case
Materials:
-watch in 18 ct red gold with silver-plated dial and brown alligator leather strap,
folding clasp in 18 ct red gold
-watch in platinum with silver-plated dial and black alligator leather strap,
folding clasp in platinum
Glass sapphire, arched edge, antireflective coating on both sides
Back see-through sapphire-glass back
Diameter 44mm
Height 14 mm

IWC Schaffhausen : Portuguese Perpetual Calendar Ref. IW5021 & Ref. IW5023

The manufacturer has treated the Portuguese Perpetual Calendar, its specialist for long calendar periods, to a gentle facelift and an extension to the model range: two new variants in red gold and two in white gold increase the variety of models on offer. Technically, there was nothing left to improve. This time machine with its perpetual calendar stands for sheer perfection.

It is the Portuguese watch which one might easily have imagined on the wrist of famous seafarers. Learned individuals with the necessary far-sightedness, spirit of discovery and a concrete vision of the future. Because the future is precisely the area of expertise of this particular time machine, which is as beguiling as it is technically impressive. The perpetual calendar, invented 25 years ago, lives on here in all its original complexity and genius – in conjunction with an IWC-manufactured large movement from the 50000-calibre family with a seven-day power reserve.

This is an ideal combination for a complicated watch with calendar indications displaying the date, day, month, year in four digits and perpetual moon phase. The watch displays advance completely autonomously, mechanically programmed and synchronized with one another. Save for a leap day correction that becomes necessary in February 2100, this continues uninterrupted and without any intervention on the part of the wearer, who simply needs to input the required kinetic energy via the highly efficient Pellaton winding system of the automatic movement when wearing the watch. According to the complicated Gregorian calendar, which always assures years of almost constant length, the leap day that would be due to occur is absent at the end of February in the year in question, 2100, and this will necessitate an adjustment by a watchmaker. It might thus be appropriate to ensure that one’s grandson or great-grandson is aware of this fact. In that faroff year, incidentally, the century slide at the end of a long transmission chain will also be advanced by a couple of millimetres, and the numeral “21” for the next hundred years set in the display window in place of the currently indicated “20” to make the year display complete.



The beguiling new eternity in the form of the Portuguese Perpetual Calendar retains its two familiar faces: one model of this watch is equipped with a quasi-universal hemisphere lunar display (Ref. 5021), in which the miniature model of the Earth’s satellite is pictured twice. Exactly as the phases of the moon appear when viewed from the northern or southern hemisphere – that is to say reversed. This distinctive optical feature has to do with the visual angle and the different point of observation. The number of days remaining until the next full moon can also be read precisely on a supplementary countdown scale in this model. The new Portuguese Perpetual Calendar in 18 carat red gold with hemisphere lunar display (Ref. 5021) differs from the previous rose gold model through the rather warmer hue of the case material. The second new model,the white gold variant with a midnight blue dial and silver-plated highlights, for example for the seconds subdial or on the moon disc, presents a particularly attractive side as regards colour. The simultaneous display of the two moons functions as follows: it is not the moon disc itself that moves, but an engraved disc representing the globe with two circular cut-outs set against a silver-coloured background, which carries two blue circular surfaces in a horizontal plane. In this way, the moon in the southern hemisphere is shown mirror-inverted or laterally reversed in relation to the moon in the northern hemisphere.

A second version of the Portuguese Perpetual Calendar is available with the classic cut-out moon phase display when observed from the northern hemisphere (Ref. 5023). The Earth’s satellite waxes onto this miniature stage from the left behind the semicircular setting becomes visible in the middle as a full moon and wanes on the right side behind the second semicircle. It is accompanied on the moon disc by small raised stars. The two new models with the representation of the moon behind a setting are now also housed in the 44.2-millimetre case of their sibling models (Ref. 5021). These are the variant in 18 carat red gold with a silver-plated dial, solid red gold appliqués and a red goldplated moon surrounded by small stars, and a highly discreet model in 18 carat white gold with rhodium-plated appliqués and a slate-coloured dial.

As far as the key astronomical indication of the Portuguese Perpetual Calendar, the moon, is concerned, it is able to match the precision of scientific instruments: in these watch models – and in these alone – the gearing has been modified, thanks to the available space, so as to permit the moon cycle to be displayed with unprecedented accuracy. A tiny residual error of 12 seconds per lunar period (29 days, 12 hours, 44 minutes and 3 seconds) will add up to a deviation of just one day after 577 years. In other words: only the moon in the heavens is more accurate according to our current state of knowledge. And then only by a small margin.

Features:Portuguese Perpetual Calendar Ref. IW5021
IWC-manufactured movement with Pellaton winding system and seven-day power reserve,perpetual calendar, perpetual moon phase display, hemisphere lunar display, four-digit year display, small hacking seconds, Breguet spring, rotor with 18 ct yellow gold medallion.

Movement:Calibre 51614,Beats:21,600/h,Jewels:62,Power reserve:7 days (168 h);Winding: automatic

Case:
Materials
-watch in 18 ct red gold with black dial and dark brown alligator leather strap, folding clasp in 18 ct red gold
-watch in 18 ct white gold with midnight blue dial and black alligator leather strap, folding clasp in 18 ct white gold
Glass sapphire, convex,antireflective coating on both sides
Back see-through sapphire-glass back
Water-resistant 3 bar
Diameter 44.2mm
Height 15.5mm

Features:Portuguese Perpetual Calendar Ref. IW5023
IWC-manufactured movement with Pellaton winding system and seven-day power reserve,perpetual calendar, perpetual moon phase display, cut-out lunar display, four-digit year display, small hacking seconds, Breguet spring, rotor with 18 ct yellow gold medallion.

Movement:Calibre 51613'Beats 21,600/h,Jewels 62,Power reserve 7 days (168 h),Winding automatic

Case
Materials :
-watch in 18 ct red gold with silver-plated dial and dark brown alligator leather strap,folding clasp in 18 ct red gold
-watch in 18 ct white gold with slate-coloured dial and dark brown alligator leather strap, folding clasp in 18 ct white gold
Glass sapphire, convex,antireflective coating on both sides
Back see-through sapphire-glass back
Water-resistant 3 bar
Diameter 44.2mm
Height 15.5mm

IWC Schaffhausen :Portuguese Tourbillon Hand-Wound Ref. IW5447

A new tourbillon classic takes its place in the Portuguese family, with a hand-wound pocket watch movement – tradition in its purest form. The Portuguese Tourbillon Hand- Wound is an horological gem and a tribute to the founder of the company, F. A. Jones.

Beware of a strong whirlwind approaching from 270 degrees West. This is not a weather alert,but the briefest possible description of the new Portuguese Tourbillon Hand-Wound. Tourbillon translates as whirlwind. The escapement in the rotating carriage is also clearly visible on the dial at “9 o’clock”, in nautical parlance at 270 degrees West. The Portuguese Tourbillon Hand- Wound follows in the wake of the limited-edition Portuguese Regulateur Tourbillon, itself dedicated to devotees of earlier observatory watches, with its hour display in a separate subdial.

The new Portuguese Tourbillon Hand-Wound presents the familiar face of the Portuguese with its elegant feuille hands and a chapter ring in the railway-track style. Any appearance by the Portuguese Tourbillon Hand-Wound always attracts attention: initially, it projects only a little from beneath the cuff of the wearer’s shirt. Yet it is unmistakeably a Portuguese, a refined icon, with the sweeping signature of the American founder of the company, F. A. Jones, on the dial. The flying minute tourbillon only emerges with the final third of the dial and reveals its affiliation to the horological nobility. The tourbillon has always been perceived as a statement of expertise and exquisite horological taste. One simply never tires of marvelling at this precision mechanical performance.

