Wednesday, November 24, 2010

Vacheron Constantin Wins the Public Prize for its “Historique Ultra-fine 1955” Model at 2010 Geneva Watchmaking Grand Prix

On the evening of Thursday, November 18th, in front of an audience of 2000 people gathered in the Grand Théâtre de Genève for the 2010 Geneva Watchmaking Grand Prix award ceremony, Vacheron Constantin CEO Juan-Carlos Torres accepted on behalf of the brand the Public Prize for its new Historique Ultra-fine 1955 model.

The Historique Ultra-fine 1955 is currently the world’s thinnest mechanical hand-wound watch, at just 4.10 mm thick. It is equipped with the legendary Calibre 1033 measuring a mere 1.64 mm thick and rebuilt in 18-carat gold for its 55th anniversary in 2010. Its slender 4.10 mm case measuring 36 mm in diameter is crafted in 4N 18-carat gold and tested at 3-bar pressure equivalent to a depth of 30 metres. It indicates the hours and minutes and has an over 30-hour power reserve. Black hand-stitched square-scaled alligator leather strap with 4N rose gold buckle and polished half Maltese cross

For Vacheron Constantin, celebrating the 55th anniversary of the birth of the ultra-thin Caliber 1003 provides an opportunity to revisit its heritage, as well as to highlight its ultra-thin expertise in a period when this term tends to be somewhat overused.

Considered by many experts to be one of the most beautiful and refined ultra-thin movements on the market, Caliber 1003 has been defying mechanical laws for over 50 years. It is extremely complex to produce and its adjustment calls upon the full measure of expertise cultivated by a fine watch manufacturer.

Vacheron Constantin has chosen to present a redesigned version of this movement, while its 1.64 mm thickness – still a market slimness world record – and its 20.80 mm diameter remain unchanged. Its finishing is however even more refined, since the bridges and mainplate are now crafted from 18-carat gold. Its 117 parts enable it to beat at a frequency of 18,000 vibrations/hour, and endow it with an over 30-hour power reserve despite its tiny size.
The decoration is extremely meticulous: Côtes de Genève, bevelling and chamfering, and drawing the steel parts with a file are all performed by hand. This exceptional degree of finishing earns the new version of Caliber 1003 the prestigious Hallmark of Geneva, an independent and sovereign certification awarded by the State of Geneva which thereby guarantees the origin, precision, durability and fine craftsmanship of models from a handful of Geneva-based watch companies.

For its 2010 re-edition, Caliber 1003 is presented in a round watch in 18-carat 4N rose gold measuring 36 mm in diameter, inspired by one of the three historical models introduced in 1955 (reference 6099). The latter has been selected because of a design that already embodied a decidedly modern touch at the time of its launch.

The reinterpreted version in 2010 magnifies the aesthetic qualities of the original without betraying its spirit. It also features further enhanced technical characteristics on a par with today’s tastes and expectations: water-resistance to 3 bar, equivalent to 30 meters; an exhibition caseback fitted with a transparent sapphire crystal; a titanium casing circle contributing to the overall rigidity; and an even slimmer 4.1 mm case making it currently the world’s thinnest mechanical hand-wound watch.

The result radiates an aura of uncluttered, pared-down restraint and purity. Its fascinating aesthetic features – the slender bezel; the distinctive lugs, each shaped like an arm of Vacheron Constantin’s Maltese Cross emblem; its solid gold opaline silver-coloured dial adorned with baton hands marking the hours and minutes – combine to endow this watch with a rare breed of elegance stemming from the compelling strength of sheer simplicity.

French Haute Horlogerie brand Pequignet presents new watch models featuring its in-house manufactured Calibre Royal

In the heart of the Jura watchmaking country since 1973, Pequignet is an authentic luxury brand perpetuating great watchmaking tradition in an independent French firm, in association with Swiss quality and passion for its craft: with timeless beauty and creativity that have earned it 1st prize at the Paris Cadran d’Or awards five times.Now the French Haute Horlogerie brand presents new watch models featuring its new in-house manufactured movement: Calibre Royal.

1.Pequignet Paris Royal
The first model Paris Royal comes in a 41 mm, Yellow gold case. Diamond-polished case finish, case polished/satin-finished with micro-blasted grooves. Case body with overlaid lug arms. Screw-in bezel. Non-reflecting sapphire crystal. Case-back with non-reflecting sapphire crystal, secured by 4 screws, milled engraving. Movement directly attached to inner case. Water resistance is 5 Atm. Dial in Silvered «opalin», satin-finished chapter ring with applied numerals. Power reserve and small seconds in snail pattern, faceted aperture.Pequignet marked hands. Butterfly buckle, large scale alligator strap, beaded and hand-stitched.

Indications: Large Day and Date,Power reserve dial display & Small seconds at 4 o’clock symmetrical to Power Reserve.

Movement specifications
21,600 oscillations/hour (3 Hz). Dual direction automatic winding. Initial force distribution by a central barrel axis. Large balance with compensating screws. 220°amplitude in vertical position after 72-hour operation. Large Day and Date with no amplitude loss upon activation. Unique system for exceptional reliability and accuracy. Integrated complications. 100-hour power reserve design, set to 88 hours, power reserve dial display with 72-hour guaranteed isochronism. Integrated complications. Small seconds at 4 o’clock symmetrical to Power Reserve. Haute Horlogerie movement finish; circular graining, hand bevelling, hand-drawn strokes and stippling.

2.Pequignet Rue Royale
Rue Royale is the second model equipped with in-house manufactured Calibre Royal.Case is 42 mm, 316L steel with Polished steel finish. Case-back secured by 6 screws with polished heads. Non-reflecting sapphire crystal and case-back. Water resistance is 5 ATM. Dial is silvered with pounced ornament. Chapter ring and small seconds with fine circular satin finish, black transferred Roman numerals, dotted thread. Power reserve in circular satin-finished cartridge. Pequignet marked hands. Butterfly buckle, large-scaled alligator strap, beaded and hand-stitched.

Indications: Large Day and Date, Power reserve dial display,Small seconds at 4 o’clock symmetrical to power reserve,Large accurate moon phase at 6 o’clock.

Movement specifications
21,600 oscillations/hour (3 Hz). Dual direction automatic winding. Initial force distribution by a central barrel axis. Large balance with compensating screws. 220°amplitude in vertical position after 72-hour operation. Large Day and Date with no amplitude loss upon activation. Unique system for exceptional reliability and accuracy. Integrated complications. 100-hour power reserve design, set to 88 hours, power reserve dial display with 72-hour guaranteed isochronism. Integrated complications. Large accurate moon phase at 6 o’clock, integrated complications. Small seconds at 4 o’clock symmetrical to power reserve. Movement finish: Bridges and Main plate circular-gained with snail design and Côtes de Genève. Oscillating Weight - sunray finish with rhodium plating.

3. Pequignet Moorea Royal Triomphe
Moorea Royal Triomphe is the third model equipped with in-house manufactured Calibre Royal.Case is 44 mm, Titanium middle and back, with sand black coating.5N18 red gold and black titanium bezel. Case-back is secured by 4 screws. Red gold screw-in crown with black rubber «EP» logo in relief. 5N18 red gold Pequignet strip, horizontal brushed, secured by 2 black screws. Non-reflecting sapphire crystal and case-back Water resistance is 10 Atm. Dial is Black «opalin», 5N18 faceted and brushed applied numerals Power reserve, small seconds and windows with overlaid 5N18 applique. Moorea grained satin-finished 5N18 red gold bracelet, black rubber «EP», double folding buckle.

Indications: Large Day and Date, Power reserve dial display,Small seconds at 4 o’clock symmetrical to power reserve.

Movement specifications
21,600 oscillations/hour (3 Hz). Dual direction automatic winding. Initial force distribution by a central barrel axis. Large balance with compensating screws. 220°amplitude in vertical position after 72-hour operation. Large Day and Date with no amplitude loss upon activation. Unique system for exceptional reliability and accuracy. Integrated complications. 100 hour power reserve design, set to 88 hours, dial display with 72-hour guaranteed isochronism, integrated complication. Small seconds at 4 o’clock symmetrical to power reserve. Movement finish: Bridges and Main plate enhanced with circular-grained Côtes de Genève. Micro-blasted oscillating weight, with ruthenium coating.

Pequignet Calibre Royal

Calibre Royal is a new generation and state of the art Calibre fully designed, prototyped, tested and assembled in Pequignet’s Haute Horlogerie laboratory in Morteau, in the heart of the French Jura watchmaking country. The Large Date and Day - Power Reserve Indicator configuration comprises 298 parts. 250 design plans were drawn up in the Pequignet laboratory.

All complications - Large Date and Day, Power Reserve Indicator, Moon Phase and future complications - are and will be built into the original main plate. This incorporation ensures stability, reliability and harmony in a multiple complication calibre. Multiple complications built into a 13 ¾ calibre with a height of just 5.88 mm, thereby making for a highly elegant multiple complication watch. High degree of openworking over the entire regulating part, Large Balance, Pallet fork and Pallet wheel. Observable winding system and power reserve differential. Large Barrel, Oscillating Weight and Large Balance aligned on central axis of movement. The Escapement, Barrel and automatic system enable independent and separate After-Sales servicing on each of the 3 parts. Large mono-block tungsten carbide weight, offset to allow balance visibility, circulating on a peripheral runner.
Large Barrel
A single Large Barrel provides 100-hour power reserve design, with a guaranteed run time of 88 hours, with an exceptional 72-hour display isochronism. In an exceptional feature, the spring is wound by the barrel drum, while the initial force is distributed by a central barrel axis inserted between 2 jewels and not joined with the aforesaid barrel. This original distribution system provides perfect linearity and regularity of the movement driving force. The overall isochronism is exceptional, the amplitude is set to 220° in vertical position after 72 hours’ operation of the power reserve.

Crown winding system
An original system combining shaped memory spring and reverser; an all-new system, by means of the winding stem alone, ensures remarkable reliability and accuracy of the winding & time setting functions and other corrections. Unique manual winding system declutching when the oscillating weight is in motion. Despite the presence of an automatic winding system, the Breguet teeth make for a pleasant sensation when turning the winding stem backward.

Automatic winding system
Dual direction winding. Original system based on the principle of reversers, reduced number of parts and improved general efficiency through reduction of normally encountered friction. Bearing with large balls and in-house design.

Balance-Spring
A large 4-arm diamond-polished balance, with high inertia, ensures accuracy and regularity. This large balance also provides resistance to impacts, interference, and single or simultaneous activation of one or more complications. Central protection via Incabloc damper system. The laboratory opted for a highly specialised frequency of 21 600 oscillations/hour (3 Hz) to ensure regulating part reliability and service life. These technical reliability characteristics make for longer intervals between After-Sales overhauls and servicing. Adjustment via compensating screws with in-house stud holder, including a lock strip providing impact resistance. Balance crossover bridge providing positioning stability and impact resistance. Also available in Breguet hairspring version.

Power Reserve
The power reserve system also contributes to the reliability objective, by reducing the number of parts and through the absence of a friction spring system or other random system. This unique system offers simplification and reliability.

Large Date and Day
Double Large Date and Day windows, with no amplitude loss upon activation. This all-new system, unique worldwide, makes for accuracy, reliability and easy correction operations.

