Saturday, October 31, 2015

HYT H4 Alinghi Limited Edition

This special edition timepiece from HYT H4 collection honours Switzerland based sailing team Alinghi.

The H4 Alinghi is equipped with a light source. Under the rider at 6 o’clock, HYT has concealed two LEDs. Once activated, they flood the entire dial with white light. At night, the red fluid is energised by this light source, becoming perfectly visible. At the same time, the wash of light flows into every nook and cranny of the calibre, literally bringing this skeleton architecture to life, and defying the laws of watchmaking.

The source of energy is purely mechanical. The generator has been nestled between 4 and 5 o'clock. It is invisible, and activated by the push-piece located opposite on the case middle. The process is broadly that of a dynamo: converting mechanical power into light energy. It is the rotation of the push-piece at 4:30 that winds the generator. Pressure on this same push-piece then activates the two LEDs which bathe the Alinghi in a soft white light.
This illumination is possible for a maximum of five seconds, after which the mechanism must be reinitialised. No battery is needed for this process, which is fully mechanical. Three factors made it so tricky to develop: the extreme miniaturisation, the curved shape, and the fact, once again, that no development of this type had ever been achieved before.

The H4 Alinghi, in honour of the eponymous team, will be released using the same base, with a carbon case, red liquid, white light, the team's logo on the seconds disc and a strap made from sail canvas, with just 25 pieces available.

Technical details
Model: H4 ALINGHI
Ref: 515-CB-03-RF-RV; 25-piece limited edition

Case
3DTP™ carbon
Diameter: 51 mm
Height: 17.9 mm
Rubber-clad screw-down black DLC titanium crown at 2:30 and a red crown at 4:30
Black DLC titanium and red numeral lacquered dome at 6 o'clock
Convex sapphire crystal with anti-reflective coating on the dial side
Screw-down sapphire case-back
Water resistant to 50 metres

Functions
Retrograde fluidic hours; minutes, seconds

Movement
Skeleton mechanical hand-wound movement, HYT exclusive calibre
28,800 vib/h, 4 Hz, 35 jewels
Bridges hand-bevelled and micro blasted, rhodium-plated bellows
65-hour power reserve

White light mechanical module
Rewinding and push-button system with a crown at 4:30
The dynamo works when the crown is compressed at 4:30. As soon as the button loosens the light stops working until the full decompression of the additional barrel spring

Dial
Unstructured, fluid hour display
Sapphire minute, seconds and power reserve dial
Black minute indexes and luminescent numerals
Black hour dial with white numerals
Luminescent black minute hand
Regulator at 12 o'clock
Small seconds wheel with the Alinghi logo at 9:30
Power reserve indicator at 2:30

Strap
Black rubber base with integrated silver canvas and red stiching. Black DLC titanium folding buckle

HYT H4 Gotham Limited Edition

HYT’s new creation, the H4 Gotham, explores a style unveiled by the H1 Dracula DLC and developed by the SKULL. The founding principle of this new house collection, the H4, follows the path forged by HYT since 2013: fluid mechanics, in the true sense of the word. With the new HYT exclusive calibre, the H4 Gotham represents the new generation of HYT skeleton watches.

This is also the first piece to have a case made entirely from diabolically rigid 3DTP™ carbon (3DTP™ carbon is a material used in aeronautic, sailing, and motoring industries because of its interesting resistance / mass ratio. It comprises carbon threads woven to a maximum diameter of 7 microns and with a thickness layer of 0.15 mm, which provides unprecedented rigidity). It is also the very first HYT to display the time off-centre on its bezel, rather than on the flange. And finally, it is the first time that HYT has equipped its creation with an all-new technical strap, combining rubber and Nomex™ technical fibre (a high-performance synthetic fibre trademark. It is an aramid fiber that can be used under extreme conditions, e.g. racing drivers' suits and helmets).
 HYT worked on both segments of the calibre. In the upper part, where the movement prevails, most of the components have been open-worked, and the dial eliminated. The entire gear train is visible, as well as part of the barrel. And so that all the parts are directly visible, without adornments, there is a sapphire disc, secured by three anchor points in particular at 4 and 8 o'clock, housing the minute indicator and the power reserve indicator at 3 o'clock.

The lower part of the calibre meanwhile houses the now famed bellows, also known as pistons. Their general vertical architecture remains unchanged however, the cage housing them has been completely redesigned: now, the two barrels are almost entirely visible thanks to a new cut in the 4–8 o'clock segment.
HYT has for the first time engraved the time indexes on the bezel. This frees up a large area of the dial from the indexes, further opening up the whole face for an unobstructed view. The case size of the H4 has been increased to 51 mm to reinforce this feeling of space and maximum openness.

The H4 is a genuine skeleton piece, but its plays of light are more complex than they appear and the Gotham sees a continuous fight between the shadows and the light. HYT has ended up orchestrating a genuine composition of colour on a theme of contrast, dazzling, profiled and suited to the twists of the H4 Gotham components, to bring out the finest details.

For example, HYT has equipped its H4 with a new sapphire case-back. With a chromium plated metallised finish, this has a double role: in contact with the skin, the metallised finish reproduces a smoky glass effect. On the movement side, inside the case, the chromium plated finish gives the illusion of a mirror. So the H4 is adorned with a complex play of lights and mirrors, which provides, depending on the angle, a view of the light penetrating the movement.

On the time indicator side, red has been chosen to inhabit the capillary of the H4 Gotham. It marks the progress of the hours, with the retrograde display, signature of the brand. This ‘bloody’ tone is also adopted by the seconds wheel at 9 o'clock, as well as the power reserve at 3 o'clock and the strap’s top stitching.

On the materials side, HYT has adorned its carbon case with a rubber sheathed screw down DLC titanium crown. The HYT exclusive skeleton mechanical hand-wound movement has hand-bevelled bridges decorated with Côtes de Genève and provides a power reserve of 65 hours.

The H4 Gotham is a 50-piece limited edition.

Technical details
Model: H4 GOTHAM
Ref: 151-CB-03-RF-RN; 50-piece limited edition

Case
3DTP™ carbon
Diameter: 51 mm
Height: 17.9 mm
Rubber sheathed screw-down DLC titanium crown
DLC titanium dome at 6 o'clock
Convex sapphire crystal with anti-reflective coating on the dial side
Screw-down sapphire case-back
Water resistant to 50 metres

Functions
Retrograde fluidic hour, minute and seconds

Movement
Skeleton mechanical hand-wound movement, HYT exclusive calibre
28,800 vib/h, 4 Hz, 35 jewels
Bridges hand-bevelled and adorned with Côtes de Genève, rhodium-plated bellows
65-hour power reserve

Dial
Unstructured, fluid hour display
Minute & seconds dial, and sapphire power reserve
Black minute indexes and numerals
Black hour dial, with grey numerals
Luminescent black minute hand
Regulator at 12 o'clock
Small seconds wheel at 9.30
Power reserve indicator at 2.30

Strap
Black rubber base with integrated NOMEX™ fabric centre, and black DLC titanium folding buckle

Price
Suggested Retail Price (MSRP): CHF 77’000.- / EUR 77’000.- / USD 79’000.-

HYT H4 Metropolis Limited Edition

The H4 line is based on the same movement architecture as the H1, HYT's inaugural piece, which has been completely skeletonised. With a 65-hour power reserve, it unveiled its sculptural mechanism for the very first time and opened up a new creative universe for HYT. The new H4 Metropolis follows the footsteps of its big brother by incorporating some innovations which were never employed in the field of watch making.

The H4 Metropolis is a piece equipped with a light source. Under the rider at 6o’clock, HYT has concealed two LEDs. Once activated, they flood the entire dial with blue light. At night, the green fluid is energised by this light source, becoming perfectly visible. At the same time, the wash of light flows into every nook and cranny of the calibre, literally bringing this skeleton architecture to life, and defying the laws of watchmaking.
The source of energy is purely mechanical. The generator has been nestled between 4 and 5 o'clock. It is invisible, and activated by the push-piece located opposite on the case middle. The process is broadly that of a dynamo: converting mechanical power into light energy. It is the rotation of the push-piece at 4:30 that winds the generator. Pressure on this same push-piece then activates the two LEDs which bathe the Metropolis in a soft blue light.

This illumination is possible for a maximum of five seconds, after which the mechanism must be reinitialised. No battery is needed for this process, which is fully mechanical. Three factors made it so tricky to develop: the extreme miniaturisation, the curved shape, and the fact, once again, that no development of this type had ever been achieved before.

The H4 Metropolis will be released as a run of 100 pieces with a 51 mm titanium and DLC case, available worldwide from mid-November.

Technical details
Model: H4 METROPOLIS
Ref: 512-TD-45-GF-RN; 100-piece limited edition

Case
Titanium and titanium black DLC bezel with brushed, shot-peened and satin-finished surfaces
Diameter: 51 mm
Height: 17.9 mm
Rubber-clad screw-down black DLC titanium crown at 2:30 and at 4:30
Black DLC titanium dome at 6 o'clock
Convex sapphire crystal with anti-reflective coating on the dial side
Screw-down sapphire case-back
Water resistant to 50 metres

Functions
Retrograde fluidic hours; minutes, seconds

Movement
Skeleton mechanical hand-wound movement, HYT exclusive calibre
28,800 vib/h, 4 Hz, 35 jewels
Bridges hand-bevelled and micro blasted, rhodium-plated bellows
65-hour power reserve

Blue light mechanical module
Rewinding and push-button system with a crown at 4:30
The dynamo works when the crown is compressed at 4:30. As soon as the button loosens the light stops working until the full decompression of the additional barrel spring

Dial
Unstructured, fluid hour display
Sapphire minute, seconds and power reserve dial
White minute indexes and numerals
Black hour dial with white numerals
Luminescent grey minute hand and numerals
Regulator at 12 o'clock
Small seconds wheel at 9:30
Power reserve indicator at 2:30

Strap
Black rubber base with integrated NOMEX™ canvas and black DLC titanium folding buckle

Louis Moinet UAE Falcon

The Louis Moinet UAE Falcon timepiece was unveiled as an exclusive feature at the Dubai Watch Week, which was held from 18 to 22 October 2015. In this very first edition of the Dubai Watch Week, Louis Moinet, as one of the first exhibitors, developed a unique timepiece made from platinum: the UAE Falcon.
The falcon is of major importance in both the history and the culture of the United Arab Emirates. Its name means “purebred bird” in Arabic, and it forms an integral part of the daily life of Emiratis – not least because it features on all their banknotes.