The allusion to continuing tradition is also embodied in the watchmaking technology of the Portuguese Tourbillon Hand-Wound. The mechanical IWC-manufactured 98900 calibre movement can be observed through the seethrough sapphire-glass back. It lies at the top of a long ancestral line of famous pocket watch movements from the Schaffhausen manufacturer and is ideally suited for large wristwatches with hand winding. The first Portuguese watches dating from the late 1930s were already equipped with pocket watch movements. Based on the 98000-calibre family that has been built and nurtured since the 1920s, it now combines tradition with the latest watchmaking advances.

The finely decorated nickel-silver three-quarter bridge evokes the design principle of the earliest Jones calibres. Its visual counterpart is the bridge for the minute tourbillon provided with a gold medallion (Probus Scafusia). The balance frequency of this drive mechanism has been increased from 18,000 to 28,800 beats per hour.The index-free balance thus oscillates four times per second as it rotates in its cage. Precision adjustment is carried out via four adjusting screws. The higher frequency in conjunction with the modern escapement system assures excellent accuracy.



The Portuguese Tourbillon Hand-Wound, with a chunky crown used to supply a power reserve of 54 hours, is housed in a case with a diameter of 43.1 millimetres and a height of only 11 millimetres. Extraordinary things come in small numbers, however: this horological gem in 18 carat red gold is limited to 500 pieces.

Technical details:
Features:IWC-manufactured pocket watch movement with hand winding and nickel-silver threequarter bridge, flying minute tourbillon with 47 parts; limited edition of 500 pieces.

Ref. IW5447

Movement
-Calibre 98900
-Beats 28,800/h /4 Hz
-Jewels 21
-Power reserve 54 h
-Winding hand-wound
-Tourbillon weight 0.689 g

Case
Materials
-watch in 18 ct red gold with a black dial and a black alligator leather strap, folding clasp in 18 ct red gold
Glass sapphire, convex, antireflective coating on both sides
Back see-through sapphire-glass back
Water-resistant 3 bar
Diameter 43.1mm
Height 11mm

IWC Schaffhausen :Portuguese Tourbillon Mystère Rétrograde Ref. IW5044

The Portuguese Tourbillon Mystère has for many years been one of the most beautiful watches with a rotating carriage escapement. The designers at IWC Schaffhausen have now refined this coveted and exclusive timepiece with its seven-day power reserve to include an extraordinary date display.

This is the diva of the Portuguese family – provocative, beautiful and mysterious. Its admirers have continued to increase in number ever since it made its debut in 2004. This can be attributed to its generous proportions, its special class and the remarkable setting of its tourbillon escapement – as an “animated twelve” against a deep black background. The Portuguese Tourbillon Mystère owes its mysteriousness to the illusion that the fine cage containing the balance appears to rotate in a void. The designers at IWC have now refined this already mysterious watch to include a date indicator that flies back at the end of the month – as the Portuguese Tourbillon Mystère Rétrograde.

The graduated scale for the supplementary flyback date indicator, which is integrated into theIWC-manufactured 51900-calibre movement, extends over one quarter of the surface of the generously dimensioned dial. On reaching the end of any months with 31 days – January, March, May, July, August, October, December – the date indicator springs back automatically to “1”. In shorter months, or also if the watch has not been worn for some time, the date indicator can be advanced by the rapid adjustment function and flies back to the first day of the month. The time does not need to be adjusted in conjunction with this. This superior watch is now enhanced by an exceptional display.



The small seconds, which previously occupied this position, is replaced in a particularly appealing fashion by the minute tourbillon. Its steel cage with the three characteristic stays arranged in the shape of a star performs this function. On the right half of the dial, the indicator for the seven-day power reserve displays information about the remaining available power of the spring barrel, which is supplied to it in a highly efficient manner via the proven Pellaton winding system of this calibre family. The flying minute tourbillon, that is to say it is supported on only one side, consists of 81 parts and weighs 0.433 gram. It provides the focal point of this dial-cum-stage as an “animated twelve” and rotates against the deep black background of the black under part of its cage – a wheel which rotates together with the cage once every minute.

Whereas in the previous model the tourbillon was still embedded in a plate segment decorated with cylindrical grinding, in the Portuguese Tourbillon Mystère Rétrograde it is set in a ring that is mirror-finished on the inside, in which the parts of the escapement are reflected once again. For aside from the technical delicacy of this escapement, the Portuguese Tourbillon Mystère Rétrograde is above all a true feast for the eyes.



In addition to the 500-piece limited edition of the variant in 18 carat red gold with solid gold appliqués and a silver-plated dial, a 250-piece limited edition of the variant in platinum with a ruthenium-black dial and rhodium-plated hands and indices is also available.

Technical details:
Features:Mechanical IWC-manufactured movement with Pellaton winding system and seven-day power reserve, retrograde date display, flying minute tourbillon with 81 parts, Breguet spring, rotor with 18 ct yellow gold medallion; red gold variant limited to 500 pieces, platinum variant limited to 250 pieces.

Ref. IW5044

Movement
-Calibre 51900
-Beats 19,800/h
-Jewels 44
-Power reserve 7 days (168 h)
-Winding automatic
-Tourbillon weight 0.433 g

Case
Materials
-watch in 18 ct red gold with silver-plated dial and dark brown alligator leather strap, folding clasp in 18 ct red gold
-watch in platinum with ruthenium-black dial and black alligator leather strap, folding clasp in platinum
Glass sapphire, convex, antireflective coating on both sides
Back see-through sapphire-glass back
Water-resistant 3 bar
Diameter 44.2mm
Height 15.5mm

IWC Schaffhausen :The Portuguese Grande Complication Ref. IW3774

The Grande Complication from IWC Schaffhausen,which brought the highest horological complications together in a wristwatch as a world-first precisely twenty years ago, now appears for the first time in a Portuguese case. It also retains its impressive technical inventory: perpetual calendar, minute repeater and chronograph with automatic movement.

Vasco da Gama’s flagship, on which he sailed around the Cape of Good Hope more than 500 years ago and discovered the sea route to India, was the caravel Nau São Gabriel. The new flagship of the most celebrated family of watches from IWC is the Portuguese Grande Complication. This is the superlative watch from IWC,which in 1990 was the first manufacturer to bring together the highest horological complications and to make them “wearable” as a wristwatch. A timepiece of the highest prestige and a solitaire in the collection, which is limited to 50 numbered examples annually. This masterpiece now has a new home inside the Portuguese case – and a new face.



Grande Complication – lying behind this title of distinction in the world of Haute Horlogerie is the ancient dream of making the most significant discoveries of the watchmaker’s craft oscillate, run and even chime together. Precisely twenty years ago, the engineers at IWC realized this dream, a feat that brought worldwide acclaim to the manufacturer. It took more than seven years of intensive development work in Schaffhausen before 657 individual parts could be assembled together in the smallest possible space in order to bring to fruition a perfectly functioning whole, which, in spite of its complexity, is characterized by its ingeniously simple operation and total suitability for everyday use.Only the most talented designers and master watchmakers can accomplish this. And that is why the range of such exceptional achievements has been very limited to this day.

The Portuguese Grande Complication, for which a new case with a diameter of 45 millimetres has been created, inherits an extraordinarily wellproven technical inventory: the 79091-calibre chronograph movement with automatic winding and aggregate time recording up to 12 hours, the minute repeater – a complication specially constructed at the time – which belongs to the most modern and reliable mechanisms of its kind and, last but not least, the autonomous perpetual calendar. It also shows the wearer the year, decade, century and millennium in a four-digit display, as well as the day, date and month, in a way that is unsurpassed to this day.A perpetual moon phase display, with a deviation of only a single day in 122 years from the actual cycle of the moon, is connected to the calendar, which requires no adjustments or interventions on the part of the wearer until the year 2100 and advances all the calendar indications in a mechanically programmed and synchronous manner.

