Wednesday, April 28, 2010

De Bethune- DB24 Vetrois

DB24 Vetrois is a novelty by DE BETHUNE manufactory which combines four from the 5 patent products of the company. They are balance made of titanium and platinum, flat balance spring arcuate clip, triple shockproof system with a titanium gripper bridge and a device for the automatic movement intensiveness control. The owner of this watch can choose one from three winding speed modes: sporty, general and slow, depending on strength and intensiveness of hand moves. Special indicator, showing the speed, can be seen through the transparent back case and at the dial (horizontal double edged hand with L-M-N scales).
As the brand’s designers claim, the appearance of the watch has the spirit of New York architecture of 1930s. David Zanetta and Denis Flageollet have managed to take advantage of the use of titanium like William Van Allen did with steel to construct the spire of the Chrysler Building in one piece. 48-mm case is made of titanium. It reveals a dial in blued titanium with a brushed finish. The watch is based on the self-winding calibre DB2424 with a two-barrel system (balance frequency 28,800 vph, 53 jewels) which provides 6-days’ power reserve. Power reserve indicator is located at the 12 o’clock. The watch is water resistant to 500 metres.

Sunday, April 25, 2010

Ulysse Nardin- Astrolabium Galileo Galilei

One of three watches in Ulysse Nardin’s “Trilogy of Time” series, the Astrolabium was introduced to the world at the 1985 Basle Watch Fair.

Ulysse Nardin Astrolabium Galileo Galilei Watch, limited edition of 99 pieces, round platinum case (41mm diameter), black crocodile leather strap with platinum tang buckle, white/grey dial that indicates the position of the sun, the moon and the stars in the sky at any given hour as seen from Earth and sunrise/sunset, day/date/month/year indicator, Caliber #UN-97 self-winding mechanical movement, scratch-resistant sapphire crystal, water-resistant to 30 meters.

The Ulysse Nardin Astralabium Galileo Galilei watch. The Astrolabe was developed by ancient astronomers to measure the altitude and direction of celestial bodies over the horizon, calculate the seasons, the movements of the zodiac and to foretell eclipses. This highly complex instrument indicates the position of the sun, the moon and the stars in the sky at any given hour as seen from Earth. It also indicates sunrise and sunset, dawn and dusk, moonphases, moonrise and moonset, eclipses of sun and moon, the month and the day of the week.

Friday, April 23, 2010

Ulysse Nardin- Sonata Cathedral Dual Time

Few watchmakers require a book of operating instructions to accompany their timepieces. But the Ulysse Nardin dynasty is no ordinary watchmaker. Since 1846, Nardin and his descendents have produced award winning timepieces. These coveted watches are produced in extremely limited quantities. Ulysse Nardin's technical achievements are legendary. Its watches of the last thirty years have been exemplary.

This men's dual time alarm watch from the Ulysse Nardin Sonata watch collection features a solid 18k white gold case combined with a crocodile strap and a blue dial. The sophisticated UN-67 automatic movement has dual time with the Ulysse Nardin quick-set buttons for instant time zone changes, as well as a big date display and an alarm with a countdown display and cathedral gong.

Technical Data:
Case:   18k White gold
Dial Color:   Blue With a Partial Silver Linear
Watch Bracelet / Strap:   Alligator Leather - Blue
Watch Clasp:   Deployant
Movement:   Automatic
Engine:   UN-67 Movement ,
Functions:   Large skeleton Minute and Hour hands, One subdial is for the GMT/24 Hour Time-Zone, one Subdial is for the alarm, and one is for the countdown to alarm.
Crystal:   Anti reflective Sapphire
Case Diameter:   42.0 mm
Case Thickness:   13.0 mm
Caseback:   See-through sapphire case-back fastened with 4 screws
Bezel Material:   18k White Gold
Bezel Function:   Fixed
Water Resistance:   30m / 100ft (suitable for splashing, light rain; unsuitable for swimming or diving)
Calendar:   Magnified Double Date at 4 o'clock
Power Reserve:   40-hour power reserve


Thursday, April 22, 2010

Audemars Piguet- Jules Audemars Grande Sonnerie Dynamograph

The Audemars Piguet Jules Audemars Grande Sonnerie Dynamograph watch is an extraordinary achievement of horological mastery as well as superb traditional watchmaking knowledge and craftsmanship. A testament to the expertise of Audemars Piguet in the realm of great watchmaking complications, this extraordinary timepiece takes the celebrated complication of the repeater to its ultimate level. The manually wound movement, constructed by Audemars Piguet and their famed movement specialist Renaud et Papi, contains well over 400 individually hand-finished pieces.

This phenomenal mousetrap of wheels, pinions, racks, snails, and springs offers first of all, a minute repeater, which can be activated on request to chime the hours, quarter hours, and individual minutes; unlike most repeaters however, which indicate quarter hours with a two-gong high/low chime, the Sonnerie movement has a three-gong carillon chime, which offers both additional complexity, as well as a remarkably beautiful and distinctive quarter-hour chime. In addition to the minute repeater, the Audemars Piguet Jules Audemars Grande Sonnerie watch offers both big and little strike ("Grande et Petite Sonnerie") modes. This remarkable complication allows the watch to be set in such a way that hours and quarter hours are struck off automatically throughout each hour, (Grand mode), or to strike only the hours in passing (Petite mode). Since this complication demands so much energy to operate, the movement of this Audemars Piguet Grande Sonnerie watch features mainspring barrels dedicated to both the movement, and the strike works.