The same bird of prey also takes centre stage in this watch, sitting majestically atop the tourbillon, grasping the hours and minutes hands between its claws. In the 47mm case, an original Louis Moinet manual movement beats at a rhythm of 21,600 vibrations per hour, and boasts a guaranteed three-day power reserve. The dial of the UAE Falcon is emblazoned with the four iconic colours of the United Arab Emirates flag: black, symbolizing the country’s wealth of oil reserves; white, for its neutrality; green, for its rich potential; and red, symbolizing the unity of the State.

Louis Moinet’s 20-Second Tempograph “Deep Blue” Limited Edition

Decked in blue, the new edition of 20-Second Tempograph takes inspiration from Mr Louis Moinet’s (1768 – 1853) timepieces in his day. The watch is by no means blue all over, though. On the dial, blue has been used, sparingly, just on the time-telling components: the seconds hand at 9 o’clock, the legendary 20-second retrograde mechanism between 1 and 2 o’clock, and the hour dial.
On the back, the oscillating weight also offers up its guilloché design to receive this new, deep blue décor, resulting in a scintillating interplay of shapes and hues.
The new “Deep Blue” 20-Second Tempograph comes in a limited edition of 60 pieces, and was unveiled as an exclusive feature at the Dubai Watch Week that was held from 18th to 22nd October 2015 at the Dubai International Financial Centre (DIFC).

RJ-Romain Jerome DeLorean-DNA Burnout

Swiss luxury watch brand RJ-Romain Jerome pays tribute to the legendary DeLorean DMC-12 sports car by unveiling a new limited edition timepiece, the Delorean-DNA Burnout.

In order to attain maximum speed and reach the targeted date, the emblematic 80’s car acts as a Time Machine whilst spinning its wheels and hitting the brakes. This process is called a “burnout” and leaves a trace as a result of the fusion between the tire’s rubber and the asphalt.

The textured dial of the DeLorean-DNA Burnout was made from this exceptional fusion of materials and is housed in a 46 mm steel case. The timepiece also features a brushed steel bezel containing elements from the original bodywork of the DMC sports car and the small seconds counter recalling the car’s dashboard with bright orange indexes.This new model is limited to only 30 pieces.
Since its debut in 1981 DeLorean has earned its place in pop-culture iconography. The sport cars’ easily recognizable gull-wing doors, stainless steel body, and rear mounted engine has appeared in movies, video games, and television shows.

The DeLorean Motor Company (DMC), based in Humble, TX, USA, acquired the original company’s name in 1995 and now owns the largest remaining original parts stock from the factory, US stock and original suppliers. DMC assembles services, appraises, restores and sells DeLorean automobiles, parts, accessories and merchandise to customers around the world. DMC custom-assembles cars to order, featuring parts or designs from the original DeLorean automobile, with modern engine and suspension technology. A variety of DeLorean products have been developed through licensing relationships with manufacturers in footwear, apparel, toys, collectibles, gaming and other product categories.

Technical details
Model: DeLorean-DNA Burnout
Reference: RJ.M.CH.DE.001.02
Collection: Generational Icons
Universe: Collaborations

Movement
Caliber RJ001-CH
Mechanical self-winding movement - Chronograph
Frequency: 28,800 v/h
Jewelling: 23 jewels
Power reserve: 42 hours

Functions
Central hours and minutes, small seconds at 9 o’clock
Chronograph: 30-minute counter at 3 o’clock, 12-hour counter at 6 o’clock and central seconds

Case
Ø46mm
DMC medallion engraved on the case back
Bezel: Brushed stainless steel containing elements from the original bodywork of a DeLorean sports car
Water resistance: 3 atm (30 meters)

Dial
Asphalt effect with orange and white indexes
Rhodiumed and satin-brushed chronograph counters. Small seconds counter recalls the car’s dashboard
Hands: Rhodiumed, satin-brushed and bead-blasted hours and minutes hands with superluminova "blue emission". Rhodiumed chronograph second and counters’ hand inspired by automobile dashboards

Strap
Upholstery black leather with anthracite grey stitching
Buckle: Polished stainless steel with folding claps

Limited edition
30 pieces

Retail price
CHF 14,990.- / EUR 16,950.- / USD 17,500.-

Ulysse Nardin Marine Diver Indian Ocean Limited Edition (Ref. 265-10LE-3/93-IND)

World renowned for its legendary marine chronometers, Swiss luxury watch watchmaker Ulysse Nardin unveils a new limited edition Marine Diver to pay tributes to the Indian Ocean which is the third largest ocean in the world.

The Indian Ocean covers approximately 20% of the water on the Earth's surface. It is bounded by Asia on the north, on the west by Africa, on the east by Australia, and on the south by Antarctica. It is named after India. The Indian Ocean is known as “Ratnakara” -the mine of gems, in ancient Sanskrit literature. The history of the Indian Ocean is marked by maritime trade; cultural and commercial exchange probably dates back at least seven thousand years.
The especially created timepiece is powered by the self-winding caliber UN-26 and with a power reserve of 42 hours, the Marine Diver displays, in addition to its time functions, the date in an aperture at 6 o’clock and the power reserve in a counter at 12 o’clock. Available in a bi-color case in steel and in 18 ct rose gold mounted on a rubber strap with mention “Indian Ocean” engraved, the Marine Diver timepiece is both a highly reliable diving instrument and a fine sports watch that can be worn on every occasion.

Everything about the Marine Diver evokes the marine world in which the Le Locle watchmaker is steeped, starting with Ulysse Nardin’s anchor emblem, proudly displayed at 2 o’clock. The dial, in blue is decorated with a wave-like motif. The same ornamentation can be seen on the bezel. The solid case-back reveals an engraving of a boat surrounded by the inscription: “Conquer the ocean.” This embellishes a new case designed for extreme conditions, extended by the lugs with their taut, sleek lines.
In terms of performance, this watch has all the attributes required of a diving watch. Boasting exceptional water resistance to 300 meters, made possible thanks to the screw-locked crown and case-back, it also features a unidirectional rotating bezel, which prevents any accidental adjustment to the dive time. For the same safety reasons, every aspect of the new Marine Diver has been designed to facilitate the reading of its precious indications: The impressive 44 mm face displays large hour-markers and hands with a white luminescent coating and a red stripe, for perfect visibility. The small seconds at 6 o'clock are also oversized, offering a reassuring sign that the watch is functioning as it should, even in the water’s murky depths. Lastly, the claw-shaped rubber molding over the crown ensures it is easy to grip.

Limited to 250 pieces, each timepiece is individually numerated.


Technical details
Reference: 265-10LE-3/93-IND

Movement
Caliber UN-26
Power reserve: Approximately 42 hours
Winding: Self-winding

Functions
Power reserve indicator at 12 o’clock
Small seconds and round date window at 6 o’clock

Case
Steel and 18 ctrose gold
Diameter: 44 mm
Bezel: Unidirectional rotating bezel
Crown: Screw-down security crown
Water-resistance: 300 m
Crystal: Anti-reflective sapphire crystal

Bracelet
Exclusive rubber strap with titanium elements engraved “Indian Ocean” and deployant clasp

Friday, October 30, 2015

Hublot Big Bang Ferrari Mexico Limited Edition

Swiss luxury watch brand Hublot celebrates once again Mexico with an exclusive Ferrari-dedicated Big Bang watch, making it an immediate collector’s item. After the success of the first Big Bang Ferrari Mexico created in 2013, Hublot unveils the 2015 version with green carbon on the bezel, a nod to Mexico’s national flag.

the limited edition BIG BANG FERRARI MEXICO fuses design, materials and mechanics in way that uniquely addresses the respective DNA of Hublot and Ferrari: innovation, performance, technology and exclusivity. The launch of this exclusive piece coincides with the Grand Prix‘s return to Mexico.

Exceptional sports watches in honour of exceptional racing cars. In 2015, to celebrate the 10th anniversary of the Big Bang, Mexico will receive its very own set of exclusive limited edition Big Bang Ferrari timepieces fashioned with aesthetical nuances that is unique and distinctive to our local shores.

In November 2011, Hublot and Ferrari announced their partnership, with Hublot becoming the exclusive watchmaker of Ferrari. A comprehensive agreement covering the full branding, marketing and communication spectrum, including Official Watch of Ferrari, Official Timekeeper of Ferrari, Official Watch of Scuderia Ferrari and Official Timekeeper of the Ferrari Challenge.

One of the strongest and most noticeable features of the timepiece is the bezel made of green carbon fiber – creating a link with Mexico‘s national flag. Clad in a shade of distinctive Green & Red, housed in a 18K King Gold or black ceramic case with a cylindrical green carbon fiber bezel, and black rubber and Schedoni leather strap with green stitching – it is a nod to not just the Mexican colours but also an homage to the Ferrari prestigious signature. The Big Bang Ferrari Mexico Limited Edition (45.5 mm in diameter) showcase the in-house flyback chronograph UNICO movement visible through the sapphire dial.
With just a rarity of 25 numbered timepieces available in 18K King Gold, and 50 numbered timepieces in Ceramic, the case back of the watch also features the discreet legendary Prancing Horse surrounded by the National Mexican colors.

The UNICO movement that powers this watch was designed and developed by Hublot. With no fewer than 330 components, the column wheel and dual horizontal coupling appear on the dial. Frequency of 28,800 vibrations per hour. The movement has 72 hours of power reserve, and is water resistant to 100 metres. An indexed crown (with Hublot‘s ‗H‘ logo automatically positioning itself to remain in line) features elongated push buttons, fixed along a rotating axis like the pedals in a car whilst carbon inserts give the case a distinctive look.
Each timepiece will come with two interchangeable straps – Schedoni leather or black carbon fiber sewn onto black rubber - with an innovative quick-change system inspired by the safety seatbelt mechanism. The absence of superfluous accessories brings out the fusional and rational aspects of the Big Bang Ferrari Mexico‘s unique design, a pure expression of the values that characterize the sports spirit of Ferrari and at the same time the inimitable Hublot style.