Technical details
21 600 oscillations/hour (3 Hz)
Mechanism service life, oil durability, adhesion of lubricants.
«100-hour design» Large Barrel, set to 88 hours.
Initial force distribution by a large central barrel axis, independent of the Large Barrel, and inserted between 2 jewels.
Linearity and stability of initial force.
Exceptional isochronism range guaranteed for 72 hours, with dial display.
Amplitude set to 220° in vertical position after 72-hour operation.
High inertia large balance with compensating screws, with stud holder clamp to safeguard the rate against impacts.
The crossover bridge ensures robustness, stability and positioning precision, as well as impact resistance.
Also available in Breguet hairspring version.

Baume & Mercier Classima Automatic Red Gold Dual time & Power Reserve

The Classima 2011 collection will be featuring a superb Red Gold Dual time & Power Reserve watch. This model is distinguished by its 39 mm case made from 18-carat red gold that gives it a touch of warmth and sophistication. It is equipped with a self-winding Soprod 9035 movement adorned with a “Côtes de Genève” motif.

The elegant black dial features a straight-line guilloché pattern and gilt hour-markers, complemented by an alligator leather strap in the same shade. The dual time-zone and power-reserve functions, along with the case-back providing a view of the personalized oscillating weight bearing the brand’s PHI symbol, will delight devotees of fine watches. To be launched in Fall 2011.
Technical details
Ref 10040
Movement: Automatic (Soprod 9035), movement adorned with “Côtes de Genève” décor
Functions: Dual Time, Power reserve, Date at 3 o’clock
Case: 39 mm Red gold, sapphire crystal window case back
Strap: Black alligator
Buckle: Pin buckle
Dial : Black, guilloché décor, appliqué indexes & roman numerals
Water resistance: 30 m
Gold weight: 22.8 gr (18 ct)

Tuesday, November 23, 2010

Baume & Mercier Classima Automatic Jumping Hour Limited Edition

Since its introduction in 2005, the Classima collection by Baume & Mercier offers a unique combination of classical and modern elements. It is a best-seller of Baume & Mercier watch brand and became a true favorite among executives all over the world. Classima, by nature, is at home in any circumstances, thus empowering its wearer to move smoothly from the rigorous discipline of the city to the serenity of a relaxed environment. Firmly rooted in tradition, it is a sign of inner wealth that is made to be shared without ostentation. This new Classima model confirms the spirit of this collection,embodying timelessly chic and discreet masculinity.

The new 42 mm size Classima 2011 model with its refined design is driven by an automatic Dubois Depraz 14400 movement adorned with a “Côtes de Genève” motif. Its attractive jumping-hour function is complemented by its silvered “barleycorn” guilloché dial graced with black numerals, and a sapphire crystal case-back revealing the personalized oscillating weight bearing the brand’s PHI symbol. Limited & numbered edition of 500.To be launched in Fall 2011.
Technical details
Ref 10039
Movement: Automatic (Dubois Depraz 14400), movement adorned with “Côtes de Genève” décor
Functions: Jumping hour
Case: 42 mm Steel, sapphire crystal case back
Strap: Black alligator, Adjustable triple folding
Dial : Silvered, “Grain d’orge” guilloché décor, black arabic numerals, riveted dots and indexes
Water resistance : 30 m
Limited & Numbered edition: 500 units

Mobiado 712MG Angular Momentum Edition Cell Phone and the Angular Momentum Verre Èglomisè Edition Timepiece : Mokume Gane meets Verre Èglomisé

Mobiado 712MG Angular Momentum Edition Cell Phone and the Angular Momentum Verre Èglomisè Edition Timepiece unites Japanese spirit of Mokume Gane with the imaginative art of Verre Èglomisé.

Mokume Gane ( 木目金 ) translates from Japanese as “wood grain metal”. This process of bonding mixed-metal was invented by Denbei Shoami (1651-1728) in 17th-century Feudal Japan and was used for sword fittings when the decline of the katana industry forced artisans to create purely decorative items.

Mobiado 712MG Angular Momentum Edition Cell Phone
Combining the Japanese spirit of Mokume Gane with the imaginative art of Verre Èglomisé; Luxury cellphone maker Mobiado presents the 712MG Angular Momentum Edition. The 712MG represents a milestone as the first phone to be created from Mokume Gane. The 712MG Angular Momentum Edition is the first phone to incorporate Verre Èglomisé as well as the first phone to be sold with a matching wristwatch.

The Mokume Gane is created by putting copper, nickel silver, and brass through a thorough 7 step cleaning process, which is the key to preventing material delimitation. The layers are then stacked and wrap in steel foil. Once in the air tight environment, the billet is fused through heat and pressure for 2 to 3 hours in an electric kiln. It is then forged, hand twisted, and forged again for create the final material of Mokume Gane. The hand twisted Mokume Gane frame is then precision CNC machined and hand polished. No two phones are alike. The top of the phone is precision engraved with the Angular Momentum logo and the iconic Mobiado logo is CNC machine engraved into the body to bestow a final touch of elegance.
Large sapphire crystal plates, hand painted with 24 Karat gold lettering and symbols are precision inset into the Mokume Gane body. The buttons of the Classic 712MG Angular Momentum Edition are crafted from an array of sapphire crystal buttons (hand painted with 24 Karat yellow gold, 18 Karat rose gold, and silver) giving the phone a total of 204.5 Carats of sapphire crystal. The phone is then assembled using 24 Karat gold plated stainless steel screws.

The battery cover is made entirely from one piece of sapphire crystal and incorporates a unique hidden sliding battery cover mechanism (patent pending). The sapphire is hand painted with the Verre Èglomisé technique by Angular Momentum of Switzerland’s hyper-realism art master, Martin Pauli. With unique differences on each hand painted Verre Èglomisé dragon and each piece of Mokume Gane being twisted by hand, every 712MG Angular Momentum Edition phone is truly one of a kind. Limited to 3 unique pieces.

Verre Èglomise - No two identical Art Pieces in the world.
Before a sapphire crystal can be painted; the surface has to be cleaned by keeping it in hot concentrated hydrochloric acid to remove all metallic remains, and in a 250°C hot oven over night to remove organic remains.

On the reverse of the sapphire crystal, the painting is applied by using Aqua Regia oil and color pigments. Painstaking work and procedure is involved to put layer on layer with brushes and fine needles.As a final step a protective layer of gold foil is applied over the enamel at the reverse of the sapphire crystal. This technique of Verre Èglomisè miniature painting on the reverse of sapphire crystal has been developed by Martin Pauli of Angular Momentum in 2004. These miniatures are considered some of the finest and hyper-realistic available on the market today.

Merging state-of-the-art technologies with the tradition of phone-making innovation.
The 712MG Angular Momentum Edition is unlocked and will work with any GSM network operator. The phone is quad-band GSM (GSM 850/900/1800/1900) and has triple band WCDMA Band I, II and VIII (2100/1900/900) coverage on up to five continents. It is equipped with a large 2.2” QVGA display, 5 megapixel camera and video camera with flash, integrated GPS, web browser, email support, and a music player that supports AMR, MID, MP3, MP4, M4A, .WMA and AAC files.

The Angular Momentum – Mobiado Edition Mechanical Watch
Angular Momentum of Switzerland is a small, independent sole-manufacturer based in Bern, the Capital of Switzerland, and was founded in 1998. Reverse painting-on-glass is a uniquely difficult and skillful art. Èglomisé as is known in French, is done backwards on the inside of the sapphire crystal, it is a unique, rare, and difficult art. What makes this particular technique so difficult is the sequence of paint application necessary to achieve it successfully. The resulting painting is actually seen in reverse from the front, so the paint must be applied opposite to the intended effect, requiring a great deal of imagination, patience, and skill – most especially when the painting involves an entire palette of colors, as Angular Momentum’s do.

Angular Momentum timepieces are individual works of art. No other brand devotes itself to the detailed beauty of watches more fully than Angular Momentum and no other watch brand has thus taken on the task to let a simple wrist watch to become a unique, unforgettable and precious object of art.
Using old, traditional and newly developed techniques, these beautiful objects come to life in way never been seen before. The Art of “ erre glomis “ is the finest miniature paintings on the ac of a watch sapphire cr stal dial. erre glomis is a technique developed and onl applied Angular Momentum. A patented technology (Patent CH686988) which displays the time on a revolving hour disk "à Souscription" allows Angular Momentum to create beautiful miniature paintings without the disturbing hour and minute hands. The time can then be read through an aperture or window.

Vacheron Constantin Métiers d’Art – Chagall & L’Opéra de Paris Collection “Tribute to Famous Composers”

Swiss watch Manufacture Vacheron Constantin presents a new timepiece collection, Métiers d’Art – Chagall & l’Opéra de Paris: Exceptional one-of-a-kind creations dedicated to the Garnier Opera House, Paris .

When it became a patron of the Paris National Opera in 2007, the Manufacture Vacheron Constantin highlighted one of the values it has sought to perpetuate for over 250 years: the hand-made traditions of fine watchmaking Métiers d’Art, or artistic crafts. This partnership uniting time, art and culture, is distinguished by a masterful demonstration of the expertise cultivated by the oldest watch manufacturer, having enjoyed uninterrupted activity since its founding in 1755.

Vacheron Constantin now creates an exceptional collection of 15 one-of-a-kind models in tribute to the greatest composers, the same artists who inspired Marc Chagall for his monumental fresco painting adorning the ceiling of the Garnier Opera House. The first watch in the Métiers d’Art – Chagall & L’Opéra de Paris collection is entitled “Tribute to famous composers”. This one-of-a-kind creation was presented at the gala evening held in the Palais Garnier on November 20th 2010 to celebrate the 30th anniversary of the Association pour le Rayonnement de l’Opéra National de Paris (AROP), the Friends of the Paris Opera & Ballet. The timepiece features a faithful reproduction of the entire Chagall ceiling, using the time-honoured Geneva technique of grand feu enamelled miniature painting.

This unique timepiece boasts a reproduction of remarkable detail and quality of the famous ceiling of the Opera painted by renowned artist Marc Chagall. This remarkable watch was realized using a traditional Genevan technique known as « Grand Feu », characterized by miniature painting on enamel, this meticulous process is specific to the Swiss city and passed down from generation to generation by masters of this art. After a global presentation of this unique watch, it will join the private collection of the Vacheron Constantin Maison.
The 14 other watches will be created over the next two years, and each will be dedicated to one of the composers appearing in Chagall’s monumental work.

Time, culture and art
This delightful trilogy interweaves past, present and future in a manner that etches these works into eternity. It embodies perfect, vibrant and creative symbiosis that has consistently nurtured the Vacheron Constantin philosophy; a perpetual technical and aesthetic exploration that the House continues to cultivate through expertise built up and passed on from generation to generation, and a breed of creativity firmly focused on innovation.

In this respect, a Vacheron Constantin watch is far more than merely an instrument to read off and measure time. It is a mirror of culture and history, a work of art stemming from a wealth of human encounters such as that between Jean-Marc Vacheron and his apprentice in 1755; between the founder’s grandson and François Constantin in 1819; and, down through the ages, those of all the passionate dedicated artists, watchmaking craftsmen, enamellers, gem-setters and engraving who are the enduring lifeblood of the Manufacture.