The previous Grande Complication, which will continue to be built in parallel, already possessed water-resistance to 1 bar thanks to the patented slide mechanism; in the case of a minute repeater, this is almost equivalent to squaring the circle. In the new Portuguese Grande Complication, the water-resistance has been increased to an impressive 3 bar. The new flagship of this watch family is entirely in keeping with the spirit of the Portuguese seafarers, and this can also be seen in engraving on the back of the red gold case. A sextant, which is an indispensable instrument of nautical navigation alongside the watch, is a reference here to this spiritual affinity.



The substantially larger silver-plated dial provides a perfect setting for the calendar indications of such a complex watch. Against the background of a discreetly engraved globe with its degrees of longitude and latitude – positioned,incidentally, in the correct 23.4-degree angle of inclination of the terrestrial axis – the counters for the chronograph and the calendar indications are accommodated in addition to the small seconds and the moon phase display. A shaped sapphire glass that has antireflective coating on both sides arches over the dial with its solid red gold appliqués, Arabic numerals for the hours and railway track-style chapter ring. The rectangular, lightly bevelled operating buttons of the chronograph capture the understated style of the Portuguese case. Only the slide on the left side of the case, which “makes the music”, reveals to an expert the nature of the precision mechanical refinement that is concealed inside this watch with its minute repeater. Speaking of which, in spite of the increased water-resistance of the case, the loudness and the balanced sound quality have not been impaired. This is assured not least by the larger sound chamber and a cleverly engineered solution, which utilizes the sapphire glass for transmission of the sound to the outside. Cast off – for the new flagship of the Portuguese fleet.



Technical details:
Features:Grande Complication with 657 mechanical components, automatic chronograph movement, perpetual calendar with display of the day, date, month and the complete year in four digits, perpetual moon phase, minute repeater, small hacking seconds, engraving of a sextant on the case back.

Ref. IW3774

Movement
-Calibre 79091
-Beats 28,800/h
-Jewels 75
-Power reserve 44 h
-Winding automatic

Case
Materials :watch and folding clasp in 18 ct red gold,silver-plated dial, dark brown alligator leather strap with 18 ct red gold stitching
Glass sapphire, arched edge, antireflective coating on both sides
Water-resistant 3 bar
Diameter 45mm
Height 16.5mm

IWC Schaffhausen :The Portuguese Hand-Wound Ref. IW5454

The Portuguese Hand-Wound is a contemporary witness to IWC’s Portuguese family of watches, which has been in existence since 1939. Often when the manufacturer celebrates a significant anniversary, it presents connoisseurs with an item that further extends that particular success story. That is once again the case with this unassuming beauty, which celebrates the family’s eighth decade.

The story lives on and impresses through its exceptional levels of achievement. This was already the case in 1993, when the Schaffhausen manufacturer brought the Portuguese watch from 1939 back into the present day as an outstanding example of its skill and expertise to mark the 125th anniversary of its founding. This provided the initial spark for the establishment of the Portuguese family, the most important range of watches from IWC Schaffhausen. The “IWC Vintage Collection”, issued to commemorate the manufacturer’s 140th birthday, was also not complete without a contemporary interpretation of this horological classic.

In 2010, the manufacturer’s “Year of the Portuguese”,in which this horological celebrity enters its eighth decade, the Portuguese Hand-Wound once again builds a bridge between the past and the present and adds another chapter to the story of this historic model. The manufacturer thus delights all connoisseurs of this horological beauty with two unlimited steel models. For it was in a stainless steel case with an original pocket watch movement that the first pocket watch-style wristwatch made its appearance seventy years ago.



The puristic Portuguese line, which combined a timeless, elegant design language with an ultimate degree of horological perfection even when first created, is considered by experts and collectors to be one of the very few watches which epitomizes good taste regardless of prevailing trends. Because only true values endure. Its characteristic design elements – shape of the case, size and design of the dial – are nonnegotiable.

As a result, it is easier to explain what distinguishes this novelty from earlier Portuguese models than what they have in common. The Portuguese Hand-Wound in stainless steel with a black dial, rhodium-plated Arabic numerals and the characteristic feuille hands is conspicuous by its silver-plated seconds subdial with the distinctive detail of a “60” in signal red.Its sibling model with a silver plated dial and rose gold-plated indices and hands stands out with its seconds subdial in light grey, also with a small red “60”. Features common to both are the typical chapter ring in the traditional railwaytrack style and, as the drive mechanism, the IWC-manufactured 98295 calibre with stylistic echoes of the first Jones movements, such as the nickel-silver three-quarter bridge and the elongated index to facilitate precision adjustment of the effective length of the spring. The manufacturer recalls its roots with these two unassuming beauties – and once again pays a compliment to that very first Portuguese watch which approached so close to the ideal of a perfect mechanical watch such a long time ago.

Technical details:
Features:Mechanical movement, balance with highprecision adjustment cam on the balance arms, Breguet spring, plate and nickel-silver three-quarter bridge, elongated precision adjustment index, special decoration (Geneva stripes), small hacking seconds.

Ref. IW5454

Movement
-Calibre 98295
-Beats 18,000/h
-Jewels 18
-Power reserve 46 h
-Winding hand-wound

Case
Materials
-watch in stainless steel with black dial and black alligator leather strap, pin buckle in stainless steel
-watch in stainless steel with silver-plated dial and black alligator leather strap, pin buckle in stainless steel
Glass sapphire, arched edge, antireflective coating on both sides
Back see-through sapphire-glass back
Water-resistant 3 bar
Diameter 44mm
Height 10mm

IWC Schaffhausen :The Portuguese Yacht Club Chronograph Ref. IW3902

One of watchmaking’s genuine legends of the last century from IWC Schaffhausen is now back in a new guise: the Portuguese Yacht Club Chronograph introduces a sportingly elegant note into the Portuguese family for the first time, with an IWC-manufactured chronograph movement and technical features that are quite impressive.

Times change. And so do boats, to invoke a maritime image: if the model under the Yacht Club name – the most successful IWC of the 1960s and 70s – was a sturdy craft on the river of time, then the new Portuguese Yacht Club Chronograph has rather more of an elegant racing yacht about it. And, as we know, the demands placed on the equipment are nowhere so high as when navigating on the high seas.

The legendary name of this unpretentious watch with its automatic winding system and its movement spring-mounted in the case is back. And yet the Yacht Club for the third millennium does not mimic the past in any way. This is clear from a first glimpse of the new Portuguese Yacht Club Chronograph. This new creation – a chronograph with the well established IWC-manufactured 89360-calibre movement – is an elegant sports watch and embodies the best technical ingredients. This makes it a reliable timepiece whose functionality is beyond reproach and in which every detail,however minor, has been optimized. Not least, it is also a nautical precision instrument, because it will not let its owner down, even when sailing in rough seas.

The Portuguese Yacht Club Chronograph is the most sporting watch in the rich tradition of its family history that goes back more than seventy years, and as such it is water-resistant to 6 bar and is equipped with a screw-in crown and a crown protection. Its chronograph permits the recording of aggregate times of up to twelve hours on the common counter for the minutes and hours and can be reset to zero via the flyback function at any time while running, so that it is instantly ready to start measuring a new time. There are many ways of measuring long stop times. Yet none are as convenient and unambiguous as those provided by the analogue display of the 89360 calibre: these can be read like a normal time display. In addition, the movement with its integral chronograph is designed in such a way that the measurement of even long stop times does not lead to fluctuations in amplitude and associated inaccuracy. The signal red centre stopwatch hand in effect also plays a central role. Together with the supplementary flange for seconds and fractions of a second, it allows extremely accurate short-interval timing.