Technical details
Model: BIG BANG FERRARI MEXICO

References
401. CQ.0123.VR.FMX15 – Limited edition of 50 pieces (Ceramic)
401. OQ.0123.VR.FMX15 – Limited edition of 25 pieces(King Gold)

Case
Diameter: 45-mm diameter
Polished black satin-finish ceramic or satin-finish 18K King Gold
Bezel: Green carbon with 6 black PVD titanium H-shaped screws — sunken, polished and blocked
Glass: Sapphire with interior / exterior anti-reflective treatment
Bezel lug: Black composite resin
Lateral inserts: Black composite resin and carbon inserts on the middle
Crown: Black PVD-treated, polished titanium, or satin-finish 18K King Gold with black rubber insert
Push pieces: Black polished PVD titanium, black rubber insert at 2 o‘clock; Red lacquered; Ferrari‖ engraving at 4o‘clock
Back: Micro-blasted polished ceramic or satin-finish 18K King Gold; SPECIAL EDITION engraving; Sapphire with interior anti-reflective treatment
Water resistance: 10 ATM or around 100 metres

Dial
Sapphire with white Hublot decal logo
Ferrari prancing horse applique treated in rhodium (Ceramic) or 5N gold (King
Gold) at 9.00
Black lacquered indexes (Ceramic) or satin-finish 5N gold (King Gold)
Hands: Lacquered in black(Ceramic)
Satin-finish, 5N-treated (King Gold)
Green and white superluminova™ – Red and black lacquer

Movement
HUB 1241 Unico movement developed and manufactured by Hublot
Automatic flyback chronograph
Date: Yellow aperture at 3o‘clock
Power reserve: Around 72 hours

Strap
Black rubber, Schedoni leather with green stitching or black carbon with green stitching
Clasp: Black PVD treated satin-finish titanium and black ceramic or 18K5N gold; Black PVD titanium folding buckle

Thursday, October 29, 2015

Mido Belluna Small Seconds (Ref. M024.428.36.031.00)

A new addition to the collection, the Belluna Small Seconds immediately impresses with its subtle lines and harmonious forms. Its elegant curves stem from its polished rose PVD-treated steel case. Subtly inspired by the dome towering over London’s Royal Albert Hall, it reveals a magnificent silvered dial decorated with a wave pattern, while the small seconds located at 7 o’clock add a touch of superb sophistication. With its petite complication automatic movement, the Belluna Small Seconds is a timepiece intended for men who love classic, timeless watches.

Inaugurated in 1871 to promote the arts and science, London's Royal Albert Hall is now one of the most renowned concert halls in the United Kingdom. Built in the inimitable Victorian style, this vast red-brick monument is comprised of several concentric circles and an impressive glass dome, which towers over the centre of this curved, resolutely rounded structure. Just like this magnificent building, the Belluna range displays perfectly harmonious forms and embodies classic, timeless elegance.
The Belluna Small Seconds is best admired at close range. This exceptionally elegant model is fitted with a polished rose PVD-treated steel case measuring 40 mm in diameter, extended by subtly faceted horns. Recalling the dome of the Royal Albert Hall, the silver dial is decorated with a wave pattern that fans out from the small seconds counter. The extreme finesse of these motifs reinforces the exclusive nature of the model, which perfectly combines classicism and originality, with its off-centred seconds counter at 7 o’clock. The date, meanwhile, is displayed in an aperture at 3 o'clock. Fitted with an automatic movement featuring a petite complication (off-centred seconds hand at 7 o’clock), this resolutely timeless timepiece is sure to appeal to fine watchmaking enthusiasts.

The delicately worked dial of the Belluna Small Seconds is protected by a sapphire crystal treated with anti-reflective coating on both sides. The slender leaf-shaped hands are golden-rose in colour, as is the border surrounding the snailed seconds counter – both subtle details that add to the superb sophistication of the model. The Belluna Small Seconds is fitted with a transparent case back, enabling the wearer to admire its finely decorated automatic movement, as well as its oscillating weight adorned with Geneva stripes and the Mido logo. Water-resistant up to a pressure of 5 bars (50 m/165 ft), the Belluna Small Seconds comes with a brown crocodile-look leather strap integrated into the case, and a folding clasp.

An all-steel version of this model is also available.

Technical details
Movement    
Automatic ETA 2825-2, 11½’’’, Ø26 mm, height: 6.60 mm, 25 jewels, 28,800 A/H, ETACHOCS and NIVACOURBE shock-absorber, NIVAFLEX NO mainspring, NIVAROX 2 balance-spring, gilded NICKEL balance wheel. Finely decorated elaborate movement with polished screws, decorated oscillating weight with Geneva stripes and Mido logo. Function HM-Ss-D. Adjusted on 3 different positions for a high accuracy. Min. 38 hours power reserve.

Case   
Stainless steel 316L with rose PVD treatment, Ø40 mm, 3 pieces, sapphire crystal with an anti reflecting treatment on both sides, screwed case back, transparent case back to see the finely decorated and elaborate movement, engraved serial number, water-resistant up to a pressure of 5 bar (50 m / 165 ft)

Strap   
Brown genuine calf leather strap with crocodile look and stainless steel folding clasp with rose PVD treatment.

Dial   
Silver, wave pattern from the small seconds counter, snailed counter, date at 3 o’clock
Hands: Leaf-shaped.

Mido - New Multifort Chronograph Caliber 60 (Ref. M025.627.36.061.00)

Designed for sporting performance, the new Multifort Chronograph Caliber 60 unites technical innovation and precision. Its sandblasted black PVD-treated steel case houses the Caliber 60, a next-generation automatic chronograph movement that guarantees up to 60 hours of power reserve. Lovers of high-speed sports can count on the tachymeter incorporated into the bezel – a first for the Multifort collection. The black dial, meanwhile, offers perfect readability and is decorated with vertical Geneva stripes that evoke the suspension cables of the Sydney Harbour Bridge. Its remarkable design and black and red colours define the Multifort Chronograph Caliber 60 as a model steeped in character and shaped for motor sports.

Launched in 1934, two years after the Sydney Harbour Bridge was completed, the Multifort collection shares the structure’s remarkable qualities – a perfect blend of functionality and beauty. A truth that has stood the test of time, as Mido celebrated the 80th anniversary of Multifort production in 2014, making this emblematic collection one of the longest-produced series in the history of Swiss watchmaking.

With its robust yet sporty look, remarkable design and unswerving precision, the new Multifort Chronograph Caliber 60 is a spirited timepiece full of character. It is perfectly suited to all sports lovers, and motor sports enthusiasts in particular. The latter can depend on both the tachymeter incorporated into the bezel – a first in the Multifort collection – and the Caliber 60, an automatic chronograph featuring the latest in watchmaking innovation and guaranteeing up to 60 hours of power reserve. It is enough to win over even the most seasoned sports fans! The Multifort Chronograph Caliber 60 is fitted with a robust 44 mm-diameter case in black PVD-treated steel. Its sandblasted finish complements the matt black bezel perfectly. The central seconds hand and the snailed counter at 3 o’clock are dedicated to the chronograph function, as indicated by the colour red. The snailed counter at 9 o’clock indicates the seconds, while the date appears in an aperture at 6 o’clock. The latter can be easily changed thanks to a quick corrector located on the side of the case at 10 o’clock.
The combination of red and black gives the Multifort Chronograph Caliber 60 a resolutely sporty look, which is further reinforced by the black dial decorated with vertical Geneva stripes evoking the suspension cables of the Sydney Harbour Bridge. The touches of white Super-LumiNova® on the indexes and hours and minutes hands guarantee perfect readability, both underwater and at night. Water-resistant up to a pressure of 10 bars (100 m/330 ft), the Multifort Chronograph Caliber 60 is protected by a sapphire crystal treated with anti reflective coating on both sides. It is also equipped with a transparent case back, enabling the wearer to admire its finely decorated automatic chronograph movement, and its oscillating weight adorned with Geneva stripes and the Mido logo.

The Multifort Chronograph Caliber 60 comes with a stylish strap in matt black leather with red stitching, which is integrated into the case. It is equipped with a new, highly ergonomic Mido folding clasp featuring two safety pushers that secure its opening.

Two other versions of this model are also available.

Technical details
Movement   
Automatic chronograph Mido Caliber 60 (ETA A05H31 base), 13¼’’’ 30.00 mm, height  7.90 mm, 27 jewels, 28,800 A/H, NIVACHOC A3 shock-absorber, ANACHRON-ETASTABLE balance-spring, NIVAFLEX NM mainspring. Finely decorated TOP movement with blued screws, decorated oscillating weight with Geneva stripes and Mido logo. Adjusted on 5 different positions for a high accuracy. Up to 60 hours of power reserve.

Functions   
HMS + Chrono + Date
Time: hour and minute hands. Small second indicator at 9 o’clock.
Chrono: 60 second counter from centre, 30 minute counter at 3 o’clock.
Date at 6 o’clock.

Case   
Sandblasted stainless steel 316L with black PVD treatment, Ø44 mm, 3 pieces, sapphire crystal with an anti-reflecting treatment on both sides, screwed crown and case back, rapid date corrector at 10 o’clock, transparent case back to see the finely decorated movement, engraved serial number, water-resistant up to a pressure of 10 bar (100 m / 330 ft).

Strap   
Matt black genuine calf leather strap, perforated, red stitching, highly ergonomic Mido folding clasp (stainless steel with black PVD treatment) featuring two safety pushers to secure its opening.

Dial   
Black, vertical Geneva stripes, snailed counters, with white Super-LumiNova®, date at 6 o’clock.

Hands   
Satin-finished and polished skeleton hour and minute hands, with white Super-LumiNova® for easy readability at night, red chronograph hands

Christophe Claret Mecca

Christophe Claret unveils a timepiece whose symbolic power is highlighted by the ingenious optical phenomenon of the mirascope. At the center of this limited edition conveying a message of peace, the iconic Kaaba monument symbolizing the Muslim faith appears to literally burst out of the dial.