Such a philosophy was bound to nurture natural affinities between Vacheron Constantin and the world of the arts. Music, opera and ballet are all fields in which human beings, their talent and their personality set the finishing touch to the beauty of the original work. As a patron of the Paris National Opera for the past four years, the watch manufacturer shares with this institution the art of precision, of constant renewal and of wonderment. An art in which technical and aesthetic mastery is orchestrated by a variety of professions. In both watchmaking and opera, the final accomplishment is a quintessentially human story imbued with numerous faithfully perpetuated and shared expressions of expertise. Time has no hold over these crafts in which high demands and noble challenges are crystallised by a tireless pursuit of excellence, audacity and passion.

Marc Chagall and the Garnier Opera House
It was undoubtedly passion that led Marc Chagall to take up the challenge put to him in 1964 by André Malraux, who was serving at the time as French Minister for Cultural Affairs: namely to paint a new ceiling for the Garnier Opera House. The artist received this unexpected proposal after a performance of Daphnis et Chloé, a ballet for which he had created the stage-setting. This wildly audacious project sparked a good deal of debate and opposition, especially from critics who feared a breach of stylistic unity between the concert hall itself, designed by Charles Garnier, and a ceiling created by a contemporary artist… It undoubtedly took a truly visionary spirit to give shape to this idea, and a distinct touch of boldness to dare to take on an artistic monument dating from the Second Empire.

Chagall’s work transformed the ceiling of the Opera House into a vast poetic sky whirling with opera heroes, brilliant musicians, entwined lovers and legendary characters. Concealing the original ceiling painted by Jules Eugène Lenepveu, Chagall’s rich palette with its intense shades and subtle harmonies is deployed over a full 200 square metres, forming an enchantingly luminous flower lit up by the neo-academic gold and purple hues from the era of Napoleon III. Five coloured petals with respective dominant blue, red, yellow, white and green colours each depict two famous musicians surrounded by some of the works they created. The blue one features Moussorgski and Mozart, along with Boris Goudonov and The Magic Flute; the yellow depicts Tchaikovsky and Adam, with Swan Lake and Giselle; Stravinsky and Ravel shine in red with The Firebird and Daphnis et Chloé; green lends a fresh touch to Berlioz and Wagner and the love stories of Romeo and Juliet and Tristan and Isolde; while white with a touch of yellow exalts Rameau and Débussy, along with the latter’s Pelleas and Mélisande. The works of Beethoven, Gluck, Bizet and Verdi are represented in the circle of the dome surrounding the central chandelier. Dotted here and there are some of the most famous Parisian landmarks: the Eiffel Tower, the Arc of Triumph, the Place de la Concorde with its obelisk, and of course the Garnier Opera House itself.

The modern, sparkling and vibrant work by Chagall, which he defined as “the colourful mirror of silk dresses and jewellery lighting up the shoulders of the most beautiful women in Paris” achieves a powerful and subtle musicality in which colours set the tone. The artist, an acknowledged master in the field, played on a basically simple orchestration with five dominant themes. Nonetheless, each of them also carries hints of the four others, exactly like in a musical composition featuring echoed and interwoven tones and themes. The exquisite chromatic and almost symphonic equilibrium of the ceiling creates perfect harmony at the heart of a jewel case imbued with history, splendour and symbolism. The magic weaves its spell and proves that art excels in marrying past, present and future, just as Vacheron Constantin loves to do in each of its creations.

Métier d’Art – Chagall & l’Opéra de Paris “Tribute to Famous Composers”
The Métiers d’Art - Chagall & l’Opéra de Paris collection is composed of 15 one-of-a-kind timepieces: a masterwork entitled “Tribute to Famous Composers” and reproducing every last detail of the Garnier Opera House ceiling painted by Marc Chagall; and 14 models each highlighting a composer and one of his works. These unique miniature masterpieces embody the art of grand feu enamel painting, based on the centuries-old Geneva technique that has remained the exclusive preserve of a handful of artisans.

The yellow gold case frames a 31.50 mm-diameter dial bearing a work that is actually spread over 200 square metres – an amazing feat in itself. Three gold hands sweep tirelessly over the painting, pointing in turn to works by Ravel, Debussy and the 12 other composers. Around the circumference, an array of different nymphs have been hand-engraved on the same level as the enamelled dial, creating an amazing depth effect that is further accentuated by the light reflected there. These majestic embodiments of the hours are reproduced after the Second Empire gildings of the Palais Garnier, while the gold-rimmed dial centre echoes that of the ceiling.
The understated and finely polished 40 mm-diameter case sets off to perfection the refinement of the enamelled miniature. Entirely hand-crafted with a blend of patience, meticulous care and concentration, this painting is a worthy heir to the spirit of the Cabinotiers cherished by the founders of Vacheron Constantin, and also embodied in the “officer” style case-back which opens to reveal an engraving created by the Manufacture in tribute to Marc Chagall.

The heart of the timepiece beats to the regular cadence of the Calibre 2460 self-winding movement entirely developed and manufactured by Vacheron Constantin. Such a stunning work of art naturally deserved a perfect mechanism: in addition to extreme reliability, it also bears the famous Hallmark of Geneva testifying to the perfect execution of the exceptional finishing crafted in keeping with the finest Geneva Haute Horlogerie traditions.
The miniature “Grand Feu” enamelled Geneva technique miniature painting
Having first emerged on the shores of the Mediterranean, enamelling has been used ever since Antiquity to embellish gold ornaments and jewellery. It was adopted by horologers in the 15th Century to adorn their creations and subsequently earned its true pedigree in Geneva, as the city’s artisans refined their techniques, invented new methods and constantly improved this art which came to be expressed in four main ways: champlevé, flinqué, cloisonné and miniature enamelling.

The Métiers d’Art – Chagall & L’Opéra de Paris collection focuses on the art of grand feu enamel painting, one of the oldest and most remarkable craftsmanship traditions of Haute Horlogerie. The grand feu enamels used in the Geneva technique reach their point of fusion at an extremely high temperature, between 800°C and 900°C, thus endowing them with exceptional purity and longevity.

This Métier d’Art, or artistic craft, which was adopted and cultivated by Vacheron Constantin at an early stage in its development, is so rare that only a handful of artisans around the world can claim to have mastered its secrets. This art calls for rigorous and constant discipline that is a fundamental prerequisite in exercising one of the most demanding of all crafts, calling for a degree of concentration and patience perhaps comparable only to the work of the medieval illuminators who toiled over ancient manuscripts.

The Geneva technique of miniature enamelling with a protective flux coating is undoubtedly that which requires the greatest expertise from the master enameller. On a dial measuring 1 mm thick and 31.50 mm in diameter, the artist who crafted the dial of this model began by applying a white base enamel that is extremely hard because of its high fusion point. This dial undergoes a first firing at a temperature of around 900°C in order to be able to withstand the many subsequent firings in the furnace.

On this white enamel base serving as a “background canvas”, the artist starts by tracing the outlines of the various motifs with a brush consisting of two or three marten’s hairs. Using a strong binocular magnifying instrument, he recreates the atmosphere and the emotional vibrations of the work to be reproduced in miniature. This involves a few touches of colour on the chosen shade, placed in successive points in an extremely precise order, moving throughout the entire process from the softer shades to the purer, brighter ones. The extremely fine powders and pigments used for miniature enamel paintings are blended with oils such as lily flower oil, to make them easier to apply.

After around twenty firings in the oven at temperatures of between 800 and 850 degrees Celsius, the work begins to take on its final appearance. During these various stages, the colours are vitrified by the heat and progressively change, become more intense and retract. The enameller’s experience plays an essential and determining role. The furnace firing times must be carefully calculated according to the type and the quantity of matter applied, and their exact duration is part of the workshop secrets carefully preserved by the artist. The path leading to the final touch is strewn with all manner of pitfalls, and the fragile and sometimes refractory enamel is liable to “explode” each time it is removed from the furnace. The cooling stages thus require a great deal of patience to avoid sudden changes of temperature. A single wrong move can cause irreversible damage and force the artisan to begin all over again.

When the miniature enamelled painting has been completed and fired for the last time, it is generally coated with two or three layers of a finishing flux consisting of a transparent enamel serving to protect the work from the potential effects of ageing. Following the final firing of this flux (at 800°C), a fine polish with an abrasive stone is performed, followed by the final polishing operation after the last vitrification in order to achieve the full radiance and pictorial splendour of the work.

Vacheron Constantin is one of the rare watch companies to create such sophisticated enamelled dials. A discipline involving a sense of detail, rigorous care and infinite patience, enamelling is above all a daunting artistic challenge taken up by virtuoso artisans. In its role as guardian of the oldest and most precious traditional Geneva watchmaking skills, the Manufacture is determined to perpetuate such artistic crafts, driven by the firm conviction that they represent a truly priceless treasure.

LIMES Chyros Automatic

German watch brand LIMES introduces a superb new model, The Chyros, to their range of fine watches. The Chyros is named after the ancient Greek word for the 'perfect moment'.

The German made, stainless steel case, is beautifully constructed in three parts, with both polished and finely brushed finishes. The coined edge of the case is echoed in the textured ribbing on the dial. Available either in black or white, both versions have eye-catching, polished, applied markers and a distinctly German look. The white dialed version has black Super-LumiNova lume on the hands - black by day but luminous at night.
The movement is the ultra-reliable Swiss-made, decorated, automatic Sellita SW200 TOP; visible through the mineral crystal display back. The crystal is slightly domed and has anti-reflective coating on both sides and the crown carries the Ickler logo.

The LIMES Chyros is available directly from LIMES for US customers for US$ 1,290, including shipping and all US duties and for International customers  for Eur 995 plus shipping costs.

Manufacture Royale unveiles its first model, the Opéra timepiece, in front of the members of the Cercle de l’Horlogerie

Arnaud Faivre, Director of Manufacture Royale proved there is no better way to relate to enthusiasts and collectors than to launch with the Cercle de l’Hologerie by offering a preview of the exclusive showing of his brand to members of the Cercle de l’Hologerie. For Arnaud Faivre, “presenting Manufacture Royale and its timepiece, Opéra, to members of the Cercle de l’Hologerie, all enthusiasts, connoisseurs and collectors, was a great moment of sharing and intense happiness for me. I felt strong emotion and great satisfaction at these meetings at the Chateau de Voltaire near Geneva and in Monaco.” The exchanges and attention were on the level of all of the energy devoted to “the ultimate in watch making excellence” for Manufacture Royale.

Collectors, aficionados, and luxury watch making enthusiasts could enjoy the presentation by Arnaud Faivre, CEO of Manufacture Royale and by the artist-designer Charles Grosbety. The first model of the brand, the Opéra timepiece, was unveiled in front of the members of the Cercle de l’Horlogerie of Geneva and Monaco, who were pleased to be the first to discover it, to see it and, at times, to test it.

The participants fully described the historical context from which Manufacture Royal takes its complete identity, Voltaire in one of his lesser known roles, as the important watch and clock dealer with the creation 250 years ago in Ferney of the first royal manufacturing facility. Strengthened by this heritage, Manufacture Royale is positioned as the ultimate in watch making excellence. Arnaud Faivre, the energetic Director of the brand, then explained the entire process, which exceeds the standards of contemporary luxury watch making.