In terms of functionality, the dial appeals with its clear railway track-style chapter ring and – for the first time in the Portuguese family – with luminescent indices and hands. It also incorporates date and small seconds displays. In spite of its sporting characteristics, the new Portuguese Yacht Club Chronograph represents a Portuguese that is true to type with its consummately neat dial and Arabic numerals. The Yacht Club is reporting back for duty in a remarkable way after an absence of around a quarter of a century. It is available as the Portuguese Yacht Club Chronograph in three variants: in steel with a silver-plated dial, rhodium-plated luminescent hands and appliqués. Again in steel with a black dial, silver-plated flange and rhodium- plated hands and appliqués, also luminescent. The most refined model in 18 carat red gold has an slate-coloured dial with a sun pattern ground finish, subtly contrasted by the black small seconds display circle and the black ring for the aggregate minutes of the chronograph. This model is distinguished additionally by gold-plated hands and solid red gold appliqués.

All three variants are worn on a black rubber strap with a folding clasp. And during those hours of total calm on board, far out to sea, a glance through the sapphire-glass back at the IWC-manufactured movement with IWC’s double-pawl winding even brings the yachtsman a little distraction…

Technical details:
Features:Chronograph with IWC-manufactured automatic movement and IWC’s double-pawl winding, flyback function, stopwatch function with hours, minutes and seconds, hour and minute counters combined in a single subdial at 12 o’clock, date display, small hacking seconds, crown protection.

Ref. IW3902

Movement
-Calibre 89360
-Beats 28,800/h
-Jewels 40
-Power reserve 68 h
-Winding automatic

Case
Materials
-watch in stainless steel with silver-plated dial and black rubber strap, folding clasp in stainless steel
-watch in stainless steel with black dial and black rubber strap, folding clasp in stainless steel
-watch in 18 ct red gold with slate-coloured dial and black rubber strap, folding clasp in 18 ct red gold

Glass sapphire, convex,antireflective coating on both sides
Back see-through sapphire-glass back
Crown screw-in
Water-resistant 6 bar
Diameter 45.4mm
Height 14.5mm

IWC Schaffhausen :The Da Vinci Chronograph Ceramic

What belongs together comes together. IWC Schaffhausen is treating its chronograph movement to a ceramic case made of zirconium oxide. Entirely in the spirit of its namesake Leonardo da Vinci, the Da Vinci Chronograph Ceramic embodies innovation and first-class engineering in perfected form.

The world owes a great deal to Leonardo da Vinci.The universal genius from Tuscany created incomparably beautiful works of art, investigated and documented natural laws, and designed buildings and machines which were often far ahead of their time. Innumerable sketches also provide evidence of his enthusiasm for watchmaking. Many of his pioneering discoveries in the area of helical and bevel gears and complicated screw transmissions are to this day component parts of many machines – including watches.

Fascinated and inspired by the spirit of Leonardo,the watchmakers of IWC Schaffhausen have given the name Da Vinci to particularly innovative models at regular intervals in the past. The Da Vinci model from 1985, for example,made watchmaking history. At a stage when quartz already appeared to have superseded mechanics in the measurement of time, the Schaffhausen company focused its attention on the beauty and strength of mechanics and built a mechanical chronograph with a perpetual calendar, which played a part in the renaissance of the mechanical watch. The design of the complicated mechanism and its user-friendly operation can be summarized as being ingenious in their simplicity. Only one year later, in 1986, IWC Schaffhausen provided further proof of its love of innovation by building the first watch with a case made from the extremely hard, scratch-resistant and impact resistant ceramic, zirconium oxide. This milestone of case engineering also bore the name Da Vinci.

In the year 2007, when IWC Schaffhausen presented its newly developed flyback chronograph movement, this appropriately made its debut in the completely redesigned Da Vinci family.The IWC-manufactured movement is conspicuous with a number of design features that are unique. Particularly noteworthy is the display of the recorded time, which has bid farewell to all its classic predecessors in the interests of improved user-friendliness. The recorded hours and minutes can now be read on a counter in the 12 o’clock position like a second time display.The 89360 calibre also stands out with a new double-pawl winding system and a flyback function: actuation of the lower button during a timing function causes the recorded time to return to zero and restart immediately, but without stopping the stopwatch mechanism.

Such an extraordinary movement also merits an extraordinary case, in addition to a see-through sapphire-glass back; after all, the Da Vinci family is still inspired to this day by the special ability of Leonardo to think and act innovatively and imaginatively both technically and creatively.The tonneau-shaped design, which draws its strength from the interaction between edges and curves, between convex and concave forms, has now been translated into an exceptional material combination of ceramic and titanium in the new Da Vinci Chronograph Ceramic.



The central section of the ceramic case of the new Da Vinci Chronograph Ceramic consists of zirconium oxide, which was first used in a watch case in 1986 – in a Da Vinci. This model was produced in only very small numbers because of the enormous difficulty in machining the hard material. Over the years, however, the technicians and engineers have acquired a lot of experience in the manufacture and machining of this extremely scratch-resistant, non-magnetic and acid-proof ceramic. The case blanks can now be formed more efficiently and with greater accuracy than before from the mixture of zirconium oxide powder and a binder. They are sintered at temperatures between 1500 and 2000 degrees Celsius followed by cooling in a complicated process to enable the material to attain all of its outstanding properties. Diamond tools are required for the intricate finishing of the blanks. At this point, the specialists at IWC possess such thorough mastery of this technology that the new Da Vinci Chronograph Ceramic will be available in unlimited numbers as a model in the collection. What is more, the case stands out with a technical highlight that is admired by experts. It is manufactured with such precision that the movement can be fitted directly into the ceramic case – without a movement security ring. The bezel, back, buttons and crown provide a colour contrast in the form of ultra-hard titanium grade 5, which, unlike the titanium alloys formerly used by IWC, can be polished and satin-finished. These two materials, titanium and ceramic, are not only extraordinarily robust and scratch-resistant, but they also have an extremely pleasant, silk-like feel. The special three-dimensional design of the dial with a réhaut volant – a tonneau-shaped minute display, which appears to float above the dial – adds to the attractiveness of the latest Da Vinci model. This flying chapter ring, a first for IWC, arcs in parallel with the sapphire glass and in so doing visually reduces the height of the inside of the bezel. The overall appearance is rounded off by a high-quality calfskin strap, to which a special finishing technique imparts a surface structure resembling that of a high-tech woven fabric. With the new Da Vinci Chronograph Ceramic,IWC Schaffhausen has achieved an impressive combination of high-tech and elegance.



Inspired by the diversity of Leonardo, the Da Vinci family of watches from IWC Schaffhausen stands for innovation and first-class engineering. The Da Vinci Chronograph Ceramic (Ref. 3766) captivates through an exclusive combination of ceramic and polished titanium materials.The Da Vinci Chronograph Ceramic (Ref. 3766) from IWC Schaffhausen is totally committed to the spirit of Leonardo. The successful combination of high-tech and elegance manifests itself in the modern case made of zirconium oxide and very brightly polished, ultra-hard titanium.The complicated watch mechanism is also a great achievement from an aesthetic standpoint. The Da Vinci Chronograph Ceramic (Ref. 3766) from IWC Schaffhausen shows off this considerable horological accomplishment impressively through the sapphire-glass back.



Technical details:
Features:Chronograph in a tonneau-shaped case made of the high-tech ceramic, zirconium oxide, and titanium, flyback function,IWC-manufactured automatic movement, stopwatch function with hours, minutes and seconds, hour and minute counters combined in a single subdial at 12 o’clock, small hacking seconds, date display,
luminescent hands and indices.

Movement
Calibre 89360
Beats 28,800/h
Jewels 40
Power reserve 68 h
Winding automatic

Case
Materials zirconium oxide central section, titanium grade 5 bezel and back, black calfskin strap,folding clasp in stainless steel

Dial:
Black, with a réhaut volant
Glass sapphire, convex, antireflective coating on both sides
Back see-through sapphire-glass back
Crown screw-in
Water-resistant 3 bar
Case dimensions 44352.8mm
Height 15.1mm

RAYMOND WEIL Noemia (Ref 5927-STS-00995), the official watch of The BRIT Awards 2010

To mark it’s status for the third year running as the Official Watch to The BRIT Awards 2010 with MasterCard, RAYMOND WEIL, the luxury Swiss watchmaker, have produced a special BRIT Awards timepiece that will be offered to artists who will performed during the event of the 16th February. This exclusive watch will be also available (in a limited edition – 30 pieces) for purchase through www.raymondweiluk.co.uk from January until March to mark the 30th anniversary of The BRIT Awards.