Exactly like the effigy of Emperor Marcus Aurelius enthroned at the heart of the Aventicum model unveiled in 2015, the micro-engraving of the Kaaba is highlighted by the mirascope, a process invented about thirty years ago at the University of California. The mirascope is composed of two identical parabolic mirrors arranged one on top of the other, creating an elliptical shape. The convex mirror on top has a hole in the middle. When an object is placed in the center of the concave bottom mirror, the reflection from the top mirror creates a hologram of the object, which appears nearly two times larger than it actually is. In implementing this optical effect in the Mecca model, the Kaaba looks as if it is thrusting out of the middle of the watch and offers a 360-degree view of the famous cube-shaped building erected at the center of the sacred mosque in the Holy City of Mecca.
Mecca, like all Christophe Claret signature timepieces, epitomizes the highest standards of fine watchmaking embodied by the brand. Developing the technically demanding mirascope to function perfectly took extreme dedication and focus. Two months of research and several prototypes were integral to obtaining the desired optical effect. The next critical step was designing and crafting the hour and minute hands, which had to be reconfigured, as the mirascope was now the centerpiece of the watch. The hands became pointers revolving on an invisible ring around the perimeter of the dial, each equipped with a counterweight to optimize stability. The challenge of creating the hands was to find a material light enough to compensate for the relatively larger – though mainly concealed – size of the display mechanism. The solution was to use anticorodal (aluminum), which has an excellent rigidity/weight coefficient.
The Mecca timepiece features a wealth of emblematic elements and references to the Muslim faith. First, the dial which opens on to the micro-engraving of the Kaaba is decorated with an oriental-inspired engraved motif lacquered in gray and green, the color of the Muslim faith. To accentuate the symbolism of the piece, the Arabic hour numerals were then replaced at 5 o’clock by a white ceramic stone and at 7 o’clock by a black spinel. The latter symbolizes the black stone located at the South-East angle of the Kaaba through which Muslims start the seven rounds of the Tawaf in a counter clockwise direction. The white ceramic represents this same stone, as described in the Koran before it became black due to repeated touching by pilgrims.
The ball-bearing cover is adorned with a transfer depicting the Kaaba, with the movement’s self-winding oscillating weight rotating around it. It should be noted that Christophe Claret has obtained a patent for the sapphire element connecting the ball bearings to the oscillating weight concealed behind a circle Crafted in sapphire so as to reveal the meticulous movement finishing, the oscillating weight bears a transferred world map featuring white dots symbolizing Muslims turning around the Kaaba.
Three Arabic expressions set the final touch to this new invitation to experience spirituality. At 12 o’clock, Masjid al-Haram means “The sacred mosque”. At 4 o’clock, the word “Tawaf” evokes the seven turns that the pilgrims must perform around the Kaaba. Finally, at 8 o’clock, Makkah al-Mukarramah means “The Holy City of Mecca”.

Technical details
Movement
Caliber: AVE15, self-winding
Diameter: 26.20 mm
Thickness: 3.37 mm (without hands)
Number of parts: 186
Number of jewels: 28
Barrels: Twin barrels
Power reserve: 72 hours
Escapement:    
- Frequency: 4 Hz (28,800 vph)
- Swiss lever
Features: ‘Mystery’ oscillating weight with sapphire crystal segment and transferred motifs

Functions
Hours and minutes display

Case
Dimensions: Ø 44 x 18.49 mm
Water resistance: 3 ATM / 30 m / 100 ft

MTR.AVE15.200-263
Case: Grade 5 titanium and anthracite gray grade 5 PVD titanium; Hands in anticorodal, anodized black, 3N yellow gold
Crown: Grade 5 titanium and anthracite gray grade 5 PVD titanium
Strap: Black alligator leather with black stitching

MTR.AVE15.300-363
Case: Grade 5 titanium ; Hands in anticorodal, anodized black, 3N yellow gold
Crown: Grade 5 titanium
Strap: Black alligator leather with black stitching


Distinctive features:
Front:
The Mecca timepiece is inspired by the Aventicum model: the dial center features a mirascope with a micro-engraving of the Kaaba, the cube-shaped “sacred mosque” (Masjid al-Haram) in Mecca, around which Muslims turn seven times in an anti-clockwise direction as part of the Tawaf ritual.

At 7 o’clock, a black spinel symbolizing the black stone located in the South-East angle of the Kaaba, where the Tawaf begins. At 5 o’clock, a white ceramic represents the black stone that the pilgrims touch with each turn and which was initially white in the Koran. The Kaaba is surrounded by an engraved Oriental-inspired motif lacquered in green and grey.

Back:
The ball-bearing cover bears a transfer depicting the Kaaba, considered to be the center of the world. On the sapphire oscillating weight revealing the movement, a transferred world map depicted with white dots symbolizes Muslims turning around the Kaaba, when the oscillating weight turns. The circumference of the oscillating weight bears an Oriental-inspired pink transferred motif.

A decorative plate bears a green transfer bearing three inscriptions in Arabic:
At 12 o’clock: Masjid al-Haram, which means “The sacred mosque”;
At 4 o’clock: Tawaf, which refers to the ritual of seven turns around the Kaaba that Pilgrims must perform;
At 8 o’clock: Makkah al-Mukarramah, the name of “The Holy City of Mecca”.

Edition
Limited edition of 63 pieces

Wednesday, October 28, 2015

Ateliers deMonaco Admiral Flyback Chronograph Top Cars Rally 2015 Special Edition

This special edition timepiece from Luxury watch maker Ateliers deMonaco celebrates their partnership with the second edition of the Top Cars Rally that was held in Italy on September 30th 2015.

Launched in 2014 by Steve Domenioz, the Top Cars Rally is a friendly sports car event created by an enthusiast for enthusiasts of fast cars.  This year's rally started in the port of Gênes on Wednesday 30th. After taking the ferry to Olbia in Sardinia they drove to Porto Cervo and spent three fabulous days. During this rally, the racers had the opportunity to try out their talents at the Autodromo "Franco Di Suni" Mores. Other activities included a gala organised by Ateliers deMonaco and the last day was highlighted by a yacht trip along the costa Smeralda to the island of Maddalena. The atmosphere throughout the rally was extremely friendly, a small group of people sharing the same interests for classical cars. The fleet included a Ferrari 599 GTB, Ferrari 458, Ferrari 599 GTO, Audi R8, Mercedes GT and many more. These passionate mechanics share the same love as Ateliers deMonaco for good quality design and technical perfection.
As the official partner of this event, Ateliers deMonaco created specifically for the Top Cars Rally 2015 a unique edition of the Admiral Flyback Chronograph limited to 8 pieces in white gold and 8 pieces in rose gold.
This elegant timepiece features a patented manufacture flyback chronograph, which measures a succession of elapsed times, eliminates many superfluous repetitive operations. On ordinary chronographs, the button must be pressed three times in succession to measure successive intervals: once to stop the chronograph, once to reset it to zero, once to start again. With the flyback function, pressing the flyback button once stops timing the first interval and resets the hand to zero. The chronograph hand starts again the instant the button is released.
Technical details
Model: Admiral Flyback Chronograph Top Cars Rally 2015 Special Edition
References: dMc-CHR-SBR-WG & dMc-CHR-SBR-RG

Movement
Patented, Flyback Chronograph
Automatic bi-directional winding
Hand decoration on bridges:
Perlage, Satinage circulaire on automatic bridge
22K Gold hand engraved Rotor
Patented ‘’Return to Zero’’ mechanism
Frequency: 28800 beats/hour (4 Hz)
38 hours power reserve

Functions
Hour, minutes, small seconds (9 o’clock), chronograph seconds counter (center), chronograph minutes counter (3 o’clock), Flyback

Case
Diameter 42 MM
Height 13.3 MM
18K gold 3 piece case
Full polished and assembled by hand
See through case back
Front and back sapphire crystal
Multi-layered anti-reflection coating on sapphire crystal
Case back, secured with 6 gold screws
Water resistant up to 3 ATM

Dial
Silver plated, curved PVD and RGP plated roman indexes
Hands: Dauphine shaped

Strap
ATELIERS DEMONACO personalized hand stitched alligator strap
18K ardillon buckle

Edition
Limited edition 16 pieces: 8 in white gold and 8 in red gold

Tuesday, October 27, 2015

ArtyA Halloween Edition No.3 - Son of Sound Skull « ArtyA Arabesque Skull» Unique Piece 1/1

Swiss luxury watch maker ArtyA has started getting into the Halloween spirit well ahead of time. Once again, the Geneva brand has pulled off another coup, with an all-new model. And this time, following a spate of copycats, the firm has decided to register the motif as a trademark.

This latest creation is an all-new – and copyrighted – skull, encompassing the arabesques so synonymous with ArtyA’s identity, as seen most recently on the titanium Tourbillon Arabesque.
The piece depicts a skull: complete with teeth engraved with the ArtyA name, sporting sunglasses, and draped with arabesques and rinceauxin a nod to rifle butt decorations from back when the Wild West was won. The imposing baroque timepiece is housed in a 47 mm case, the bezel covered with engraved motifs that characterize this universe: revolvers, skulls, barbed wire, crosses, and more. ArtyA has chosen its Dance of Skulls strap to bear the watch – it too is a wholly original creation, featuring a series of jointed skulls, as its name suggests.

The dial is emblazoned with an exciting new colour, in sandy hues, made from a specific silver alloy and redolent with hints of grey, gold and silver. This watch is a unique piece 1/1 and retails for 11’900 CHF on a leather strap and 15’900 CHF on a skull handmade strap.

Technical details
Model: Son of Sound Skull « ArtyA Arabesque Skull» Unique Piece 1/1:
Case: High grade steel 316 IL
Very special engraved bezel with crosses, skulls, guns, wires and mediator& guitars inspired by the history of Rock &Riding…
ArtyA automatic Swiss high end movement A17
Dial with ArtyA arabesque Skull engraved on a special ArtyA alloy of Silver and ArtyOr ©
Hours, minutes, seconds
Power reserve: 52h
Size: 47mm
Engraved and screwed back case
Double anti-reflection sapphire
Silver skulls strap (crocodile and leather straps available)
Edition: Unique 1/1
Price: 15’900CHF

Frederique Constant new Classics Index Automatic GMT

Swiss watchmaker Frederique Constant adds four new good looking and full functioning GMT watches to its successful Classic Index collection.  All sharing the main characteristics, the dial of the new Classics Index is classical and simple, it has applied indexes and numbers displayed in roman numeral that give the watch an elegant touch of luxury.