Finally, Charles Grosbety told the attentive audience the inspirations for his work on this first Opéra model, taken directly from the functionalities of the Sydney opera…A repetition minutes tourbillon of this caliber should have had a resonance case at the same level as the perfection as its product.

Melanie Brown selects PROGRESSION TIME MOVER® piece from BUBEN&ZORWEG to safeguard her most valuable automatic watches

Matters of style play a special role in the life of Melanie Brown who as Mel B, aka "Scary Spice", former member of the unforgettable Spice Girls. She is currently starring in “Mel B: It’s a Scary World” for the Style Network, a reality series which focuses on Melanie Brown and her family. When Mel B looked around for a watch-winder and found what she was looking for at market leader BUBEN&ZORWEG, her choice was also very style-conscious –the singer/actress was immediately attracted by the stylish PROGRESSION in the white piano lacquer version.

"If high-tech comes in such a great design, I can hardly resist it!", said Mel B enthusiastically. "The fact that this top design is accompanied by manufacturing quality which is simply fascinating is all the nicer. It's really a gem!"
BUBEN&ZORWEG's PROGRESSION already seems to have anticipated time. The design points to the future and, this real masterpiece of handicraft, the construction wins hands down with the combination of innovative ideas and materials of the highest quality even today. The hand-polished aluminium cylinder, equipped with an integrated revolving function contrasts charmingly with the black velvet of the interior design and the window enables the glance at the watches which are optimally concealed on its TIME MOVER® modules. High-tech innovation and masterfully handcrafted … this is the look of the future today.

Melanie Brown is one of the first to entrust her most valuable automatic watches to the PROGRESSION. For Melanie Brown the new TIME MOVER® will play the leading role in her collection of watches. And for BUBEN&ZORWEG, the PROGRESSION is yet another milestone in the FINE ART OF COLLECTING. As the fans of the Spice Girls will long remember Mel B, so the PROGRESSION will occupy its firm place in the world of the passionate watch-lovers.

Ulysse Nardin "Trilogy of Time" Platinum Limited Edition Set

Since its launch in mid nineteen eighties ,the " Trilogy of Time "line of watch collection added three spectacular timepieces named as Astrolabium Galileo Galilei (introduced in 1985), Planetarium Copernicus (introduced in 1988) and Tellurium Johannes Kepler(introduced in 1992).

These historical timepieces were actually produced to honour three brilliant names in the world of astronomy: Galileo Galilei, Copernicus, and Johannes Kepler. Now the Swiss watch brand Ulysse Nardin offers new set of Trilogy of Time timepieces in the Limited Editions made of Platinum.
According to archeological discoveries, astronomy is one of the oldest preoccupations of mankind. A science dealing with all celestial bodies in the universe, including the planets and their satellites, comets and meteors, the stars and interstellar matter, quasars, the systems known as galaxies, astronomy has aroused the curiosity of ancient people. Concern and questions (fears of eclipses and meteors) resulted in countless myths and many religious beliefs all around the globe.

To the first astronomers, the sky showed unmistakable signs of regular behaviour. Thus the division of time in years (revolution of our Earth around the Sun), in months (moon phases) and days has always been one of the basic principles to govern our lives.

In fact, ancient people soon realized that the Sun rose every morning from the east, crossed the sky during the day and set in opposite direction, the west. They soon also noted that daytime and nighttime were unequal in length. The Egyptians may have been the first to discover that the Sun moves completely around the sphere of the fixed stars in approximately 365 days.

The ancient Greeks made important theoretical contributions to astronomy. These were later transmitted to the Syrians, the Hindus and the Arabs, who compiled new star catalogues in the 9th and 10th centuries and subsequently developed tables of planetary motion.The history of astronomy took a dramatic turn in the 16th century as a result of the contributions of the Pole Nicolaus Copernicus.

Educated in Italy, he spent most of his life investigating astronomy and became most famous for his great work “On the Revolutions of the Heavenly Bodies” (1543), in which he refuted the Ptolemaic theory of an Earth-centred universe and demonstrated that the planetary motions can only be explained by assuming a central position of the Sun.

The Italian Galileo found the evidence to support the Copernican heliocentric theory after the invention of the telescope. Apart from discovering the phases of Venus and four moons orbiting Jupiter, thus proving that Copernicus was right, he made the sensational discovery that the Milky Way is made of a myriad of individual stars. Later, the Danish astronomer Tycho Brahe observed the Sun, Moon and planets and carefully noted his findings. His German assistant Joannes Kepler, using this data, formulated the laws of planetary motion, after discovering the elliptical orbits and varying speeds of the different planets. Sir Isaac Newton advanced the principle of an attractive force between the Sun and each planet, thus providing the basis for the physical interpretation of Kepler’s laws.

With the improvement of telescopes, astronomy became a true science. Edmond Halley predicted the return of the comet that now bears his name. Christian Huygens discovered the true nature of the rings of Saturn. Several renowned astronomers added their names to the gallery of famous discoverers: Lagrange, Laplace, Herschel, Leverrier, Adams – among several others including Albert Einstein.

Ulysse Nardin Trilogy of Time
When Ulysse Nardin launched the first astrolabe wrist-watch in 1985, this was regarded as a small revolution in the rather closed circle of highly complicated timepieces. Conceived by Ludwig Oechslin - who has since regularly signed numerous most useful creations – the astrolabium was the first of a Trilogy of Time. This very complex instrument indicates the position of the Sun, the Moon and the stars as seen from Earth. It also tells sunrise and sunset, dawn and dusk, moon phases, moonrise and moonset, eclipses of sun and moon.

The Planetarium Copernicus, which shows the astronomical positions of the five main planets in relation to the Sun and the Earth, was disclosed in 1988. Third and last instrument of the Trilogy is the Tellurium Johannes Kepler, unveiled in 1992. An incredible timepiece that rotates the Earth as seen from above the North Pole. A tiny flexible spring bends from the Tropic of Cancer to the Tropic of Capricorn to reveal which part of the Earth is lit by the Sun and to indicate the time and place of sunrise and sunset. Moon phases and eclipses are also shown. The three instruments are all equipped with self-winding perpetual movements.

Ulysse Nardin "Trilogy of Time" new set in Platinum
Because seven years elapsed between the first and last astronomical watches, the instruments have mainly been offered as individual timepieces. The new set consists of a novel presentation of the three instruments. All three watches are embodied in massive platinum cases. The size of the two original instruments has been increased. New dials have been designed to offer a greater harmony between the three pieces.
The luxurious presentation box made of black leather features three individual built-in battery operated motors. These new astronomical watches in platinum are only available as a complete set. However, the three original yellow gold individual timepieces are still part of the regular production program. While revealing the magnificence and splendour of the sky, may astronomy help mankind to rediscover the true sense of beauty of the Universe. Limited Edition of 100 sets.

Ulysse Nardin Astrolabium Galileo Galilei Platinum
Available with a dial (planisphere)for different latitudes.The Astrolabe was developed by ancient astronomers to measure the altitude and direction of celestial bodies over the horizon, calculate the seasons, the movements of the zodiac and to foretell eclipses.
This highly complex instrument indicates the position of the sun, the moon and the stars in the sky at any given hour as seen from Earth. It also indicates sunrise and sunset, dawn and dusk, moonphases, moonrise and moonset, eclipses of sun and moon, the month and the day of the week.
Technical details
Ref 999-70 (ø 41 mm)
Astronomical wristwatch.
Caliber UN-99
Self-winding perpetual movement
Platinum case.
Water-resistant to 30 m.
Sapphire crystals. Leather strap.

Ulysse Nardin Planetarium Copernicus Platinum
One single movement of mechanical excellency plus a stroke of pure genius combine Ptolemy’s geocentric universe with the Earth at its center, and Copernicus' heliocentric universe with the Sun at its center. This allows the reading of the astronomical positions of the planets in relation to the Sun and the Earth.
The moon rotates around the Earth. A perpetual calendar indicating the months and the sign of the zodiac completes one turn in 365.24 days at the exterior.
Technical details
Ref 839-70 (ø 41 mm)
Astronomical wristwatch.
Caliber UN-83. Self-winding perpetual movement.
Quick corrector. Platinum case.
Water-resistant to 30 m.
Sapphire crystals. Leather strap.

Ulysse Nardin Tellurium Johannes Kepler Platinum
Tellurium Johannes Kepler is a revolutionary timepiece that rotates the Earth in its true geographical shape seen from above the North Pole. A flexible spring bends from the Tropic of Cancer to the Tropic of Capricorn to reveal the part of the Earth lit by the Sun and to indicate the time and place of sunrise and sunset.
The moon rotates around the Earth. The dragon hand indicates the eclipses of the sun and the moon. The perpetual calendar completes one turn each year.
Technical details
Ref 889-70 (ø 43 mm)
Astronomical wristwatch.
Caliber UN-88. Self-winding perpetual movement.
Moon phases. 24-hour indicator.
Quick corrector. Platinum case.
Water-resistant to 30 m.
Sapphire crystals.
Hand painted enamel Earth.
Leather strap.

Saturday, November 20, 2010

Zenith Tourbillon Chronograph El Primero Automatic

ZENITH's new tourbillon is combined with a chronograph calibre with a calendar – another watchmaking complication – and a high frequency, a third challenge. It is the only watch on the market with such a complex mechanism, aiming to attain the most precise chronometric performance possible.

This new tourbillon from Zenith is unique in more than one way: it shows off its rotating carriage in the upper left-hand part of the dial, including a built-in calendar. This asymmetry aesthetically highlights the tourbillon’s mechanism, visible through an opening in the dial, while maintaining fine proportions and elegant lines. The date is displayed – in a patented system – by means of a disk around the circumference of the carriage.
The El Primero chronograph’s automatic calibre is the heart of the movement. While the high frequency assigned to this exceptional motor generates greater precision, it also demands increased power. To protect performance, ZENITH designers have developed an in-line escapement that shifts the balance spring to the outer edge of the rotating carriage.

The result is a tourbillon and a high-frequency automatic chronograph with over 50 hours of power reserve. The calibre is composed of 381 components, including 67 for the rotating carriage. Yet, it is barely 1 mm thicker than the original El Primero.
This is the only tourbillon on the market that operates at high frequency. The new Zenith tourbillon comes in two models: steel or rose gold, with counters at three and six o’clock. The seconds hand in the tourbillon carriage rotates with it in 60 seconds.
A true mechanical masterpiece and a technical exploit, to date, the ZENITH tourbillon is the only one to beat at a high frequency, with a quarter more vibrations of its balance than other constructions.
The case’s middle is formed using a double stamping process, which creates one curve at a time along the length and depth. The olivette makes it easier to grasp the crown. The magic of the calibre in movement can be seen through the Sapphire glass.