The soon to be launched Noemia 5927-STS-00995 has a flawlessly elegant diamond set mother of pearl dial encased in a delicately curved 27mm diamond encrusted case, engraved with this year’s BRIT Awards logo and an individual number. The crown features an intriguing midnight blue dome, which adds to the final harmony of the design.



Noemia, the official watch of The BRIT Awards 2010, pays tribute to the brand’s independence and family dimensions – the name is a subtle reference to the granddaughter of Mr Raymond Weil, the company founder. Once again RAYMOND WEIL has succeeded in reflecting the image of today’s musical talent while remaining true to it’s traditional values.

In addition, for each RAYMOND WEIL Brit Awards watch sold, a donation of £100 will be made to The BRIT Trust, the official BRIT Awards charity that specialises in encouraging young people to explore the educational, cultural and therapeutic benefits of music.

Fortis Spaceleader Chronograph By Volkswagen Design Limited Edition

Experience tomorrows visions yet today. Already today, futurologists define the automobile future of the 3rd millennium. A result of these visions poured in form is the FORTIS SPACELEADER CHRONOGRAPH by VOLKSWAGEN DESIGN: A team consisting of creative heads at Volkswagen Design and experienced watchmakers and technicians of traditional Swiss watch manufacturer FORTIS developed a contemporary chronograph together, equipped with a premium automatic movement with the forward-looking name SPACELEADER.

Cultivate the established and invent the new The micro mechanical high precision watch movement is securely embedded by the black caoutchouc bracelet which keeps the watch grounded safely on the wrist. The characteristics of the new styled bracelet result in an ergonomically and comfortable shape. On one side the highly polished steel case reflects whereas on the other side the special new bracelet developed only for this watch, protectively surrounds the operation devices crown and pusher. The sapphire crystal is anti-reflective on both sides to guarantee an excellent legibility. The aesthetic clear-cut design of the automobile designers is multiply repeated in all functional elements of the watch, stands for its distinctive character and grants a high recognition value of this limited edition.



Professionals decisions are based on a simple principle: ONLY THE BEST WILL DO FORTIS, founded in 1912, has a long tradition and went down in the book of history being the first watch factory in the world to produce automatic wrist watches. The latest advance in the highest art of watch making patented and internationally award winning, is the one and only FORTIS mechanical chronograph alarm calibre, combining stop watch and mechanical alarm in only one movement. Today, FORTIS watches are part of the equipment of different squadrons, in civil and military aviation and highly ranked in public recognition. Since 1994 FORTIS chronographs are part of the official equipment for space missions and on board the International Space Station ISS.

FORTIS SPACELEADER 1972 - 2010.
The spirit at the beginning of the space age is reflected not only in the model appellation of the FORTIS collection in the early 70s. Watches like Spacematic, Stratoliner and Spaceleader testify from the extraordinary technical precision and the creative will to independent designs. Unique metal compositions and surfaces refinement ensure for huge scratch resistance of case, bracelet and watch glass. The model FORTIS Spaceleader Steel - Black of 1972 with its antimagnetic automatic caliber performing 21,600 half oscillations/hour, its day-/date indication with rapid correction and the facetted indices perfectly meet the spirit of the times and is considered a perfect symbiosis of Swiss high tech competence and creative power.

Friday, January 29, 2010

Famed Wittelsbach-Graff Diamond unveiled at The Smithsonian National Museum of Natural History in Washington DC

One of the world’s most valuable gemstones, the Wittelsbach-Graff diamond, has been unveiled yesterday by Laurence Graff, Chairman and founder of Graff Diamonds International Ltd, at The Smithsonian’s National Museum of Natural History in Washington DC. The diamond will be on display until August.

The 31.06 carat Wittelsbach-Graff diamond has been certified as a type 11b Internally Flawless, Natural Fancy Deep Blue diamond and is the largest such stone graded to date by the Gemological Institute of America.Laurence Graff calls the purchase in December 2008 the climax of his career and immediately decided that he would repolish it to allow the stone to achieve its full potential by bringing to it more life and colour.“The diamond had many imperfections, besides wear marks it was chipped and it had an extra large culet. Although the risk was enormous, I had all the confidence I needed in my craftsmen to deliver a more magnificent and beautiful stone. To have this historical stone displayed at the Smithsonian will represent another significant chapter in its remarkable history.”



Wittelsbach-Graff diamond (31.06 carats old mine India): The largest natural fancy deep blue, internally flawless diamond in the world.

The first record of the Wittelsbach dates from 1664.Before the discovery of the Jagersfontein and Premier mines in South Africa, India remained the sole source of dark blue diamonds. This raises an interesting question. It has always been assumed that the Kollur mines in the vicinity of Golconda, in the State of Hyderabad, were the only locations in India to yield dark blue diamonds, the most famous being the Hope diamond, discovered in the middle of the 17th century.But there was another area in which they were found.

The fourth Mughal Emperor, Jahangir (1569-1627), was a somewhat different character from his father, Akbar the Great; he loved ladies and jewels. The Imperial Chronicles recorded the acquisition or gift of diamond mines by Jahangir, in the State of Bihar, north east India. The Emperor stated in his memoirs that “diamonds from this place are of a variety and beauty above all other kinds of diamonds and are greatly appreciated by jewellers”. Special mention was made of a large dark blue piece of diamond which, unlike it is today, was not considered to be of great value in comparison with a colourless gem. Could this be the rough which yielded the Wittelsbach?.

Some authorities have suggested that a diamond of such rare colour must have once formed part of the famous ‘French Blue’ diamond, weighing 1121/2 old carats which Tavernier bought in India and later sold to King Louis XIV of France. The principal gem cut from the ‘French Blue’ is now recognised as being the Hope,which weighs 45.52 carats, so that technical reasons alone preclude the possibility of the Wittelsbach being fashioned from the same piece of rough. The sole possibility of a connection between the Wittelsbach and the Hope lies in Tavernier’s ‘French Blue’ having itself been cut from a much larger piece of rough that at some time had been split into two – a most unlikely event.

The Wittelsbach’s history has for the most part been uneventful, passing from one royal owner to another, some of whose fortunes alternated between prosperity and penury. The gem was given by King Philip IV of Spain to his daughter, the Infanta Margarita Teresa upon the occasion of her betrothal to the Emperor Leopold I of Austria in 1664. (Any chance of tracing the earlier history of the Wittelsbach was lost when the Madrid archives were destroyed during the Spanish Civil War of 1936-1939).

In common with many marriages at the time there was a strong political element involved. Leopold I was Margarita Teresa’s maternal uncle & paternal cousin. Despite a difference in age they were very happy and she bore him four children.Margarita Teresa is depicted in the Spanish painter Diego Velázquez’s masterpiece ‘Las Meninas’ (The Maids of Honour, 1656). As court painter he was commissioned to paint several portraits of the Infanta, which were sent to Leopold I to keep him apprised of how his fiancée looked in her teenage years. Her jewels passed on to her husband, and are listed in a document, dated 23 March 1673, which reads: “Diamond ornament.... consisting of ..... a brooch with a large blue diamond in the centre, to which belongs a bow-shaped jewel set with rubies”.