The Classics Index GMT is available in four different variants. One combines a steel case with an intense black dial on a classical metal bracelet. The stainless steel models, with a silver dial are paired either with a black leather strap or a metal bracelet to match the case. The last distinguishes itself with a rose gold plated case and hand applied rose gold plated indexes, combined with an elegant brown leather strap.
The Classics index GMT provides an alternate time zone reference at a glance. The GMT hand with it’s unmistakable red triangle, makes one rotation every 24-hours and can be used to read off a second time zone on the 24 hour scale placed beneath the hour markers.
 In addition to the GMT, all the watches feature hours, minutes, seconds and date. These reliable functions adjustable through the single crown are powered by the FC-350 automatic movement, which has a power reserve of 38-hour and 26 jewels. You can observe the precision movement in action through the sapphire crystal case back, which is water resistant to 5 atm.

Classic index GMT, Reference: FC-350B5B6B

Case           
Stainless steel, diameter of 42 mm
Convex sapphire crystal
See-through case back
Water-resistant to 5 ATM

Movement   
FC-350, Automatic GMT with date (in-house GMT module)
38-hours power reserve, 26 jewels, 28'800 alt/h   

Dial       
Black dial, applied silvered indexes
Date display at 3 o’clock
Hand polished nickel hours and minutes hands and pearl black GMT hand
Easy set up of the local time via the hour hand

Bracelet       
Polished and satined 5 links stainless steel bracelet

Functions   
Hours, Minutes, Seconds, Date, GMT 24H (all functions adjustable with the crown only)

Classic index GMT, Reference: FC-350S5B6 – FC-350S5B6B

Case           
Stainless steel, diameter of 42 mm
Convex sapphire crystal
See-through case back
Water-resistant to 5 ATM

Movement   
FC-350, Automatic GMT with date (in-house GMT module)
38-hours power reserve, 26 jewels, 28'800 alt/h   

Dial   
Silvered dial, applied silvered indexes
Date display at 3 o’clock
Hand polished nickel hours and minutes hands and pearl black GMT hand
Easy set up of the local time via the hour hand

Bracelet    
Black leather strap or Polished and satined 5 links stainless steel   bracelet

Functions   
Hours, Minutes, Seconds, Date, GMT 24H (all functions adjustable with the crown only)

Classic index GMT, Reference: FC-350V5B4

Case           
Stainless steel rose gold plated, diameter of 42 mm
Convex sapphire crystal
See-through case back
Water-resistant to 5 ATM

Movement   
FC-350, Automatic GMT with date (in-house GMT module)
38-hours power reserve, 26 jewels, 28'800 alt/h   

Dial   
Silvered dial, applied silvered indexes
Date display at 3 o’clock
Hand polished rose gold plated hours, minutes and GMT hands
Easy set up of the local time via the hour hand

Bracelet       
Brown leather strap

Functions   
Hours, Minutes, Seconds, Date, GMT 24H  (all functions adjustable with the crown only)

Monday, October 26, 2015

Arnold & Son DSTB, Reference: 1ATAW.L04A.C121W (White Gold Case with Domed and White Lacquered, Sapphire Dial)

Demonstrating its rich British history and quality Swiss craftsmanship, Arnold & Son unveils a new limited white gold edition of the DSTB (Dial Side True Beat). The DSTB is a testament to its heritage, vision and Haute Horlogerie ingenuity.

The DSTB is part of the Instrument Collection and, like every other model from Arnold & Son, features an in-house mechanical movement. The true beat seconds is a traditional complication of Arnold & Son, and this watch pays tribute to the watches produced by John Arnold during the second half of his career, when he and his son were the first to develop marine chronometers that could be produced in quantity at reasonable prices. Those technically superior, widely distributed chronometers reflected Arnold & Son’s commitment to exceptional precision and solved the problem of determining longitude at sea.
The newly developed automatic movement showcases the true beat seconds' mechanism entirely on the dial side. Not just the hands, but also the lever, wheels and three palladium treated true beat seconds bridges are located in all their beauty on the dial side. Making the watch even more alluring is the fact that the true beat seconds lever is shaped like an anchor –paying homage to Arnold’s maritime achievements.
The true beat seconds are superbly indicated via a large sapphire dial that occupies the top left portion of the dial at 11 o’clock. At the 4 o’clock position, a domed and white lacquered subdial indicates the hours and the minutes via blued hands. These generously proportioned, overlapping indications translate into a stunning three dimensional dial. This restructuring of the intricate mechanism yields a concept not achieved in the watch industry heretofore.
The self-winding calibre A&S6003 has 229 components. In true Arnold & Son style, the palladium treated movement features Haute Horlogerie finishing with hand-chamfered and satin-finished lever and bridges, polished edges and fine circular graining and Côtes de Genève rayonnantes. The visible dial plate is blue PVD treated with large circular finishing, and screws with bevelled and mirror-polished heads.
The magnificent timepiece is housed inside a 43.5 mm 18-carat white gold case with anti-reflective sapphire crystal and caseback for viewing the superbly finished movement and, complete with solid 22-carat red gold guilloché oscillating weight. This edition of the DSTB will be limited to 125 timepieces – underscoring the brand’s commitment to exclusivity and excellence.

Technical details
Model: DSTB
Reference: 1ATAW.L04A.C121W

Movement
Calibre A&S6003
Exclusive Arnold & Son mechanical movement, self-winding, 32 jewels, diameter 38 mm, thickness 7.39 mm, power reserve 45 h, 28,800 vibrations/h

Movement decoration
Palladium treated with Haute Horlogerie finishing: hand-chamfered bridges and polished edges, fine circular graining and Côtes de Genève rayonnantes, dial plate blue PVD treated with large circular finishing, circular satin-finished wheels, blued screws with bevelled and mirror polished heads
True beat seconds bridges: palladium treated, satin-finished with hand-chamfered and polished edges
Oscillating weight: solid 22-carat red gold guilloche

Functions
Hours, minutes, true beat seconds

Dial
Domed and white lacquered, sapphire

Case
18-carat white gold, diameter 43.5 mm, cambered sapphire with antireflective coating on both sides, see-through sapphire case back, water resistant to 30 m
Strap:  hand-stitched black or brown alligator leather

Limited edition
125 timepieces

Ralph Lauren Stirrup Petite-Link Rose Gold Full-Pave Case

Ralph Lauren introduces the new Stirrup Peite-Link rose gold & diamonds to their iconic Stirrup collection.  With a case measuring 23.3mm and interconnected bracelet links for added femininity,  the new Stirrup Petite-Link rose gold timepiece is presented now with a diamond pavé case (307 diamonds, ~1.30 carats) and priced at £24,200.
Technical details
RALPH LAUREN STIRRUP COLLECTION
Petite-Link Model – Rose Gold, Diamond set case – White dial
Reference RLR0041102

Movement 
Manufacture Quartz Movement
Caliber: RL057
Battery life: ~60 months
Components: 57
Decor: Vertical Côtes de Genève

Functions   
Hours, minutes

Case     
18 carats rose gold, polished, fully diamond pavé
Size: 23.30 x 27 mm: Thickness: 6.70 mm
Convex sapphire crystal, internal and external colorless anti-reflective treatment
Back secured with 4 screws
Water resistance: 3 bar (~30 m)
Crown: 18K rose gold, set with diamonds
307 diamonds, ~1.30 carats

Dial     
Color: Off-white laquered & polished
Black Roman numerals, printed
Black railroad track style minute marker, printed

Hands 
Hour, minute: Sword-shaped hands
Shiny black, oxidized

Bracelet   
18 carats rose gold, polished
Clasp: 18 carats rose gold “click clasp”, integrated in the bracelet with security mechanism

Saturday, October 24, 2015

Chronométrie FERDINAND BERTHOUD – Introduction and History

Established by Chopard Group of Switzerland, the Chronométrie FERDINAND BERTHOUD watch manufacture pays tributes to the legendary watch maker FERDINAND BERTHOUD. With this new venture, Karl-Friedrich Scheufele, the co-president of Chopard and President of Chronométrie FERDINAND BERTHOUD, revives the legacy of one of the great figures in Switzerland traditional watch making industry.

As the first step of its renewal, in 2015, Chronométrie FERDINAND BERTHOUD presented FB1, an exclusive timepiece inspired by the remarkable marine clocks developed by FERDINAND BERTHOUD.
Chronométrie FERDINAND BERTHOUD FB1
Born in 1727 in the Val-de-Travers - Switzerland, Ferdinand Berthoud was granted the title of “Master Clockmaker” in Paris in 1753. This exceptional horologist and tireless researcher who served as “Horloger-Mécanicien du Roi et de la Marine” - Horologist-Mechanic by appointment to the King and the Navy - left behind him an exceptionally broad body of work, notably in the field of marine chronometers. It was in tribute to this master horologist that Karl-Friedrich Scheufele, wished to orchestrate the revival of the illustrious name of Ferdinand Berthoud.
Ferdinand Berthoud
Chronométrie FERDINAND BERTHOUD will offer only exceptional timepieces issued in extremely limited production numbers. Chopard Group is thereby laying a new milestone in its watchmaking development and further reinforcing its presence in Fleurier, in the Val-de-Travers region of Canton Neuchâtel - Switzerland, where the Chronométrie FERDINAND BERTHOUD Company is established.

Chronométrie FERDINAND BERTHOUD was born of the initiative of Chopard’s co-president Karl-Friedrich Scheufele, who acquired the name in 2006. This move was driven by a determination to give a new lease on life to an impressive heritage, by launching a creative new brand of exceptional timepieces crafted in highly limited series in tribute to the master horologist and thus restoring his name to its former glory.

Passionately interested in culture and history, Karl-Friedrich has long admired the exemplary creations and the career of Ferdinand Berthoud, born in 1727 in Plancemont-sur-Couvet, 5 kilometres from Fleurier. He has assembled an exceptional collection of timepieces exhibited at the L.U.CEUM in Fleurier. His fascination has steadily grown in discovering the fabulous legacy of this brilliant artisan – whether in the domain of marine chronometers, pocket watches or regulators. Officially announced at the end of 2013, the development of Chronométrie FERDINAND BERTHOUD has taken root in Fleurier and is now being materialised in an extremely sophisticated creation.
Karl-Friedrich Scheufele, the co-president of Chopard and President of Chronométrie FERDINAND BERTHOUD
With the birth of Chronométrie FERDINAND BERTHOUD, the Chopard Group is laying a new milestone in the development of its watchmaking division and further consolidating its presence in Fleurier in the Val-de-Travers, a region of Canton Neuchâtel steeped in an age-old horological tradition. It is doubtless no mere historical coincidence that Ferdinand Berthoud was born a few kilometres from Fleurier, which is already home to Chopard Manufacture, which handles the production of L.U.C Haute Horlogerie movements; Fleurier Ebauches SA, which produces Chopard’s mechanical movements; as well as the L.U.CEUM, which harbours some of the most admirable examples of the watchmaking art. Long months of intense creative reflection, guided by stringent development requirements on both technical and aesthetic levels, have given rise to the first contemporary Ferdinand Berthoud timepiece which is intended as a natural continuation of the work accomplished by three generations of master-watchmakers: Ferdinand, Pierre-Louis and Charles-Auguste Berthoud.