Technical details
References:
03.2050.4035/21.C630
18.2050.4035/01.C631

Movement
El Primero 4035 D, Automatic
Height: 7.55 mm
Components: 381
Jewels: 35
Frequency: 36’000 VpH - (5 Hz)
Power reserve: min. 50 hours
Finishings: 18 carat Gold or metal oscillating weight with «Côtes de Genève» pattern.
Caliber: 16 ½ ``` (Diameter : 37 mm)

Functions
Hours and minutes in the center
Chronograph:
-Central Second hand
-30-minute counter at 3 o’clock
-12-hour counter at 6 o’clock
Tourbillon:-The carriage is positioned at 11 o’clock
-The carriage makes one turn per minute
-The small second is on the carriage
-The date is positioned around the carriage

Case
Material: Rose Gold or Stainless Steel
Crystal: Box-form Sapphire glass with anti-reflection treatment on both sides
Case-back: Transparent Sapphire glass
Water-resistance: 10 ATM
Case Diameter: 44 mm
Opening Diameter: 39 mm

Dial
Black Sunray or Silver Sunray
Hands: Rhodium Faceted with Superluminova SLN C1 or Gold plated for Rose Gold version
Indexes: Rhodium Faceted with Superluminova SLN C1 or Gold plated for Rose Gold version

Strap
Alligator Leather strap lined with a Rubber protection available also on triple folding buckle

Swiss watch maker Eberhard & Co to sponsor 10th Monte Carlo Film Festival

Research, study, passion, interpretation of reality, evolution, time. These are the connections between Eberhard & Co. and the world of Cinema in general and comedy in particular.

One could consider that the Cinema has revolutionised the concept and meaning of time, proposing a new interpretation and revealing many different dimensions of space and time, and at that point, one can understand the close tie that exists between the cinematographic world and Eberhard & Co. Time. A time, which is also revolutionary and whose literature has been reinterpreted and represented by the Maison in one of its most typical models: the Chrono 4.

Time is evolution, it is memory, it is emotion, it is projection, it is history, it is choice. Its transversal meaning inspires the works of the Cinema as much as the creations of the Swiss Maison. This is why Eberhard & co., as Official Sponsor, will record the time during the 10th Monte Carlo Film Festival “of Comedy” that will take place from 23 to 27 November at the Grimaldi Forum in Monaco, setting the seal on the meeting of these two fascinating worlds.

Through the years, from its inception in 2001 until today, this prestigious event has known how to carve out and establish a leading position among the top international cinematographic events, proposing an interesting combination of high-impact films from all over the world, quality Cinema, sophisticated comedies, but also light and ironic.

Again this year, the Platinum Awards are featured, Career Awards and important international guests. The Festival will conclude its tenth birthday celebrations with a Gala evening that will host the prize-giving ceremony in the Salle des Princes, at the Grimaldi Forum, on 27 November and Eberhard & Co. will celebrate this anniversary with one of its most representative models.

Friday, November 19, 2010

Laurent Ferrier and Jean-François Mojon, who will expose their watches at the GTE’s second edition, win The Grand Prix de l'Horloge de Genève awards

The Grand Prix de l'Horlogerie de Genève, one of the world's most prestigious watchmaking awards, has paid tribute to Geneva Time Exhibition by awarding two of its most distinguished exhibitors : Laurent Ferrier and Jean-François Mojon, who will expose their incredible concept watches at the GTE’s second edition, from January 16 – 21, 2011 at the Geneva International Conference Center (CICG).

Winner of the Man Watch Category, the Laurent Ferrier Galet Classic Tourbillon Double Spiral has been created by Laurent Ferrier with the collaboration of « La Fabrique du Temps ». This first timepiece takes its inspiration from great chronometer competition watches, emphasizing on discretion, quality and precision. The Laurent Ferrier Genève Galet Classic Tourbillon Double Spiral initiates a tradition both innovative and based on centuries old know-how.

Creator of the highly acclaimed Harry Winston Opus X, Jean-François Mojon was awarded Best Conceptor Watchmaker 2010. Inspired by planetary movements and the space-time continuum, Opus X captures the shape and dimensionality of time through the synchronous rotation of circular motions. Replacing a traditional fixed dial and watch hands, time is displayed as system of rotating indicators mounted on a revolving frame. Presenting a new technical challenge, as the frame completes a full rotation, the dials of each indicator turn in the opposite direction, ensuring orientation remains constant in any position.

Following the Opus X, Jean-François Mojon has developed an ambitious project, kept secret for months. A few days ago, the creator has unveiled the secret, announcing an exceptional timepiece with a worldwide patented movement, created for the new brand Cyrus. The movement of this revolutionary timepiece, made in collaboration with Cyrus founder Laurent Lecamp, is equipped with an unprecedented, global-patented complication. This secret timepiece is already attracting everyone's attention! Visit the Cyrus stand at GTE 2011 to learn more about it! Jean-François Mojon will, exceptionally, be present the whole week of the Fair (January,16-21 2011).

Thursday, November 18, 2010

GRIEB & BENZINGER Blue Sensation Split-Seconds Skeleton Regulator Chronograph in Solid Platinum

Germany based custom watch brand, GRIEB & BENZINGER presents The Blue Sensation, another unique masterpiece based on a historic PATEK PHILIPPE for TIFFANY movement.

Hermann Grieb, watchmaking genius and one of the three partners of GRIEB & BENZINGER, has yet again opened his horological treasure chest to charm out a valuable, historical, rare chronograph movement made in 1889 by Patek Philippe and delivered in 1890 to Tiffany. GRIEB & BENZINGER is specialized in complications such as minute repeaters, however due to the high demand for special chronographs, the German workshop specialized in high-end collector’s pieces has created a new unique piece in solid platinum based on a historical Patek Philippe split-seconds chronograph movement.
GRIEB & BENZINGER is used to doing restoration and modification on minute repeaters that are generally considered horological masterpieces. The intense workmanship associated with the skeletonization and guilloché as well as the technical modifications of plates and bridges of this split-seconds chronograph took much more time and intense attention than all the minute repeaters worked on before it, however. Countless hours of detailed restoration, hand-skeletonization, hand-engraving, and guilloché were invested. The fine guilloché work of the plates and bridges necessitated moving original drilled holes by less than one-twentieth of a millimeter, and the movement needed to be continuously reassembled, adjusted, disassembled, and reassembled in order to guarantee full functioning of the great number of levers and wheels despite their elaborate treatment. The movement was disassembled more than 20 times before being reassembled in order to guarantee all functions, even those applying to the additional modifications.
A skeletonized dial with a rare Breguet frosted finish with overlapping displays in the characteristic GRIEB & BENZINGER style unequivocally shows the connoisseur the technical prowess needed to turn such a masterpiece into a regulator—a style for which the workshop is known. Additionally, it allows a view of the blue platinum coated base plate, a signature element of GRIEB & BENZINGER.
With The Blue Sensation, GRIEB & BENZINGER sensationally offers the only split-seconds skeletonized regulator chronograph on the market—a unique piece sure to soon find a home on the wrist of a connoisseur who is only too happy to pay the price of 197,500 euros (plus VAT). With its 49 mm diameter, this unique timepiece is not only a design statement on the wrist, with a full weight of more than 150 grams, it is once again the heaviest platinum watch in the world.

Technical details

Case
Solid platinum, approx 165 gr. platinum
Anti-reflective domed sapphire crystal
Pusher and crown made of solid platinum
Guilloché on top of button & crown
Screw-in sapphire crystal case back and bezel
Diameter: 49 mm

Strap
Blue alligator strap with Platinum buckle

Movement
Based on a Patek Philippe caliber from 1889 and sold to Tiffany New York in 1890. The movement was completely disassembled and restored.
Base plate:Hand-skeletonized before being guilloche and coated with blue platinum
Three-quarter plate:Hand-skeletonized and modified to change shape. Also guilloché and coated with rhodium and rose gold
Winding:Mechanical with manual winding
Bridges and cocks: Every single bridge and cock was skeletonized to change shape, guilloché and rhodium-plated, the hand-engraved balance cock, rhodium-plated and rose gold-plated Guilloché wheels , Flame blued steel screws
Barrel: Visible guilloché on spring barrel
Chronograph:Split-seconds chronograph
Balance:Compensation screw balance with blued Breguet spring , 18,000 semi-oscillations per hour
Escapement:Swiss club-tooth lever with compensation weight
Jewels: 26 jewels
Power reserve: Approx. 30 hours of power reserve

Functions
Hours & minutes, sweep chronograph minutes, regulator display, hours at 3 o´clock, sweep split-seconds hand
Subsidiary seconds (permanently running) at 9 o’clock

Hands
Steel hour, minute and second hands
Rose gold-plated split-seconds hand
Subsidiary seconds (permanently running) at 9 o’clock

Dial
Hand-skeletonized Sterling silver with original (!) Breguet frosted finish

Price
197.500 € Export without VAT // 235.000 € incl. German VAT

Graham-London Silverstone Time Zone

The Silverstone Time Zone has all so called complications housed in a thin 42 mm case: Automatic movement,hours, minutes, central second, and date. It even sports a big GMT function, so that GRAHAM lovers are all over what has become a “small” world. Minimalistic, and practical.

The numerals on the dial are typical GRAHAM . A big 6 and a big 12 popped out.These numerals help when it comes to reading time, and they are too typically GRAHAM not to have them. Pure GRAHAM DNA. Just like the refinement of colored stitches on the bracelet. The Silverstone Time Zone comes in three dial versions: Black Carbon, Silver and Gulf Blue.



Technical details
Model: Silverstone Time Zone Black Carbon Ref. 2TZAS.B02A
Functions:
GMT / second time zone. Date at 7 o'clock
Hours, minutes, seconds

Calibre: Calibre G1714, automatic movement, 28'800 A/h (4Hz), Incabloc shock absorber
21 jewels; Power reserve: 42 hours

Case:
42 mm steel case with faceted horns
Steel right hand crown
Steel black bezel. Steel GMT graduation
Domed sapphire crystal, anti-reflective coating on both faces
See-through sapphire crystal case back
Water resistance: 160 feet / 50 m

Dial:Black carbon dial;White Super-LumiNova hands, white lacquered numerals, black GMT hand with red tip
Strap: Black leather with red stitches

Suggested retail Price: 3'900 CHF

Other models available are Silverstone Time Zone Gulf Blue and silver.

Vacheron Constantin Retrograde Annual Calendar (With New Calibre 2460QRA)

Swiss luxury watch maker Vacheron Constantin had presented its much acclaimed contemporary Quai de l’Ile collection 2008. Now the line is enriched with a Retrograde Annual Calendar model featuring state of the art Vacheron Constantin Calibre 2460 QRA and housed within a 43 mm case offering unique opportunities for personalisation.

It made a significant impact in 2008 and will doubtless not go unnoticed in 2011. Resolutely contemporary and embodying as never before the concept of personalisation in the field of fine watchmaking, the Quai de l’Ile collection welcomes a new complication that is as useful as it is technical: the retrograde annual calendar. Clothed in pink or white gold – or both if the customer so wishes – this model with its dynamic lines houses a new mechanical self-winding complicated movement designed, developed and crafted by Vacheron Constantin: Calibre 2460 QRA, bearing the prestigious Hallmark of Geneva. This calibre incorporates two expressions of technical mastery: the annual calendar combined with a retrograde date display.
The annual calendar is undoubtedly one of the most useful complications, since it takes account of the essential calendar irregularities over a full year. Contrary to simple calendars programmed for 31-day months and requiring date corrections almost every two months, the mechanical programming of the annual calendar enables it to handle months of both 30 and 31 days. This means it requires adjustment just once a year in order to cope with the specific vagaries of the month of February. Already remarkable in its own right, this complication is associated in the new Quai de l’Ile model with a retrograde date display, an acknowledged Vacheron Constantin speciality.