Leopold gave all the jewellery he had inherited from the Infanta to his third wife, the Empress Eleonore Magdalena, daughter of the Elector Palatine. The Empress outlived her husband, dying in 1720. Before then she had arranged to bequeath the blue diamond to her grand-daughter, the Archduchess Maria Amalia,daughter of the Emperor Joseph I.In 1722 the Archduchess married the Bavarian Crown Prince Charles Albert. Henceforth the blue diamond became the ‘family diamond’ of the ruling house of Bavaria, the Wittelsbachs. It remained so until the abdication of Louis III, the last King of Bavaria, in 1918. In the aftermath of the First World War, Bavaria became a republic and the possessions of the former House of Wittelsbach were placed under the control of an equalization fund. The members of the Royal Family received an indemnity which was to prove worthless in the ensuing period of rampant inflation; they were soon left impoverished.

Consequently the State agreed that certain Crown Jewels of the House of Wittelsbach should be sold to alleviate the hardship experienced by the descendants of the last king. The honour of auctioning the Bavarian Crown Jewels fell to Christie’s in London who announced that the sale would take place in December 1931 and that the contents would include “a famous Blue Diamond”. Public interest was remarkable; the sale comprised thirteen lots and lasted for over two hours.

Here the mystery of the whereabouts of the Wittelsbach begins. Whatever transpired at Christie’s in December 1931, the diamond did not return after the sale to its former place of display in Munich. In its place visitors were shown a worthless piece of blue cut glass. Later research unveiled the fact that the Wittelsbach had been sold in Belgium in 1951 before changing hands again in 1955. Three years later millions of visitors came to Brussels for the World Exhibition and many must have seen the exhibition of jewellery which included a large blue diamond. But not a single person appeared to have any inkling that this was in fact a missing famous gem–the Wittelsbach diamond.

Credit for recognising the true identity of the blue diamond must go to the late Mr Joseph Komkommer, a senior and much respected member of the Belgium diamond industry.

In January 1962 Mr Komkommer received a telephone call asking him to look at an old-mine cut diamond with a view to its re-cutting. When he opened the envelope he received a shock–a dark blue diamond is among the rarest and most precious gems.

He at once recognised that the diamond was one of historical significance and that it would be sacrilegious to re-cut it. With the assistance of his son Jacques, he identified the gem as the ‘lost’ blue diamond formally owned by the House of Wittelsbach. Mr Komkommer thereupon formed a consortium of diamond buyers from Belgium and the USA which purchased the diamond, then valued at £180,000. The vendors were the trustees of an estate whose identity remained undisclosed.

In December 2008, the stone came up for auction in London. It was acquired by Laurence Graff whose expert eye saw the potential in re-polishing the stone to achieve more life and colour, whilst at the same time making it internally flawless without any compromise to its original character.Throughout the very delicate process of re-polishing this famous stone, great care and attention was taken to retain its original features;the Wittelsbach-Graff Diamond has since achieved the top certification of being internally flawless, type Ilb deep blue. It is the largest flawless or internally flawless, Natural Fancy Deep Blue diamond the Gemological Institute of America has ever graded.The skills required,notwithstanding the danger involved in re-polishing this stone, have culminated in making the Wittelsbach-Graff Diamond, the most beautiful and most valuable diamond in the world.



Laurence Graff has set an unsurpassed standard of excellence and innovation in the world of high jewellery and it has already been said that more important gem quality diamonds have passed through his hands than any other diamantaire. the wittelsbach-graff diamond is undoubtedly the world’s most valuable diamond.

Chronology:
1664: King Philip IV orders his treasurer to form a collection of the finest gems for the dowry of his daughter, the Infanta Margarita Teresa, upon her betrothal to Emperor Leopold I of Austria, including the 35 carat blue diamond.

1673: Upon the Infanta’s death, her jewels passed to her husband as recorded in an inventory dated.13 March 1673

1705: The blue diamond is bequeathed to Leopold I’s third wife, Empress Eleonore Magdalena.

1720: Archduchess Maria Amalia inherits the blue diamond from her grandmother, the Empress Eleonore Magdalena.

1722: The diamond enters the House of Wittelsbach after the marriage of Maria Amalia to the Bavarian Crown Prince, Charles Albert. From this time the diamond becomes known as ‘Der Blaue Wittelsbacher’.

1745: At the funeral procession of Charles Albert, the Wittelsbach diamond is displayed mounted within the insignia of the Golden Fleece. From this time onwards the diamond is handed down through successive Bavarian rulers.

1806: The Wittelsbach heir Maximilian IV Joseph becomes the first King of Bavaria and commissions a royal crown prominently displaying the blue diamond. From this date onwards the Wittelsbach is alternatively worn within the Order of the Golden Fleece or the Bavarian Royal Crown.

1818:“Yesterday I attended the State Opening of Parliament.....the Sovereign wore the crown; it was covered with diamonds and the blue diamond was removed from the Golden Fleece for this occasion.

1918: The last king of Bavaria, Ludwig III, abdicates as Germany becomes a Republic.1921 the Wittelsbach makes its last state appearance during the funeral procession of King Ludwig III.

1923: An equalization fund is established for the Bavarian Royal House.

1931: Christie’s is given the honour of offering for sale various items of the Bavarian Crown Jewels, the State having granted permission due to the financial hardship of the Wittelsbach heirs. The thirteen lots included the Wittelsbach Blue.

1951–55: The stone is sold in Belgium and subsequently purchased by an anonymous buyer in 1955.

1958: An unidentified blue diamond of 35 carats is displayed during the Brussels World Exhibition by Romi Goldmuntz, an important diamond dealer. Today it is widely accepted to have been the Wittelsbach.

1961: A blue diamond is presented to Joseph Komkommer who recognises the stone as the missing Wittelsbach. He later establishes a syndicate in order to purchase the stone and prevent it from being re-cut.

1964: The Hamburg jeweller Renatus Wilm is appointed to sell the Wittelsbach and the diamond is acquired by its current owner.

2008: Wittelsbach acquired by Laurence Graff at Christie’s London, setting a world record price per carat for any diamond.

2009: Stone renamed Wittelsbach-Graff having been repolished to achieve a Natural Fancy Deep Blue internally flawless diamond weighing 31.06 carats, graded by The Gemological Institute of America.

2010: The Wittelsbach-Graff is exhibited at the Smithsonian National Museum of Natural History, Washington DC.

ROYAL REGALIA
The Order of the Golden Fleece was founded by Philip the Good, Duke of Burgundy in 1430 to celebrate his marriage to the Portuguese princess Isabel of Aviz. It was modelled on the English Order of the Garter to which Philip had been elected, but he refused to take his place, not wanting to offend the King of France. Initially the Order was restricted to 24 knights but increased to 30 in 1433 and 50 in 1516. There were numerous privileges associated with being a member of this Catholic Order, such as only being tried by fellow knights on charges of rebellion, heresy or treason.

Until the Burgundian lands were absorbed into the Habsburg Empire the sovereignty of the Order passed to the Habsburg Kings of Spain, where it remained until the death of King Charles II in 1700. As he was succeeded by Philip of Anjou, a Bourbon, a dispute arose between the Austrians and the Spanish over who had the right to appoint knights. The result was a division of the Order with a Spanish and an Austrian branch.

When the Wittelsbach entered the Bavarian Princely family in 1722, Charles Albert regarded the diamond, with its powerful blue colour, impressive size and clarity, as a token of good fortune. He admired the blue diamond and had it mounted in his Order of the Golden Fleece. He changed the setting of the Order several times during his reign just like his successor Maximilian III who, on one occasion, adorned a new design with 700 additional diamonds. In 1806 a crown was commissioned by Maximilian IV Joseph prominently displaying the blue diamond. At the time, royal crowns had a symbolic meaning and precise regulations governed their appearance and content. Only certain gemstones could be used and had to be mounted in a stipulated manner.

Both the Order of the Golden Fleece and the Royal crown were important symbols of European nobility. The Wittelsbach in these settings was an observer of coronations, weddings, christenings, royal and imperial funerals, but most of all, a witness to three hundred years of history.