Chronométrie FERDINAND BERTHOUD evokes an illustrious name, that of a watchmaker, and an exceptional researcher who left an indelible imprint on watchmaking history through his inventiveness and his remarkable mechanical talents. It is also a story punctuated by inventions, technical challenges and constant progress in the realm of time measurement. At the forefront of these major advancements are the marine chronometers introduced by Ferdinand Berthoud. They made it possible to calculate longitude with extreme precision and thereby contributed to the conquest of the oceans in the 18th century. It is from this substantial legacy that Chronométrie FERDINAND BERTHOUD derives the DNA of its new timepieces. These contemporary yet timeless watches bear the signature characteristics embodying the excellence and the renown of the Berthoud dynasty.

While the Chronométrie FERDINAND BERTHOUD is part of the Chopard Group, the development, design and production of Ferdinand Berthoud watches stem from a separate, autonomous and dedicated creative process. To guarantee this exclusivity and this independence, specific watchmakers have been hired in order to develop the original calibres and exteriors of these incomparable timepieces. For the time being, the highly qualified watchmakers devoted to assembling the first watches by Chronométrie FERDINAND BERTHOUD ply their trade in dedicated premises provided for them in Fleurier. While fully autonomous in its horological development, Chronométrie FERDINAND BERTHOUD will naturally benefit from the stature and expertise of the group. This inherently exclusive firm will create exceptional timepieces in limited series, distributed through an equally exclusive, international and independent network of points of sales specialised in high-end, complex watch products.

Biography - Ferdinand Berthoud (1727-1807)
Obliged to work as a watchmaker’s companion for the masters of the Parisian guild, due to not having served his apprenticeship with one of them, the young Berthoud managed to overcome this hurdle by drawing attention to “his considerable application in perfecting the art of watchmaking”. He seized the opportunity of publishing his research at the French Royal Academy of Science by submitting the description of a new construction in a sealed envelope.

The academics’ approval on April 26th 1752 of a long case equation clock, considered highly ingenious, marked the beginning of his career as a researcher and at the same time, enabled him to stake his claim of official integration within the watchmaker community. On December 4th 1753, the King ordered that he be named a maître (master), a title that allowed him to open a workshop in the Rue de Harlay, near Place Dauphine.

In 1754, the master once again submitted his inventions to the Academy. One was his first marine clock project. The others, examined and approved by the academics, were also equation systems: “a longcase equation clock with concentric seconds marking the months and days of the month, leap years, and which runs for 13 months without being wound”; as well as a watch with seconds and equation, marking the months and days.

Even prior to being named a master, Ferdinand Berthoud indicated the direction he wanted his career to take – namely to devote himself to research and transmit his know-how through publications and teaching. This double vocation enabled him to rapidly make a name for himself in the scientific world of his time.

Several articles in the Encyclopaedia published by Diderot were entrusted to him, and most particularly the article entitled “Equation”. In 1759, he published a successful treatise on popularization entitled, L’Art de conduire et de régler les pendules et les montres. A l’usage de ceux qui n’ont aucune connaissance d’horlogerie (The art of operating and adjusting clocks and watches. To be used by those with no knowledge of watchmaking). In 1763, his extensive treatise - L’Essai sur l’horlogerie ; dans lequel on traite de cet Art relativement à l’usage civil, à l’Astronomie et à la Navigation (An Essay on Horology; in which we deal with this Art in relation to its civil application, to Astronomy and to Navigation) was also well received.
1763 marked a turning point in Berthoud’s career, which was now bound up with the development of maritime navigation. The Academy of Science once again both witnessed and supported the horologist’s request for the opening of two reports, respectively deposited in 1760 and 1761. These described the N°1 maritime clock.

Convinced by his skill, the academics obtained permission from the Minister of the Navy to send him to London to examine the Harrison marine clock. This opportunity demonstrated his worth and resulted in his nomination as a foreign member of the Royal Society on February 16th 1764. On August 29th of that year, Ferdinand Berthoud once again made a submission concerning the “construction of a marine watch…” This was the last time, as Berthoud was now sure of where he was going with his research and of having the option of seeking official support.

His projects were the subject of detailed requests punctuating his activities and in this context, he suggested the construction of two marine watches on May 7th 1766.
Marine Clock N° 6
After successful experimentation with the N° 6 and 8 which are housed at the Musée des arts et métiers (Museum of Arts and Crafts), Ferdinand Berthoud was awarded a certificate entitled Brevet d’horloger Méchanicien du Roi et de la Marine ayant l’inspection de la construction des Horloges marines (Watchmaker and Mechanic to the King and Navy with construction inspection of marine clocks) created especially for him on April 1st 1770.
Marine Clock N° 6
From this time onwards, he abandoned the management of his workshop-boutique in favour of his research. A tenacious investigator, a skilled and daring builder, and an inventor anxious to share his knowledge, Ferdinand Berthoud not only took part in improving horology; he also fostered the use of precision clocks in the sciences of his time, thus contributing to their progress. The title, privileges, and forms of recognition which punctuated his career, between the reign of Louis XV and the First Empire, as well as the tributes and studies which marked his critical fortune until the present day, reflect the importance of his position in the long quest for precision, from Huyghens’ discoveries right up to Guillaume.

Chronology
  • 1727: Ferdinand Berthoud is born on March 18 to a distinguished family of clockmakers at Plancemont in the Val-de-Travers, now in Switzerland’s canton of Neuchâtel.
  • 1745: At the age of 18, Ferdinand Berthoud settles in Paris to study clockmaking.
  • 1753: A decree of King Louis XV’s council awards the 26-year-old Ferdinand Berthoud the title of Master Clockmaker.
  • 1755: Ferdinand Berthoud writes a number of reference papers for the Encyclopédie méthodique edited by Diderot (1713-1784) and Alembert (1717-1783).
  • 1763: Publication of a two-volume horological treatise, Essai sur l’horlogerie…
  • 1764: Ferdinand Berthoud is elected to the Royal Society in London as an “associate overseas member” thanks to his masterpieces and his publications about watchmaking
  • 1768: The marine chronometers N° 6 and N° 8 were proved to be successful onboard the corvette “L’Isis” during a 18-month journey from Rochefort to Santo Domingo. The marine chronometer N°8 alloed to determine the real position on the map of the boat and calculate the longitude within half a degree thanks to astronomical observations.
  • 1770: After successful sea trials of the marine chronometers N° 6 and N° 8, Ferdinand Berthoud is commissioned as Horologist-mechanic to the King and the Navy, and receives a royal command for 20 marine chronometers for the French admiralty’s numerous charting expeditions and marine surveys of the late 18th century.
  • 1802: Ferdinand Berthoud publishes a major work: Histoire de la mesure du temps par les horloges, a history of time measurement by clocks that demonstrates his immense knowledge of horological mechanics.
  • 1804: On July 17, Napoleon I makes Ferdinand Berthoud a Knight of the Legion of Honour as a member of the Institut de France. 
  • 1807: Ferdinand Berthoud publishes his last work, Supplément au Traité des montres à Longitudes. On June 20, 1807, Ferdinand Berthoud dies at the age of 80 in Groslay (France). His nephews, Pierre-Louis Berthoud (1754-1813) and Charles-Auguste Berthoud (1798-1876) successfully carry on the work of their uncle to earn renown as chronometer-makers.
  • 2006: Chopard’s co-president Karl-Friedrich Scheufele acquires the brand name Ferdinand Berthoud.
  • 2015: Chronométrie FERDINAND BERTHOUD unveils its first timepiece: FB1.

Contact details
Chronométrie FERDINAND BERTHOUD SA
Rue des Moulins 20
Case postale 128
2114 Fleurier, Val-de-Travers (NE)
Switzerland
www.ferdinandberthoud.ch

Friday, October 23, 2015

Patek Philippe Grand Complication Ref. 5016A-010 Only Watch Unique Piece

One of the great classics of the Patek Philippe wrist Grand Complications between 1993 and 2011, Reference 5016 unites in its Calatrava-style case three of the complications most highly prized by devotees of exceptional watches: the tourbillon, the minute repeater and the perpetual calendar with moon-phase display. As an additional refinement, the perpetual calendar is endowed with a retrograde date hand, which flies back to the 1stof the month after having reached the 28th, 29th, 30thor 31stunder the action of an ingenious mechanism controlled by a spiral-coiled spring. This graceful interplay of sophisticated functions is orchestrated by a movement comprising 506 parts, all painstakingly finished by hand with the dedication to excellence for which the manufacture is known.

Reference 5016A-010 was created specially for Only Watch 2015 and is the first and only version of this watch to be produced in steel. The sheen of this metal, rarely seen in a Patek Philippe Grand Complication, compliments a blue enameled dial that perpetuates the tradition of the rare handcrafts.