Calibre 2460 QRA
The master-watchmakers and design engineers of Vacheron Cosntantin have conceived, developed and crafted the new Calibre 2460 QRA, complying with technical specifications that included the need to meet the high finishing and construction stipulations laid down by the Hallmark of Geneva regulations. The new 326-part Vacheron Constantin Calibre 2460 QRA drives the hours, minutes and small seconds at 9 o’clock, as well as the annual calendar with retrograde date display, months and a high-precision moon-phase indication requiring correction just once every 122 years.
Equipped with a stop-seconds device to ensure precise time-setting, it is endowed with a 40-hour power reserve and a frequency of 4 Hz (28,800 vibrations per hour). This mechanical self-winding movement is equipped with an oscillating weight mounted on ceramic ball bearings and specially developed to match the spirit of the innovative Quai de l’Ile collection. Crafted in ruthenium-plated 22K gold, it is distinguished by its pure lines enhanced by five raised decorative fillets.

The contemporary character of the Quai de l’Ile collection is further reinforced by the case of the Retrograde Annual Calendar available in a new 43 mm size. Cushion-shaped and featuring a screw-down back fitted with a sapphire crystal pane, this original case is a contemporary reinterpretation of a classic watch shape. Like legendary cars that are endlessly redesigned to keep pace with style developments, the Quai de l’Ile case is a vivid expression of an avant-garde watchmaking concept, while remaining entirely in harmony with the stylistic spirit of Vacheron Constantin. Constantly in search of flowing shapes and visually perfect curves, as well as the boldly assertive character and dynamic lines of stealth-type objects, the Vacheron Constantin designers have pushed the limits of these territories in conceiving and designing this case that now symbolises the Vacheron Constantin personalisation concept.

Available in three versions in the standard collection (pink gold, white gold or two-tone pink and white gold), the Quai de l’Ile Retrograde Annual Calendar corresponds to another of the collection’s signature features: personalisation. The owner can personalise the model according to certain predefined principles, and this unique and unprecedented opportunity in the field of Haute Horlogerie is made possible by the original construction of the Quai de l’Ile case and its seven-part middle: lateral flanks at 3 and 9 o’clock, lugs at 12 and 6 o’clock, inter-lug pieces at 12 and 6 o’clock, and a support plate. In addition to these seven elements, the 43 mm-diameter case comprises the bezel, the back and the crown. Combined with certain dial elements, this construction enables Vacheron Constantin to offer its clientele 700 potential variations within the complete Quai de l’Ile collection.

The latest addition to the collection also offers new dial versions with satin-brushed/vertical finishing in the central zone and opaline finishing in the outer zone, as well as for the month and date indications. When launched in 2008, the Quai de l’Ile achieved a considerable impact through its unprecedented association between the watchmaking world and the most secret and sophisticated “Security Printing” technologies. A powerful emblem of this original security system, the sun motif inspired by the clock tower of the Tour de l’Ile (next to the historic headquarters of Vacheron Constantin) is placed inside a disc printed in invisible ink and appears between 4 and 5 o’clock only under ultra-violet light.

The Quai de l’Ile Retrograde Annual Calendar is delivered with two straps: one in black or brown alligator leather, and the other in black or brown rubber, secured by an 18K pink or white gold folding clasp.

Resolutely modern in terms of its design and of the original concepts on which its unique personality is based, the new Quai de l’Ile Retrograde Annual Calendar merges perfect mastery of mechanical complexity with innovative design and an entirely original personalisation concept.

Technical details
Reference: 86040

Movement
2460 QRA, developed and crafted by Vacheron Constantin
Stamped with the Hallmark of Geneva
Energy Mechanical, self-winding
Movement diameter: 26.20 mm
Movement thickness: 5.40 mm
Jewels: 27 jewels
Frequency: 4Hz (28’800 vibrations/hour)

Indications
Hours, minutes and small seconds at 9 o’clock
Annual calendar (date, month), date with retrograde hand
Precision moon phase
Power reserve : More than 40 hours

Case
18K 5N pink gold or 18K white gold
Cushion-shape
43 mm x 54 mm
Transparent, sapphire crystal, screwed-down
Water-resistance: 3 BAR, equivalent to 30 meters

Dial
Soft vertical satin-finishing in the central zone,
Opaline external ring and day and date indication zones
UV ink sun
Chamfered hour-markers and counters
Moon phase disk in matt ebony opaline metal and circular satin-finished moon figure

Strap
Each model is delivered with two straps:
Black or brown hand-stitched, saddle-finished square-shape scales alligator Mississippiensis leather
Black or brown natural rubber
Clasp: 18K 5N pink or 18K white gold triple-blade folding clasp

Sunday, November 14, 2010

RAYMOND WEIL makes their presence at Galeries Lafayette Haussmann, Paris

This year, Swiss watch manufacturer RAYMOND WEIL is making a presence in the country that is the epitome of luxury goods, with the opening at the end of October of a corner in Galeries Lafayette Haussmann. This department store, an absolute shopping must for tourists, is Paris' second most visited site after the Louvre. RAYMOND WEIL is thus providing for its collections a prestigious area at the apex of French style in general and of Parisian chic in particular.

Having conquered a place in the vanguard of international markets, especially in the US, China, and India, RAYMOND WEIL has decided to give a new dimension to its presence in France, where the Brand has remained very discreet until now. A family company over three generations, for RAYMOND WEIL, independence is more than trademark, it's a state of mind. With its bold and avant-garde spirit, firmly based on a genuine watchmaking know-how, RAYMOND WEIL demonstrates a profound attachment to its roots and a desire to preserve tradition as a source of inspiration.



Under the stained-glass, art nouveau coupola, at the forefront of artistic trends…a venue of undeniable prestige for the leading luxury brands, Galeries Lafayette has always been the place to shop in Paris. With its new corner at the heart of the watchmaking department, on the ground floor of the Boulevard Haussmann store, RAYMOND WEIL offers its creations a magnificent showcase. So it's at the centre of this prestigious universe that the maestro collection will be under the spotlight among others. Mechanical pieces specially conceived for those who see the beauty of an authentic gesture in the act of rewinding one's watch every day. Far from the world of fashion and its ephemeral trends, maestro soberly reinterprets a certain notion of constant classicism, chic and refined.

Saturday, November 13, 2010

Gallet : Manufacturing High End Professional Timepieces Since 1466

Gallet, the famed manufacturer of fine military and professional timepieces commands an unmatched traditional expertise of 500 years as a leader of innovations in watch making industry.Gallet is considered as the world’s oldest watch and clock making house and since its foundation in 1466,the Gallet watch making dynasty continued to produce innovative and high end professional timepieces which became the favorite timing instruments for Governments & military,organizations and professionals that required more from a watch than simply telling time of day.

With the exception of a few 20'th century military contracts, Gallet timepieces were rarely mass - issued to service men and industry employees due to their higher cost.Instead, Gallet's highly developed timing instruments were commissioned for specific applications when lesser watches couldn't meet the requirements.

Origins of world's oldest watch brand
Origins of the Gallet watch company can be traced back to 1466, When a clock maker named Humbertus Gallet, became the citizen of Geneva. In 1685, Due to the abolishment by French King Louis XIV of the tolerance agreement of Nantes, additional members of the Bourg en-Bresse Gallet family, whose professions are documented as goldsmiths and watchmakers, joined their relatives in Geneva to live and practice their trade.

In 1702, Philippe Gallet ((1679–1739), son of Jacques Gallet (1649–1700) and Marie Bouvier Gallet, was included in the Geneva Registry of Jewelers and Watchmakers. In 1742, Pierre Gallet (1712–1768) married noblewoman named Jeanne Renée de Rabours. The marriage contract records show Pierre Gallet's profession as a master goldsmith. This document also lists the occupation of Pierre's father, Philippe Gallet (1679–1739), as goldsmith and watchmaker.Jacques Gallet (1745–1806) , son of Pierre Gallet & Jeanne Renée de Rabours also followed the family tradition and became a watchmaker & jeweler.

From 1800 to 1900
Jean-Louis Gallet (1774–1809), the son of Jacques Gallet (1745–1806) , became a French citizen when Napoleon annexed Geneva in 1804. He managed his father's jewelry and watch making company until his premature death in 1809 at age of 35.

In 1826 , Julien Gallet (1806–1849), the son of Jean Louis, relocated the family watch making business to La Chaux-de-Fonds, a major center for pocket watch production. At this time, the company was officially registered as Gallet & Cie (Gallet & Company). In 1848, after the death of Julien Gallet at the age of 43, his widow Louise, and sons Leon & Lucien took the charge of the company.

Under the control of Léon Gallet (1832–1899) , the company achieved a rapid growth. In 1855 he expanded the business by acquiring Grumbach & Co., a company used to produce watches with the brand name Electa. Gallet & Cie. is renamed Electa Gallet & Cie. and produced watches under both the Gallet and Electa brand names. In 1864, Léon Gallet's brother Lucien Gallet established the company's first US location in Chicago, with a New York City office following soon after. Together with Jules Racine, a cousin of the Gallet brothers living in the US, the company expanded its distribution to the American market.

In 1876 , In response to competition for sales of timepieces in Europe by large American watch manufacturers, Léon Gallet, together with Louis and Jules Courvoisier, Ernest Francillon of Longines, and Constant Girard-Gallet of Girard-Perregaux, established the "Intercantonal Company for Industrial Development of the Jura Industries". Benefiting from the unified strength of combined Swiss,manufacturing resources, the group was able to maintain its sales dominance in Europe. Marketing for the syndicate was primarily European based with an emphasis on sales to England.

In 1880 , Émile Courvoisier (1858–1937), son of Louis Courvoisier (1825–1885), married Henriette Gallet (1860–1939), daughter of Léon Gallet, and the working relationship between these two important La Chaux-de-Fonds watch manufacturers became familial. In 1881, Léon L. Gallet commissioned and trademarked the Gallet Lyre Mark. The Lyre Mark was stamped on watch cases and movements manufactured in the La Chaux-de-Fonds workshop. In 1882, a strategic partnership was formed with Jules Jeanneret & Fils, to supply mechanisms for Gallet’s professional use line of hand-held timers and pocket chronographs.

In 1883, Léon handed over the management of Gallet company to his older son Julien (1862–1934), but continued to remain involved in business until his 1899 death in New York. The JG initials were added to the Gallet Lyre Mark and the company name was temporarily changed to Julien Gallet & Cie to reflect the older son's control of the business. Georges Gallet (1865–1946), Léon's younger son, assisted his brother with the management of the company while working part-time at Courvoisier & Frères. By this time, the Gallet Company was producing more than 100,000 watches annually.

In 1893, Georges Gallet, son of Léon married Berthe Courvoisier (1868–1936), daughter of Louis Philippe Courvoisier . Berthe Courvoisier and her brother Émile, together with Georges Gallet and his sister Henriette, continued to manage the Courvoisier Frères watch company. Georges Gallet assumed the role as co-director of the company.