Louis Moinet METEORIS ( A unique objet d’art collection composed of four tourbillons and a new form of planetarium)

A unique objet d’art, METEORIS unites the most legendary meteorites and depicts the solar system in truly spectacular fashion. METEORIS is composed of four tourbillons and a new form of planetarium.

The “METEORIS” Tourbillons
METEORIS intensifies the magic of the tourbillon by connecting its carriage to the barrel by means of a hand-drawn and bevelled vertical bar. To add to the fascinating vision of the tourbillon carriage in motion, METEORIS offers an openworked version of the barrel. The latter’s cover performs an average rotation in six hours and enables one to keep visual check on the power reserve according to the state of wind of the barrel spring.
Louis Moinet displays its determination to combine aesthetic and technical aspects, particularly through the vertical bar that showcases the technology of the watch, while extending over onto the case. This original and modern way of uniting displays, technology and casing is directly inspired by the historical world of Louis Moinet, and especially by some of the drawings published in his famous Traité d’Horlogerie in 1848.
The exclusive METEORIS tourbillon movement is hand-wound and beats at a cadence of 21,600 vibrations per hour. One particularly striking technical characteristic is the spectacular visibility of the winding mechanism through the case-back. The “octopus” spring plays three roles by acting as pull-out piece spring, lever spring and click spring.
METEORIS is presented in an exceptional case composed of 50 different parts. The case is also equipped with the Louis Moinet crown guard, incorporating the stem in such a way as to enable easy replacement if required (patent pending).

The “METEORIS” Tourbillon MARS
This tourbillon presents a meteorite from the planet Mars, finely inlaid into a hand-engraved dial and adorned with an astrolabe-type appliqué, serving as a reminder of the ties between man and the cosmos. This is a world first, since no stone from Mars had ever yet been used in watchmaking.The case of this unique model is crafted from 18-carat white gold set with 56 baguette-cut Top Wesselton VVS diamonds totalling 3.46 carats.
Meteorite “Jiddat al Harasis 479”
Mars Meteorite. Martian meteorites are Martian rocks that were ejected from Mars by impacts and later fell to the Earth as meteorites.
Origin:Mars
Found :Sultanate of Oman, 2008 (19o 47.139’ N 55o 51.21’ E)
Publication :Meteoritical Bulletin No 97, 2009
Authentication:Russian Academy of Science, Moscow

The “METEORIS” Tourbillon ROSETTA STONE
The meteorite used in this model has been nicknamed the “Rosetta Stone” because it is the oldest known rock in the solar system and the oldest meteorite ever found on earth – with an estimated age of 4,566,200,000 years.The extremely complicated case of this unique model is crafted in 18-carat rose gold and comprises 50 different parts.
Meteorite “Sahara 99555”
Legendary meteorite, considered as the “Rosetta Stone” of our solar system. The oldest known rock of our solar system and the oldest meteorite found on earth.
Origin : Possibly Mercury
Age:4,566,200,000 years old (precision : 100,000 years)
Found :Sahara, 1999 (unknown coordinates)
Publication:Meteoritical Bulletin No 84, 2000
Authentication:Institute für Planetology, Münster, Germany.

The “METEORIS” Tourbillon ASTEROID
The meteorite adorning the hand-engraved dial comes from Itqiy, a mysterious asteroid that was formed near the sun. Itqiy has provided invaluable scientific information on the formation of the solar system, while its own origin remains a mystery.The “Asteroid” tourbillon is presented in an 18-carat white gold case set with baguette-cut diamonds and engraved with the legend “Pièce Unique”. As with the other tourbillons, a hand engraving on the dial depicts the meteorite’s trajectory towards the earth, represented beneath the hands by a pietersite gemstone.
Meteorite “Itqiy”
Unique and mysterious asteroid formed near the Sun. It has provided invaluable scientific information on parts of the solar system rarely sampled.
Origin :Asteroid close to the Sun
Uniqueness:How this rock was formed remains a mystery
Found :Western Sahara, 1990 (26° 35' 27"N, 12° 57' 8"W)
Publication:Meteoritical Bulletin No 85, 2001
Authentication:University of Arizona, Tucson

The ”METEORIS” Tourbillon MOON
The first tourbillon to picture an authentic lunar meteorite,“Moon” is distinguished by its dark structure featuring a number of fine occlusions.This tourbillon watch is crafted in 18-carat rose gold and fitted with a hand-sewn crocodile leather strap lined with genuine alligator leather.
Meteorite “Dhofar 459”
Moon Meteorite. Lunar meteorites are moon rocks that were ejected from the Moon by impacts and later fell to the Earth as meteorites.
Origin:Moon
Found :Sultanate of Oman, 2001 (18° 14' 55"N, 54° 0' 12"E)
Publication:Meteoritical Bulletin No 89, 2005
Authentication:UCLA, University of California, Los Angeles.

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

Case
Original design by Louis Moinet®, made up of 50 parts
Case diameter:47 mm
Water-resistance:30 meters
Caseback :Secured with 6 screws, engraved “PIECE UNIQUE” and Louis Moinet markings
Crystals:Two anti-glare sapphire crystals

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

The “METEORIS” SOLAR SYSTEM
METEORIS is a new form of planetarium depicting the entire solar system. Mercury, Venus, the Earth, the Moon, Mars, Jupiter, Saturn, Uranus, Neptune and Pluto are all shown gravitating around the Sun.This represents a major technical feat, since the vast majority of planetariums show a limited number of planets, whereas METEORIS shows the whole solar system.
METEORIS is particularly spectacular thanks to its faster rotation speed that provides a better understanding of the solar system. This acceleration of the planets enables the Earth to rotate around the Sun in 37 seconds instead of the usual 365 days.
The planetarium is the work of Rémy Chauvin, a mechanic who specialises in gears. Rémy Chauvin designed and manufactured the extraordinary astronomical clock in the Watch Museum in Morteau (in the Doubs region of France), which comprises 1,680 parts and took 14 years to complete.
The mechanism of the METEORIS consists of ten coaxial tubes prolonged by stainless steel spokes supporting the planets and driven by a complex set of gear wheels. The entire set of 40 gears made of Zicral work in a perfectly coordinated manner so as to drive the solar system. This system of gear wheels is driven by a reducer micro-motor. This new type of planetarium features modern and noble materials including Fortal, Zicral and stainless steel.
The finely fashioned dial indicates the position of each planet within the zodiac sign through which it is crossing. The midnight-blue lacquered dial is sprinkled with silver spangles. Each of the twelve constellations is adorned with gold dust and the 154 stars are represented by rhodiumed set with Top Wesselton VVS diamonds totalling 5.60 carats.
The Sun and its 10 planets were crafted by the artist Jean-Yves Kervévan, using hand-made resins and varnishes. Mars and the Moon are coated with dust from Martian and Lunar meteorites. The Sahara 99555 meteorite has yielded a powder that is applied to Mercury, from which it may well have originated; while the Sun is dusted with particles from the Itqiy meteorite. The Earth is coated with powder coming from rare rocks found in the Sultanate of Oman.
The Earth and the Moon are mounted on a subdial that provides direct read-off of the Moon Phases, portrayed in mother-of-pearl and blue-tinted lacquer specked with silver spangles.

Breitling Watches : The Colt GMT+

In this version equipped with a new integrated rubber strap, the Colt GMT+ by Breitling is resolutely geared towards originality, style and power on the wrist. Exactly the kind of assets that are bound to appeal more strongly than ever to pilots, travelers and divers.

Founded in the very same year that coordinated universal time standard was established (1884), and a well-established partner of world aviation, Breitling has consistently provided models enabling simultaneous read-off of the time in several parts of the globe, such as the famous Unitime introduced in the 1950s.