Technical details
Ref. 5016A-010

Movement
Caliber R TO 27 PS QR Manual winding

Functions
Minute repeater
Tourbillon
Perpetual calendar with retrograde date hand
Day, month and leap year in apertures
Moon phases
Seconds subdial at 6o’clock

Dial
Blue enameled dial with gold applied Breguet numerals
18K gold dial plate

Case
Steel Case
Interchangeable full back and sapphire-crystal case back
Case is humidity and dust protected only (not water resistant)
Case diameter: 36.8 mm

Strap
Alligator leather strap, shiny navy blue, hand-stitched
Fold-over clasp

Louis Moinet Vertalor wins International Chronometry Competition in the Tourbillon category

                           
The Louis Moinet VERTALOR has just won the International Chronometry Competition in the Tourbillon category. The scientific validity of the Competition is based on five tests, including three measurement cycles, exposure to magnetic fields, and exposure to impacts. These particularly rigorous tests lasted four whole months. To commemorate this First Prize, Louis Moinet has presented its new “Chronometry” Vertalor model.
The Vertalor expresses all the technical and aesthetic quintessence of Ateliers Louis Moinet, and is one of the finest expressions to date of what makes this independent maison based in Neuchâtel so singular. It also marks the first time that a tourbillon cage has hung from a three-armed bridge made from solid gold. The architectural theme of suspension continues with the Vertalor’s barrel, the cover of which also hangs from a gold bridge. Indeed, the gold bridge construction forms the backbone of the Vertalor – and heralds a completely new approach to open-dial watches.
The two series of Vertalors (28 in pink gold, 28 in grey gold) also embody the power of a design that has become the hallmark of Ateliers Louis Moinet: a sculpted case surrounding a dial revealing the technical beauty of the tourbillon. The latter is positioned at 6 o’clock and features a new hand whose tip, in the form of a luminous star, owes nothing to chance: it harks back to Mr Louis Moinet’s very own design for the Julius Caesar clock (1825).

At 12 o’clock these gold bridges make room for a more open, reworked barrel. Its cover features an open-work sun motif. At 6 o’clock, the tourbillon, hanging from the three bridges above, is suffused with light. Between the two, the winding cog can be seen, a witness to the human interaction with the crown and barrel that provides the watch with 72 hours’ power reserve.

The assembly is arrayed in an Ateliers feature that has become legendary: a broad dial embellished with a Côtes du Jura pattern. Two slightly curved open-work hands sweep across it, with the famous “Dew Drop” tips that have also become part of the brand’s aesthetic signature. A fragment of moon meteorite adorns the centre of the dial, at the centre of those distinctive hands.

At 9 o’clock rests the Fleur-de-lis, the emblem of Ateliers Louis Moinet. This completely redesigned, enlarged, mirror-polished applique detail denotes both Louis Moinet’s place in the course of history and his native town of Bourges (which displays the Fleur-de-lis on its coat of arms). The eight curved, diamond-cut hour markers embody both technical prowess and a powerful aesthetic message –arching above the dial, they help to create a distinctive relief effect in this symbiosis of technology and design.

In the very finest watchmaking tradition, the mechanical movement is manual wind. Set at 3 Hz, its generous three-day power reserve makes the Vertalor suitable for busy modern-day life. The assembly is firmly anchored to a distinctive case, designed and patented by Ateliers Louis Moinet that is to be found in each of its collections. The case alone has no fewer than 59 parts. Front and back are made from sapphire glass, providing a breath-taking view of the hand-finished movement.

The 47mm-diameter Vertalor is available in white gold and pink gold versions.

Armin Strom Skeleton Pure White Gold (WG15-PW.05)

ARMIN STROM's Skeleton Pure celebrates the mechanical architecture of a movement by highlighting the layered construction of the components. Featuring ARMIN STROM’s Calibre ARM09-S, the movement is skeletonized and the bridges accentuated through 3D PVD colorization. The brand's highly trained artisans meticulously plate the bridges with rhodium in the workshop's dedicated electroplating department. The manual-wind, double-barrel movement offers an 8-day power reserve with hours, minutes, small seconds and power reserve indicator. With Skeleton Pure, ARMIN STROM resolutely moves forward in its pursuit of blending Switzerland's skeletonizing heritage with the future.
Technical details
Model: WG15-PW.05 SKELETON PURE WHITE GOLD

Movement
Manufacture movement
ARMIN STROM calibre ARM09-S, 16½‘‘‘
Manual-winding, 8-day power reserve, small seconds, off-centre time indications
Distinctions: Fully skeletonised, bridges with blue PVD coating
Frequency: 18,000 A/h
Jewels: 34
Number of components: 146
Winding-mechanism: Manual wind-up with crown wheels turning on the dial side
Impulse: Double going barrel
Plate and bridges: Fully skeletonised and 3D-PVD coated gear-train and barrel bridges.
Escapement: Escape wheel and pallets made of solid gold with hardened functional areas
Regulating system: Screwed balance with Breguet overcoil
Diameter: 36.60mm
Height: 6.20mm

Functions
Hour, minute, small second, power reserve indicator


Case
18ct white gold
Sapphire crystal and case back with anti-reflective treatment
Diameter: 43.40 mm
Height: 13.00 mm
Water-resistance: 50 m

Dial
Dial ring Sapphire with founded appliques
Hands Stainless steel

Straps
Delivered with a genuine dark blue alligator horn-back strap and 18ct white gold ardillon buckle as well as an additional dark blue rubber strap
A double-fold clasp in 18ct white gold is available on option

Edition
Limited to 100 pieces

Thursday, October 22, 2015

Imperiali Genève Emperador Cigar Chest

Young luxury brand Imperiali Genève unveils the Emperador cigar chest, the most prestigious cigar chest in the world. Available at the price of one million Swiss francs, it required thousands of hours of work to create this highly complex and state-of-the-art technological marvel, which holds several international patents and houses 2,675 high-quality components.

The Emperador is much more than a luxury product; it is an experience for all five senses – a moment suspended in time available to a privileged few, as only twelve numbered pieces will be produced each year. Combined with a timepiece featuring a tourbillon, this unique object d’art marries the age-old art of Swiss watchmaking with the skills of the best experts from 27 different trades.
Behind the Emperador is Imperiali Genève, a young company founded by David Pasciuto and Stéphane Nazzal , aspiring to reinvent existing objects by transcending the bounds of reason. To innovate, enrich and amaze – such is their leitmotif. The extraordinary chest is the fruit of their ambitious imagination. Produced in Switzerland using noble materials, it measures 70 cm long, 45 cm wide and 30 cm high.

The prestigious chest is crowned by a tourbillon timepiece made up of 323 parts and a ‘Clous de Paris’ guilloché dial – the work of a master watchmaker from the Swiss Jura. Meanwhile, access to the 24 exceptional Grand Cru cigars, which are wrapped in four gold leaves and arranged in individual glass tubes around this most sophisticated of creations, is protected by a personal secret code. The user simply brushes a finger over one of the nine touch buttons on the cover spelling the name ‘Imperiali’ to activate the integrated LCD display, which is invisible when the device is sleeping. He then enters his code using the golden touch buttons.
Luxurious and enriched with magnificent details, the Emperador showcases its mechanics – namely the lock and tourbillon watch mechanisms – but is careful to conceal all its electronic components. Only three indicators with mechanical hands are visible to the user:  the relative humidity and temperature inside the chest, the power reserve and the number of cigars remaining. In its quest for perfection and innovation, Imperiali Genève has developed the world’s first self-regulating humidity system, which requires neither water nor human intervention. It guarantees a constant humidity level of 70% and a temperature of 16 to 18 degrees Celsius, regardless of external environmental conditions. These variables can also be easily adjusted according to the user’s wishes.
The almost sacred moment of savouring a cigar is elevated by the Emperador’s three exceptional accessories, which once again perfectly combine technology and mechanics. These majestic devices are arranged in an unobtrusive drawer seamlessly incorporated into the front of the chest. The cigar cutter enables the cigar to be either mechanically cut or perforated in the manner of a punch. The table lighter and its three nozzles offer a perfect flame. Lastly, the ashtray opens by the magic of mechanics whenever a cigar is brought near.
Hundreds of combinations of meticulously selected tobaccos were required to achieve the final result. Rich, complex and balanced, it is the product of the fertile plantations of the Jamastran Valley (south Honduras) and the Jalapa Valley (north Nicaragua), the El Dorado of Cuban emigrants who arrived equipped with their seeds and unparalleled knowledge.
The Emperador cigar is a premium product whose manufacture leaves nothing to chance. After 48 months of ageing, the leaves are carefully processed with the utmost respect to create an exceptional Grand Cru.
Diligence and boldness were required to envisage such a project, combined with a touch of folly. To design this exceptional chest measuring 70 cm long, 45 cm wide and 30 cm high, David Pasciuto and Stéphane Nazzal surrounded themselves with the very best – the best engineers, the best craftsmen and the best manufacturers in French-speaking Switzerland, with the aim of creating a perfect marriage of precision mechanics, exceptional materials, fine watchmaking and state-of-the-art electronics.

For the production of this unparalleled object, they brought together the exceptional skills of 27 different trades, all essential in order to assemble its 2,675 components. This dream team was masterfully managed by the two founders of Imperiali Genève with the assistance of a dozen engineers and designers. All of these contributors worked in partnership for over two years to develop the chest and its three accessories: a cigar cutter, a table lighter and an ashtray. Every stage required painstaking attention to detail and deep reflection. An original solution had to be devised for every feature and the design was reworked and improved almost continually.
The watchword throughout the development of the Emperador was ‘interdisciplinary’. This approach proved essential in surmounting the challenges that arose, be they in terms of heat exchange, temperature regulation between the outside of the cigar chest and the section housing the cigars, selecting the various materials and insulators, integrating the electronics undetectably into the mechanics, the original design of the accessories, or indeed the pure watchmaking section, which showcases an original tourbillon watch. All this without forgetting an essential characteristic, without which the magic would not have operated: the notion of pleasure. From the feasibility study to the final product, everyone displayed unwavering faith, and each invested not just their skill in the project, but their heart and soul.
Like a luxurious safe, the heart of the chest conceals two secure, climate-controlled compartments reserved for the 24 cigars each wrapped in four leaves of fine gold, protected by glass tubes and placed in a radial arrangement. Achieving the ideal storage conditions is a complex technical matter. To do so, the temperature and humidity levels must be controllable. The recommended values for the two variables are 70% humidity, and a temperature of 16 to 18°C, but these values can be modified according to the needs and wishes of the consumer.

To meet these requirements, the designers of the Emperador chose to use a very special type of cell: thermoelectric cooling cells. These are small modules that create heat displacement upon receiving an electrical current. This causes a temperature increase on one side, and cooling, with the formation of liquid condensation, on the other. Two of these modules were installed: one to humidify the cigar compartments, the other to control the temperature. The whole system is regulated by an intelligent combination of three air flows designed to ensure the passive cooling of the entire unit. Also of note is the presence of a condenser within the same compartment, in the form of a small vertical tube which allows the humidity level to be reduced if required.