Introduction of first wrist-worn watches in USA by Gallet (1895)
In 1895 , Gallet introduced the first wrist-worn watches for mass consumption by men and women to the American market. However, these first "wristwatches" were immediately rejected due to public perception as being too unusual for women and too feminine for men. All unsold examples were soon returned to Switzerland for dis-assembly. In spite of initial resistance to this groundbreaking innovation, wristwatches were issued during WWI as a more useful way for soldiers to tell time in combat situations. As a result, this new concept gained acceptance and the other watch companies also started marketing wrist watches.

Rail - road pocket watches under Interocean brand name (1896)
In 1896, rail road pocket watches with chronometer grade movements with patented regulators were created by Gallet under the Interocean brand name and distributed by Timothy Eaton (T. Eaton Department Store) for railway use.In the same year Gallet also won a silver medal at the Swiss National Exhibition in Geneva.

Establishment of Musée international d'horlogerie (1899)
In 1899, upon his death, Léon Gallet bequeathed a sum of 43,000 Swiss Francs to the town of La Chaux-de-Fonds, of which 25,000 Swiss Francs was used for the construction of the Musée international d'horlogerie (International Museum of Watch Making). To assist the museum in building its initial collection of timepieces, Georges Gallet donated over 100 highly complex and valuable Gallet, Electa, and Courvoisier watches. Georges Gallet served as director of the museum for the next twenty years and the company name was changed back to Gallet & Cie (Gallet & Co.).

1900 -1911
In 1905, Gallet won a Diploma of Honor at the Liege Exhibition. In 1906, the company name "Gallet & Cie, Fabrique d’horlogerie Electa" was registered to reinforce Gallet's ownership and control of the Electa brand. Under the Electa name, Gallet continued to produce its highest quality timepieces. In 1911, Henri Jeanneret-Brehm, a member of the esteemed Jeanneret family of St. Imier watchmakers, purchased the Magnenat-Lecoultre factory with financial assistance from the Gallet company.

First Sweep seconds wrist watch by Gallet(1912)
In 1912 , Gallet created the first wristwatch for mass distribution to include a full-sized constant seconds hand originating from the center of the dial (face). This innovation proved useful for timing tasks that emphasized seconds over minutes and hours, including the measuring of the human heart rate. Gallet’s new “sweep second” wristwatches were issued to military nurses and medics during World War I.

The world’s first wrist chronograph featuring a “waterproof” case(1914)
In 1914 , Gallet supplied wrist-worn timers to the British armed forces during World War I. This early chronograph wristwatch was an obvious transitional timepiece. The MultiChron 30, a high quality timer with 2 subsidiary registers and 30 minute recording capability, was the world's 1st true wrist-worn chronograph. The 30 also holds the distinction as the world’s first wrist chronograph to be housed in a “waterproof” case. Engineered in 1936 by Gallet watchmaker, Philippe Weiss, the unique 2-part compression case for the model 30 was designed to protect the delicate inner mechanism from the adverse conditions found on the field of battle. The MultiChron initially utilized Valjoux 13 ligne movements, followed by the Venus calibre 150 for later series. When Gallet began production of their own Excelsior Park chronograph movements with 45 minute recording capabilities, the model 30 was replaced by the MultiChron 45.

Image above :MultiChron 30 (1st series for Royal Air Force),manual winding chronograph,
35mm diameter sterling silver case.


While technically refined and reduced in size from a traditional hand-held timer, it still retains the three-piece case, porcelain enamel dial, and center button crown of its larger predecessor. In the same year ,Gallet won the Grand Prize in the Chronometer category at the Swiss National Exhibition in Berne.

Hand held & Cockpit mounted timers under Electa brand name (1915)
In 1915 , Gallet started the supply of hand held and cockpit mounted timers to the British Air Force during WW I. Movements were produced in Gallet’s Electa workshop and marked with the Electa name.In 1917, Gallet won the 1st place award for chronometer accuracy at the Canton Observatory in Neuchâtel.

Setting up of Excelsior Park Manufacture (1918)
In 1918 , Jeanneret-Brehm started manufacturing under the company name Excelsior Park. Deriving the name from Jenneret-Brehm’s previously registered “Excelsior” trademark, the English variation of the French word for “park” was utilized at the prompting of Gallet to support the collaborative efforts of the two companies in their marketing focus on the American consumer. The cooperative relationship of Excelsior Park and Gallet lead to the development of a number of time recording mechanisms, including the calibre 40. These new chronograph movements were utilized almost exclusively in Gallet and Excelsior Park wristwatches, with a small number supplied to the Girard Perregaux and Zenith companies when production capabilities allowed.

Image above: Dodge Brothers Decimal Timer (1921,custom manufactured by Gallet in Switzerland for the American Dodge Brothers Company before Dodge became a division of Chrysler Motors.

In 1927 , Gallet introduced the “Regulator” and “Duo Dial” wristwatches for the medical and technical professions. The large-sized lower subsidiary seconds dial of the rectangular Duo-Dial and the predominant resetting sweep-second hand of the Regulator simplify the task of calculating a person’s per-minute heart rate.

Great depression and world war II
Gallet survived the Great Depression of 1930's with out much damage and continued to supply professional use “tool watches” to its military and industrial clients.In 1935, as World War II becomes imminent, Gallet began production of wristwatches, boat clocks with 8-day movements, and military stopwatches for Great Britain, Canada, and the U.S.A. At the start of World War II, production again surpassed 100,000 watches annually.

Image above : Occurrence Timer (1936),custom manufactured by Gallet for the US Geological Survey, used for measuring durations of seismic activity and other natural phenomena.

In 1936 , Gallet introduced the first water resistant cases for protecting the delicate mechanism of chronograph wristwatches from the damaging effects of humidity. This new innovation became standard on many models in Gallet's "MultiChron" line of professional use timepieces, as well as the Flight Officer military issue pilot's watch.

Introduction of Flight Officer chronograph(1938)
In 1938 , Commissioned by Senator Harry S Truman staff for the pilots of the U.S. Army Air Forces, Gallet created the Flight Officer chronograph. This wristwatch provided a combination of new innovations. Besides the ability to accurately record events ranging from 1/5th second to 30 minutes in duration, the rotating 12-hour bezel and dial (face) printed with the major cities gives pilots the ability to calculate changes in the time as lines of longitude are crossed. Truman was used to wear a Gallet Flying Officer during his two terms as US president.


Image above: Gallet Flying Officer Chronograph (1939),Commissioned by Harry S Trumans's senatorial staff for issue to pilots of the US Army Air Force.

Multichron Petite (1939) : Breaking the Gender Barrier
In 1939 , Gallet produced the Multichron Petite. The Petite was one of the first wrist chronographs engineered exclusively for enlisted women assigned to technical and scientific tasks during WWII. Powered by the 10 ligne Valjoux 69 movement, and measuring only 26.6mm in diameter, the MultiChron Petite became the smallest mechanical chronograph manufactured to date.Due to the general perception and resistance to "women doing men's jobs", the MultiChron Petite remained as an extremely scarce wristwatch, as very few examples were ever produced, rendering these extraordinary timepieces highly valued as rare and important items by today's collectors.


Image above: Gallet MultiChron Pilot Petite(1942),miniature chronograph designed exclusively for aviation, artillery timing, etc.Calibre:Valjoux 69,case :28mm, stainless steel,functions:30 min. recording, round pushers, telemer & tachometer scales.

In 1946 , With the end of World War II, and after the death of his father Georges, Léon Gallet assumed management of the Gallet Company. After the war, Gallet’s renewed worldwide popularity with civilians and professionals in the fields of aviation, sports, medicine, and technology eliminated the necessity to manufacture numerous secondary brands. With the exception of the few brand names that the company retained for its sports and industrial stopwatch lines, most of Gallet's previously held trademarks went back into circulation.

Gallet Excel-O-Graph (1965)
In 1965 Gallet introduced the Excel-O-Graph. This pilot’s wristwatch featured a rotating bezel with integrated slide rule for making navigational calculations during flight.

Image above :Gallet Excel-O-Graph Chronograph (1965),professional pilot's wristwatch with rotating slide rule bezel and outer dial ring for navigational calculations, in-house Excelsior Park calibre 40-68 movement

By continuing to build mechanical timepieces for a clientele not influenced by changing fads and convention, Gallet survived the Quartz revolution of 1970's. In 1975 the death of Léon Gallet, sons Pierre and Bernard assumed management of the company and acquire the Racine Company. In 1983 , Excelsior Park closed its factory on 6 April due to the lack of family successors and a sizable decrease in orders of mechanical movements from its Gallet partner during the difficult "quartz crisis". To continue to support owners of Excelsior Park powered watches, Gallet acquired the balance of the company’s remaining inventory and assets. An attempt in 1984 by the Flume Company of Germany to revitalize Excelsior Park name proved unsuccessful.

Marathon Watch brand
In 1984 , Wein Brothers, a Canadian distributor of timing instruments, contracted with the Gallet Company to manufacture rugged wristwatches for distribution to the US Government. To facilitate the initial transactions, the watch dials (faces) of these military specification watches were marked Marathon, a previously held Gallet trademark (reg. 19 Oct 1915). Today Wein Brothers distributes military timepieces and related products under the Marathon brand .

In 1990, Gallet supplied 30,000 “Navigator” wristwatches to the Marathon Company for distribution to the U.S. military. Prior to Marathon’s fulfillment of the contract, prototypes were arduously tested by the US Government to withstand the most adverse of circumstances. All examples exceeded the military's strict requirements for sustaining accuracy and functionality during combat conditions.

1991 to 2000
In 1991, Pierre Gallet retired from the company due to ill health. His brother Bernard assumes control of the company, which continued to focus on the manufacture of professional-use timepieces. In 1996 ,to facilitate expansion, Bernard Gallet entered into a partnership with B. Neresheimer Ltd., a company with over a hundred years experience in the manufacture and distribution of fine silver wares and high-end luxury goods.

Relocation of Gallet factory (2002)
In 2002 , Gallet relocated its factory from La Chaux-de-Fonds to Grandson, a canton of Vaud approximately one hour from Geneva. Walter Hediger, a member of the Neresheimer family, takes the reins of Gallet as its CEO. In 2004 ,the company activity concentrated near Zurich. Bernard Gallet remained active with the company until his death in 2006.

Association with National Watch and Clock Museum (2008 -
America’s National Watch and Clock Museum is the western hemisphere's largest museum devoted to timepieces and timekeeping. In 2008 , Gallet & Co co-sponsored "Time in Office" at the National Watch and Clock Museum, an exhibition of timepieces worn by America’s presidents extending back to the pocket watches of George Washington. One of the featured items in the exhibit was the Gallet Flight Officer chronograph worn by Harry S Truman during his years in office as the 33rd president of the US. In 2009 ,Gallet & Co co-sponsored "Time & Exploration" at the National Watch and Clock Museum, an exhibit highlighting the importance of time and timekeeping in the fields of exploration and navigation.