The Colt GMT+ is a particularly striking example of this expertise. In addition to local time, this selfwinding watch displays another timezone by means of a second hour hand with a red triangular tip, combined with a 24-hour graduation on the inner bezel ring. This ultra-readable and extremely practical system serves to tell day from night at first glance, and thus avoid disturbing someone across the world during their sleep.

The Colt GMT+ is not only distinguished by its innate functionality and sturdiness, but also by its distinctive design that is at once sporty, elegant and contemporary, reflecting a universe dedicated to performance. The bezel is adorned with raised numerals and hour markers,highlighted by the contrast between polished and satin-brushed surfaces.

The dynamic dial features large stamped Arabic numerals and a concentric-line motif. The exclusive new rubber strap fits seamlessly into the case while accentuating its sleek lines; it is fitted with a pushbutton-operated seamless clasp and an extension piece that is adjustable in a few seconds.

The Colt GMT+ is thus equally at ease on all five continents and also dives confidently into oceans the world over thanks to an admirable degree of water resistance guaranteed to depths of 500 meters (1,660 ft). These aquatic virtues are emphasized by the graduated scale marking off the first 15 minutes on the unidirectional rotating bezel. This model is equipped with a mechanical movement that is chronometer-certified – as indeed are all the movements gravitating within the Breitling universe.

VALBRAY Watches : The V.01 collection

Young Swiss watch brand,Valbray showcased their first collection of timepieces at Geneva Time Exhibition in 2010.Valbray has reinterpreted the diaphragm of the watch so as to propose and simplified manner to display time without though discarding the presence of a chronograph. Its double display mechanism therefore makes the V.01 collection revolutionary and is able to match style and skill.

The result is a contemporary, elegant and sporty watch. You will be able to hide or display the dial and adapt it to your mood or wish. Therefore in creating this watch, our intent has been that to craft a beautiful and rare object able to convey a sense of uniqueness.

The V.01 Chrono Titanium - PVD:The V.01 Titanium - PVD presents a grade 5 titanium case, a bezel in grade 5 titanium with a PVD treatment. Inspired by the famous Valjoux, the mechanical movement has been fully hand decorated and equipped with a new rotor winding with ceramic ball bearing. Its obturation system with a multi layer treatment is in its bezel, perfectly water and dust proof and indexed by opposition.With its sober and elegant style, this watch puts forward a richly worked side with incrustated part that makes immediately recognizable.

The V.01 Chrono red gold PVD :The V.01 Chrono red gold PVD presents a red gold grade 5 titanium case, a bezel in grade 5 titanium with a PVD treatment. The mechanical movement has been inspired by the famous Valijoux, and is fully hand decorated and equipped with a new rotor winding with ceramic ball bearing. Its obturation system with a multilayer treatment is perfectly water and dust proof and indexed by opposition. With its sober and elegant style, this watch puts forward a richly worked side with incrustated part that makes immediately recognizable.

The obturation system has not been easy to integer in such a small water and dust proof space. The company has designed a mechanics that and a blade shape that fits perfectly. These very thin pieces are treated by a multi layer coat that provides this particular finish and perennial look.

The hands of hour and minutes present the originality to be fully machined in one bloc that allows beautiful facets. Energetic and sharp, these hands are the result of more than 20 manufacturing operations. Cast in one piece, sculpted and openwork in the mass, these identifiable hands are hand - faceted, brushed and angled. These delicate operations need the know-how of very skilled workers.

The case
Ovoid is identifiable by pulled lines and shinning chamfer. The side is energetic with tighten sculpted shapes among where the crown and the pushers emerge. The case is design by an innovating architecture that allow, by decomposition, the use of the most suitable material for each function: aesthetic and technical. The crown has been divided in 8 parts, individually made, in order to reach a high richness of detail. After the finish, each piece is assembled by hand.

The dial
Dials are in relief. To make it, the company divides each layer and each surface in instinct pieces that sculpt in the mass. This decomposition allows an infinite variation of colour and finish. The dial is hand assembled and set, like a puzzle. the brand is presenting precise finishing and treatment on every surface, that give to the dial this unique aspect. The machining of these thin pieces requires strong skills and a precision of less than 0,01mm in order to make the assembly with high precision. These effects are not doable with a stamped dial.

The rotating bezelis a result of more than two years of research, development and tests. It integer an innovating design beside a smart use of material like Titanium, Rhodium ceramics among others. It has been design to resist numerous cycle of rotation overpass more than 4 times the failure stands of the industry (Chronofiable).

Technical details
References
•V.01 Red Gold - PVD
•V.01 Titanium - PVD
•V.01 Titanium

Functions
Chronograph
Dual display with an manual concentric circular reveal system

Movement
Caliber V.CA1
Mechanic auto winding on Valjoux base
Hand decorated
Fully redesigned winding rotor cushioned in 17 pieces on ceramic ball bearings
Balance oscillating at 28 800 bph
27 functional jewels
44 hours of power reserved

Case
Case design based on a modular architecture
External component in grade 5 titanium and PVD
Screw in grade 5 titanium with a redesigned layout
Sapphire crystal dial side with anti-reflective treatment on both faces, display back with anti-reflective treatment on a single face

Rotating bezel
Multi strip system with a multilayer treatment
Guiding on an innovative titanium – rhodium – ceramic construction
Indexation by opposition
Resistant up to 5 atm

Dial
Multilayer decomposed in distinct elements, hand finished and assembled.

Strap
Alligator hand sown

Limited edition
•V.01 Red Gold – PVD (49 pieces)
•V.01 Titanium – PVD (99 pieces)
•V.01 Titanium (99 pieces)

VALBRAY Watches : Brand Profile, History and Product Updates

Valbray is a Swiss luxury watch brand founded at Lausanne (Switzerland) by a young entrepreneur named Côme de VALBRAY.

"The truth about a man can be found in what he hides" (André Malraux).This sentence has been the inspiration of this modern luxury watch brand. What we hide is an intimate part of our personality, of our thoughts and dreams.The brand's vision has been to create a watch able to hide or unveil a personality that is not noticeable at first sight.

Design is a combination of classical and avant-garde horology and the watches are fully designed, developed, engineered, and tested in-house.The brand has focused to ensure that its watch draws on the different emotional dimensions: the way it looks, the way it feels, the way it sounds. The intent is to craft a watch able to convey pure pleasure.



CÔME DE VALBRAY
He was born in Paris, France in 1980. From very early age Côme showed a great curiosity for mechanics, cars and planes. Following his scientific baccalaureate in Paris, he moved to Switzerland to undertake his engineering studies at the Swiss Federal Institute of Technology in Lausanne.

Having graduated with a major in Microtechnology, he becomes passionate about modern precise engineering. His interest for designing pieces of high quality stems from the influence and experience he gathered with his first employer: Cartier Horlogerie. During this period, he observed and analysed all the process of watch manufacturing and came up a new manufacturing organisation.

At the end of his mission, he decided to move to the United States to develop his entrepreneurial skills at Harvard University where he started to shape his dream: offer his creativity and his vision of Horology with a brand of his own. He has therefore founded Valbray and started a new story.

OLGA CORSINI
Olga was born in Florence, Itlay, in 1979. Since her childhood, Olga showed to be prone to creativity and design. Following a baccalaureate in literature with a major in jewellery, she focused her talent on the exploration of new shapes. Coupled with her keen interest in jewellery she ended up very quickly in the creative department of Bulgari in Rome. During this experience she created an array of unique pieces and worked on the majority of the best selling pieces of the brand.

After several years spent in Rome she moved to Florence to work for Gucci within the creative department of the jewellery division. In 2006, she was called by Chaumet (LVMH) to work within the luxury brand’s very restricted creative studio of Jewellery and Horology. Her encounter with Côme de VALBRAY, has led to the start of a creative partnership and to the launch of the Valbray brand that will launch its first collection in 2010.

Official website: http://www.valbray.ch

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