But that is not all. In order for the entire device to function satisfactorily, even in the toughest atmospheric conditions, thought had to be given to its insulation. After numerous tests, the Imperiali team finally selected the solution of a compartment machined from solid aluminium. This essential section of the chest is completed by other insulating materials.

Ensuring the system operates correctly requires a brain – more specifically an electronic unit. First and foremost, the firmware enables the condenser and its thermoelectric cell to be controlled in order to reach the desired dew point. The regulation system controls the radiators and the cells by measuring the temperature and humidity of each cigar compartment once per minute. In short, it gives orders to all the functional components. Finally, three dials fitted with hands enable the owner to check the key parameters: the temperature and humidity of the compartments (two hands on one dial), the remaining supply of cigars in each compartment (two hands on one dial) and the battery power reserve (one hand on one dial). None of these operations requires human intervention – the Emperador is able to manage them by itself.

The Emperador is a cigar chest above all else, made complete with a number of equally luxurious accessories. Yet it conceals many other wonders, as the chest also contains exceptional horological riches. At its centre, the locking mechanism houses a 100% Swiss-made watch integrating a grande complication: a manually wound tourbillon entirely custom-designed and developed by a Manufacture in the Franches-Montagnes district. Its movement operates at 21,600 vib/h and offers a guaranteed power reserve of 80 hours. The tourbillon carriage makes one rotation per minute, in accordance with tradition, while the hours and minutes are indicated by two central hands. As befits such a creation, the watch was entirely hand-produced by a master watchmaker in the Swiss Jura and its finishes and embellishments meet the most stringent requirements of fine watchmaking, illustrated by the black lacquered dial with its delicate ‘Clous de Paris’ guilloché decoration.
As everything within the chest is entirely unprecedented, the watch too presents several original features, relating in particular to its winding system. Since it is located at the heart of an object that remains immobile most of the time, the tourbillon could not be fitted with an automatic calibre – hence the choice of a manually-wound movement. But how then could the Emperador’s designers ensure that the movement never stops, even when, for example, its owner is absent for a long period of time? Their ingenious answer lay in replacing the action of the human hand with a clever system that operates the crown. Another interesting detail is that the watch’s winding stem is not external, but rather positioned underneath the chest, integrated into a reduction stage in contact with the aforementioned device. The electronically-driven system is programmed to limit the torque that can be applied to the winding mechanism. It is activated regularly to guarantee a sufficient power reserve at all times.

As has been already established, every aspect of the Emperador’s design and production is original. A solution had to be found and existing materials adapted for every part of the chest. These materials are both numerous and varied: glass, Alucobond®, Alucore® with laser-welded inserts, composite fibers, aged aluminium alloy, high-resistance aluminium-zinc-copper alloy, expanded polyurethane, expanded polystyrene, Flexathene®, antibacterial and antifungal materials, not forgetting aerogel. This last material is used in particular by NASA to protect spacesuits and Mars rovers. But this list is not exhaustive, and does not include the surface treatments on all the metallic elements: anodising, plating with gold, nickel-palladium and rhodium, polishing and mechanical engraving with black lacquer.

Given the complexity of the object, the constraints proved challenging at every stage. Taking the example of the lock, the positioning of each part had to be ensured with extreme accuracy, taking into account the extra thickness added by the surface treatment. In other words, the components were machined smaller so they would reach the desired size once they had been plated with gold or nickel-palladium – an adjustment accurate to one thousandth of a millimetre. Another example concerns the design of the Emperador’s cover. The main concern was that its structure had to be both very rigid and particularly light, in order to reduce the burden on the motor
that opens and closes the chest. This constraint was remedied by using plates made of Alucore®, a composite material comprised of an aluminium honeycomb structure sandwiched between two thin sheets of metal. All this is bonded together, in a procedure commonly used in the aerospace industry, particularly in the production of flooring.

The final example concerns the insulation of the cigar compartments. So that this part of the chest could operate faultlessly in external temperatures above 28°C, the team had to find a more efficient material than the foam initially chosen for the prototype. Finally, they opted for aerogel, a material with exceptional insulating properties, used by NASA to protect Mars rovers from extreme heat. Its only flaw is that it is relatively rigid and very volatile, meaning that it cannot be used in the production of complex 3D shapes.

Luxurious and refined down to the tiniest detail, the Emperador conceals a number of secrets. In the folds of its fine black and gold exterior, the chest cultivates an air of mystery. While the main mechanical elements, such as the lock and the tourbillon watch, are visible, no electric or electronic components can be detected. The same applies to the sensors, which are all hidden under touch buttons. All the sub-assemblies that comprise it are subtly integrated to achieve a coherent overall design.

First of all, the structure and mechanics: the chest is comprised of a load-bearing metal frame capable of incorporating all the other elements and bearing all the strain generated by the moving parts. Within this frame, another structure made of aluminium houses the drawer and its moving mechanism, the cigar compartments and the mechanism that opens the cover. During the production process, these various elements are assembled before positioning the chassis made of a composite material (fibre and copper alloy). The original idea of using precious wood was abandoned along the way due to its high sensitivity to the effects of temperature and humidity. Any warping could have caused detrimental expansion in the most sensitive parts of the chest.

The construction of the three-dimensional puzzle can now continue with the successive installation of the three gauges with hands, the cover, whose casing encloses the electronic control system, and the upper section featuring the touch buttons spelling the company name, ‘Imperiali’. These buttons are connected to the electronic module; to open the chest, the owner must enter the rest of his code by touching each of the letters, which are also numbered from 1 to 9. Finally, the lock and the watch are placed on majestic display on the top of the chest. At the same time, the LEDs illuminating the lock and the thermoelectric module are connected to the printed circuit of the cigar section.

This harmonious marriage of mechanics and electronics would not have been possible without the assistance of microprocessors. The chest features 33 of them, 21 of which control the motors. Their data can be modified at any time using the reprogramming stick given to each chest owner. This stick takes the form of an elegant Gold-plated tube incorporating a printed circuit, a 3.5 mm jack, a cap and an activation button. It is connected underneath the chest, on the front right hand side, next to the main switch and the diagnostic port. All of these slots are invisible when the object is standing on its base, so that absolutely nothing can impinge on its aesthetics.

The Emperador is woken gently by brushing a finger over one of the touch buttons on the cover. First of all, this illuminates the LCD display incorporated into the cover, which is invisible when the device is sleeping. To proceed further, the user must then unlock the opening process by entering his secret code, still using the golden touch buttons. If the correct sequence is entered, this is confirmed by a flashing light on the display. The process continues with the movement of the lock and the opening of the cover.

Yet more treasures are concealed within the heart of the Emperador: three accessories designed and developed with the same attention to detail as the chest itself, combining mechanical elements and electronic management: a cigar cutter, a table lighter and an ashtray.

Of the three accessories, the cigar cutter is the most technically complex. And rightly so, as it offers two operations: either it cuts the cigar using a guillotine mechanism, or it perforates it like a cigar punch – regardless of the size or diameter of the cigar.
Three sizes of punch are available: 6, 10 or 14 millimetres. The clippings are ejected by a rotating cylinder. The mode is chosen using a small mechanical slider situated on the right-hand side of the central window. These two operations nevertheless require six different movements.
The first is also the simplest: manually opening the side hatch so the cigar can be inserted. This action also triggers the system’s electronics. The second movement concerns the clamping of the cigar, to ensure it is held in the correct position without damaging the cigar or its wrap. Next is another delicate operation: the selection of guillotine or punch. The first mode is indicated by a white light, while a laser beam marks the length of the cut. The second mode is indicated by red LED lighting. Naturally, the small motors dedicated to each of the operations are controlled electronically. It is simplicity itself for the user, since all the stages can be managed using the golden touch pad, from capturing the pre-selected cigar to validating and executing the cutting or punching, and waking the accessory when it has not been used for a few minutes.
Like a mechanical watch, the intricate dance of the moving parts of the cigar cutter provides a fascinating spectacle that can be viewed through a window on the upper side of the object. All that remains is to remove the residue from the cutting process, which falls into a small tray that is extracted via a hatch located underneath the case. This same opening provides access to the blades for maintenance work.
The second accessory is the table lighter. All cigar smokers will tell you that the lighting of the cigar constitutes a real ritual – one that is all the more significant and precise as it determines the quality of the smoking experience. Too short and it will prevent the cigar from releasing its full range of flavours; too intense and it will burn the leaves too quickly and kill the aromas – hence the need for a lighter with the perfect flame. This is the challenge that the designers of the object set themselves. But how does it work? To ignite the lighter, simply push up the slider, located to the right of the crown. In technical terms, it is lit by an electric motor which opens the gas valve and a spark which is produced above the three torch nozzles. To add a touch of soul, a second motor makes the ring revolve, displaying a rotating opening mechanism.
Particular attention was paid to the production of the stainless-steel gas reservoir, which takes up as much space as possible within the chest. This also includes a number of mechanical systems, such as the filling valve, and the nozzle supply and flow control valves. The volume of the reservoir is 25 ml – large enough to fuel an average flame for several dozen minutes.

Finally, the table lighter incorporates an optoelectronic measurement system enabling the level of the remaining gas supply to be displayed in addition to the battery level status of the other accessories. For lovers of technical details, the sensor operates using an infrared transceiver coupled with a special optic, enabling the level of liquefied gas to be detected due to the effect of refraction.

Like its companions, the ashtray, the third and final accessory, is presented in a luxurious gilded and black lacquered case. This device also exudes its share of magic, as its diaphragm opening is motorised and illuminated by hidden LEDs. Better still, it is fitted with proximity sensors to detect cigars. These invisible sensors are incorporated into the heart of the mechanics and positioned around the diaphragm. Simply hold a cigar near the device and the mechanism will activate, opening the case, ready to collect the ash. This is what happens when a cigar moves towards the ashtray, but what if a single speck of ash lands on the sensor? The answer: the ashtray does not open, as the detection strategy was designed in order to prevent such inconveniences.
When the ash enters the ashtray, it falls into a removable reservoir held in place by a bayonet mechanism. This reservoir can be removed through the bottom of the chest. But how is the ashtray’s opening diaphragm operated? By a highly responsive mechanism whose activation commands admiration. Here once again, the precision and the aesthetics of the device demanded particular attention. This explains why the central crown is driven by the motor on its outer diameter, enabling all the vanes of the diaphragm to move at the same time.

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