Introduction of Museum Edition Flight Officer Chronograph (2010)
Gallet introduced a limited series of only 1050 individually signed and numbered Museum Edition Flight Officer Chronograph wrist watches , specially created as a direct benefit for America’s National Watch and Clock Museum, and to introduce the most advanced pilot's watch of the 21st century.


Image above :Flight Officer (NAWCC Museum Edition -2010), Automatic chronograph , stainless steel model featuring Gallet G330 calibre.

Flight Officer (NAWCC Museum Edition -2010) is available in Stainless Steel,18k red gold and and Platinum models.Purchasers of each watch will be honored with an upper level membership for the America’s National Watch and Clock Collectors, Inc .(NAWCC), the non profit organisation that maintains the America’s National Watch and Clock Museum in Columbia, Pennsylvania. These exclusive member ships will be granted at the Silver , Gold or Platinum levels, congruent with the model of the watch purchased.

Originally introduced in 1938 by Gallet ,the famous Gallet Flying(Flight) Officer Chronograph remained as a favourite of both military and civilian aviators for decades. Gallet Flying Officer Chronograph is the world's first wrist watch to combine timezone calculations with elapsed time recording capabilities, housed with in an extremely durable and water resistant case.Due to this , the Gallet Flight Officer Chronograph has always been a relatively expensive timepiece for limited military budgets. In spite of the cost, Senator Harry S Truman recommended the watch as the requirement for pilots of the US Army Air forces during World War II, and personally wore a Gallet Flight Officer Chronograph during his term as America's 33'rd president.Though out the watch's 72 years of active duty, Gallet has continuously upgraded the flight officer with the most advanced technology available to the timekeeping arts.The very pinnacle of this evolution is expressed in the new Gallet Museum Edition Flight Officer Chronograph , considered to be the world's most accurate and highly developed pilot's watch of the 21'st century.

Editions & Suggested Prices
Limited Edition of 250 in Stainless steel case : $18,500.00 each.
Limited Edition of 250 in solid 18k yellow gold case : $39,800.00 each.
Limited edition of 250 in solid 18k white gold case : $41,250.00 each.
Limited edition of 250 in solid 18k red gold case : $42,500.00 each.
Limited edition of 50 in solid 950 platinum case : $89,700.00 each.

The Museum Edition Flight Officer Chronograph wrist watch is powered by Gallet's state of the art Duo - Force Calibre,G330. For more details about Gallet Museum Edition Flight Officer Chronograph Visit this link>>>

Gallet's professional timekeeping innovations
The first wristwatch with a center-originating sweep second hand for heart rate calculation (1912).
The first wrist chronograph with a waterproof case (Gallet MultiChron, 1936).
The first chronograph wristwatch with multiple time zone calculator (Gallet Flight Officer, 1938).
The first miniature chronograph wristwatch for professional women (Gallet MultiChron Petite, 1939).
The first chronograph wristwatch with additional 24 hour GMT hand (Gallet MultiChron Navigator GMT, 1945).
The first 24 hour reading wrist chronograph (Gallet MultiChron 24, 1947).

Important wrist watches made by Gallet
Gallet MultiChron 30 (1914): The world’s first wrist chronograph to be housed in a “waterproof” case. Read more>>>
Gallet MultiChron Regulator Chronograph (1929): Used by drivers and pit bosses during the early years of the Indianapolis 500 Speedway. Read more>>>Gallet MultiChron 12(1938): Manual wind chronograph introduced in 1938.Read more>>>
Gallet Flying Officer Chronograph (1939) : Commissioned by Harry S Trumans's senatorial staff for issue to pilots of the US Army and Air Force. Read more>>>
Gallet MultiChron Petite (1939) : Miniature chronograph designed exclusively for professional and enlisted women, measures only 26.3mm in diameter. Read more>>>
Gallet MultiChron Officer Chronograph (1941) : High quality square timer for woman professionals and as a dress chronograph for gentlemen and military officers.Read more>>>

Image above : Gallet MultiChron Officer Chronograph (1941)

Gallet MultiChron Commander Chronograph (1941): Mid size 45 minute recording chronograph for men and women professionals with unique in-house manufactured oval movement.Read more>>>
Gallet MultiChron Navigator(1943): Upon its release in 1943, The Gallet MultiChron Navigator was one of the most advanced and complex multi-function “tool watches” ever created for professional use.Read more>>>
Gallet MultiChron Medigraph(1943): Doctor's manual wind chronograph designed for medical applications.Functions: 45 min. recording, pulsations track for heart rate calculation. Read more>>>

Image above : Gallet MultiChron Medigraph(1943)

Gallet MultiChron Navigator GMT Chronograph (1945): World's 1st wrist chronograph with 45 minute recording capability and separate north pointing 24 hour GMT hand. Read more>>>Gallet MultiChron Calendar (1945): Professional 12 hour recording chronograph with automatic day, date, and month change functions. Read more>>>Gallet MultiChron Rattrapante Chronograph (1948): Sports and racing wrist watch with ability to simultaneously record 2 separate events. Read more>>>

Image above:Gallet MultiChron Rattrapante Chronograph (1948)

Gallet MultiChron Yachting Chronograph (1955): A Special chronograph with regatta countdown feature, powered by an in-house manufactured Excelsior Park movement. Read more>>>Gallet MultiChron Astronomic Chronograph (1959): Highly complex chronograph with 12 hour recoding capabilities, accurate automatic day, date, month, and moon phase features. Read more>>>Gallet MultiChron 45 Chronograph (1960) : Used by drivers and pit bosses at the Indianapolis 500 Speedway. Read more>>>


Gallet Excel-O-Graph Chronograph (1965) : Professional pilot's wristwatch with rotating slide rule bezel and outer dial ring for navigational calculations, in-house Excelsior Park calibre 40-68 movement. Read more>>>Gallet MultiChron Diver (1967): Professional scuba diver's chronograph with rotating 60 minute bezel, water resistant to 300 meters (1000 feet). Read more>>>Gallet Flying Officer Chronograph (1970) : Special version for pilots of the Swiss Air Force, rotating 12 hour bezel and 24 cities dial for time zone calculation, Swiss military markings on reverse.
Gallet MultiChron Pilot Chronograph (1975) :12 hour recording chronograph with rotating 12 hour bezel for time zone calculations, dial indications for determining miles-per-hour. Read more>>>Marathon Navigator or Adanac (1990) : Specially created by commission for the US Government, issued to pilots of the United States Air Force.

Historical Pocket watches by Gallet
Webb C. Ball loaner (1910): Manufactured by Gallet in Switzerland, provided to American rail road conductors and engineers while their primary watches received routine servicing by Ball.
US Navy Pocket Chronograph (1914) : High quality timer manufactured by Gallet under the Jerome Park name for the United States Navy during World War One.
Pilot's or Cockpit Timer (1914): Watch with timer manufactured by Gallet Electa for the British military during World War One. British Ministry of Defense "Broad Arrow" markings on reverse.
Artillery & Task Timer (1915) : 30 minute timer manufactured by Gallet for the British military during World War One. British Ministry of Defense "Broad Arrow" markings on reverse.
NYCRR Pocket Chronograph (1916): Pocket watch with timer manufactured by Gallet for rail road conductors and engineers of the New York Central Rail Road.
Dodge Brothers Decimal Timer (1921) : Custom manufactured by Gallet in Switzerland for the American Dodge Brothers Company before Dodge became a division of Chrysler Motors.
Occurrence Timer (1936): Custom manufactured by Gallet for the US Geological Survey, used for measuring durations of seismic activity and other natural phenomena.
Decimal Artillery Timer (1943) : Decimal reading stopwatch manufactured by Gallet, used on Tank landing Ship #13 during the D-Day Invasion of Normandy.

Historical Pocket/Wrist watch brands owned by Gallet Group
•Breadfort Watch Co. (reg. pre-1898, pocket watches)
•Bridgeport Watch Co. (reg. 17 Dec 1886, pocket watches)
•Chancellor Watch (reg. pre-1898, pocket watches)
•Chief (reg. 28 Aug 1889, pocket watches)
•Commodore (reg. 7 May 1889, pocket watches)
•Continental Watch Co. (reg. 12 Aug 1879, complicated pocket watches)
•Defender (reg. pre-1895, pocket watches)
•Director Watch Co. (reg. pre-1895, pocket watches)
•Duchess (reg. pre-1898, woman’s pocket watches)
•Electa & Cie. (extra high-grade & complicated pocket watches)
•Enterprise (reg. pre-1898, pocket watches)
•Eureka Time Keeper (reg. 14 Jan 1884, pocket watches)
•Favorite (reg. 16 Feb 1884, pocket watches)
•Galco (reg. 14 Mar 1925, Excelsior Park stopwatches)
•Gipsy (reg. pre-1895, woman’s pocket watches)
•Governor (reg. pre-1898, rail road style pocket watches)
•Harlem Watch Co. (reg. pre-1898, pocket watches)
•Interocean (reg. 3 Jun 1910, Canadian Rail Road pocket watches)
•Jerome Park Watch Co. (reg. pre-1924, high grade pocket chronographs with Excelsior Park and Minerva movements)
•Jarco Watch (reg. pre-1898, pocket watches)
•Lady Racine (reg. 12 Aug 1879, lady’s pocket watches)
•Lifetime Series (reg. 19 Oct 1914, high grade watches, produced in the Electa workshop for Macy's, New York)
•Lily (reg. 17 Jan 1881, lady’s pocket watches)
•Majesty (reg. pre-1897, lady’s pocket watches)
•Marathon (reg. 19 Oct 1915, pocket watches)
•Mars MultiChron Watch Co. (wrist chronographs)
•National Park (reg. 13 Jan 1891, Excelsior Park stopwatches & horse timers)
•Park Watch Company (reg. 21 Sep 1929, Excelsior Park stopwatches)
•Patriot Watch (reg. 16 Apr 1889, pocket watches)
•Railroad Watch (reg. 12 Aug 1879)
•Richmond (reg. 29 Aug 1889, pocket watches)
•Security (Excelsior Park stopwatches)
•Select (reg. pre-1898, Excelsior Park stopwatches)
•Success (reg. 13 Jan 1891, pocket watches)
•Trilby Watch (reg. pre-1895, pocket watches)
•Trotter (reg. pre-1897, Excelsior Park stopwatches & horse timers)
•Union Square (reg. 2 Oct 1883, pocket watches)
•Warrior Watch (reg. pre-1898, pocket watches)
•Wonder Watch (wrist chronographs)

Gallet Today
Gallet is a renowned pioneer in the time keeping arts, and one of only a small handful of independent Swiss watchmakers that maintain manufacturing facilities.As a result, Gallet privately provides a number of technologically advanced components, hidden within the watches of other exclusive luxury watch brands.When Gallet , the world's oldest watch and clock house with over 500 years of experience in horological manufacturing, occasionally releases a new version of its own historical models, the quality is the best money can buy.

Image above : inside view of Gallet factory

While recently expanding the company’s marketing focus to reach a wider audience of “civilian” consumers for its expensive professional-use timepieces, Gallet continues to privately produce components and modules for a number of other entities within the luxury-class timekeeping industry.

Courtesy : Gallet Watch Company
More Historical information on Gallet company is available at www.Galletworld.com
Official website Gallet watches : www.galletwatch.com

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