Functions of the watch.
  • Great tone mode, it automatically rings the hours and quarters.
  • Small Ring mode, it automatically rings the hours
  • Silence: no ring feature is active. It is essential to set the time on the clock when it is muted.
  • When the button is pressed the Repeat: the hours, quarters and minutes on demand.

To ensure that this remarkable complication is not damaged should it be operated when too little power is available to the strike work, Audemars Piguet has developed both an indicator which shows the power-reserve remaining in the mainspring for the strike work, as well as a second indicator--called a Dynamograph---which indicates the curve of optimum torque which is ideal for the strike modes to be engaged for optimal performance. A small selector piece at the upper right hand corner also allows the watch to be set to "Silence" should the owner not desire the Sonnerie to sound. The craftsmanship which Audemars Piguet lavishes upon the movement of the Jules Audemars Grande Sonnerie Dynamograph watch is breathtaking, representing the finest in traditional haute de gamme techniques. Steel parts are individually drawn with a file, while bridges feature perlage on their bottom side, Cotes de Geneve on their topside, and anglage polishing on the edges. Screw and jewel settings are all countersunk and polished, while certain parts, such as the hammers of the striking mechanism display the luxurious specular polish. Purely functional components such as wheels and pinions are given no less careful scrutiny, resulting in a watch that is a true work of art in every respect.

Extremely limited in production, with only a few pieces produced each year, the Audemars Piguet Jules Audemars Grande Sonnerie Dynamograph watch presents its noble horlogical quality in an 18K white gold case. This graceful round case, a hallmark of all watches within the Jules Audemars Collection, features a sophisticated brushed finish, with highly polished elements on the bezel, and caselugs. The beautiful dial is a fine compliment to this classic, yet extremely complex timepiece, featuring a central section decorated with a Cotes de Geneve finish. A luxurious, remborded crocodile strap, complete with a white gold AP folding clasp completes this exceptional Audemars Piguet watch.

Wednesday, April 21, 2010

Daniel Roth- Grande Sonnerie Moon Phase

Since time immemorial, man has sought to symbolize time from sunrise to sunset by sounds, guiding the members of a community in their daily social and private activities.

As technology has evolved, this particular rhythum, harmonized by the sound of time, has taken on a more intimate character and made its entry into the private sphere.  At a time when electricity and luminous numerals did not yet exist, sound was the only way to tell time in the dark, on demand or automatically.  In fact, few manufacturers are able to produce striking watches and this know-how reflects the perfection of the Master watchmakers art.  Daniel Roth is one of these capable to manufacture every single component of the striking movement, and has being doing so for many years.

The Grande Sonnerie Moon phase representing a genuine masterpiece of horological complication housed within a wristwatch that is unique on the market, this Grande Sonnerie in the Daniel Roth collection is powered by a self-winding tourbillon movement with four-hammer Westminster Chime grand strike and moon-phase display.  Entirely decorated, crafted and assembled in the Manufacture, this model has benefited from the particular care devoted to the quality of the sound and to its many security systems.

A miniature marvel in terms of its construction, it is equally magnificient in terms of the exceptional finishing lavished on all parts of the movement: polishing, straight-graining of the flanks and bevelling of the parts and the mainplate; bridges decorated with Cotes de Geneve and fully guilloche oscillating weight.  This extraordinary watch is to be issued in a limited edition of 10.


Sunday, April 18, 2010

Roger Dubuis- Excalibur Minute Repeater Perpetual Calendar

Excalibur collection from ROGER DUBUIS has replenished with rare enough combination of complications: minute repetir, tourbillon, an eternal calendar and time indicator in the second time zone – such is the short description of model behind modest index EX45 0829 0 N9C.71R (Excalibur – 9, Place Vendome).

Heart of the novelty is automatic movement RD 0829 on 42 ruby stones, with a stock of a course of 50 hours – consisting of 662 parts, the general thickness is almost 9 mm. Under statements of developers the special design of the repetir mechanism excludes extraneous noise and friction doing a signalling device sound especially clean. It is necessary to note a reasonable arrangement of windows of an eternal calendar – abreast habitual to an eye.

In-house mechanical  self-winding movement with perpetual calendar-Calibre RD 1429-Case 45mm in white gold-Black dial-Alligator strap with white gold folding clasp-Limited Edition 28.
Bearing the Poinçon de Genève quality hallmark.
Functions :
Instantaneous perpetual calendar with in-line apertures, dual time zone, day of the week indication through a window at 10 o'clock, large date display at 12 o'clock, month indication through a window at 2 o'clock, day/night display at 8 o'clock, leap-year window at 4 o'clock, moon phases at 6 o'clock, pointer-type dual time-zone display at 6 o'clock, hours and minutes.

Thursday, April 15, 2010

Vacheron Constantin- Cabinotiers Openworked Minute Repeater

Harking back directly to the origins which have guided Vacheron Constantin since its foundation in 1755, the Cabinotiers time-pieces embody the watchmaker’s art at its best and raising the creative talents of Vacheron Constantin to new heights.

Les Cabinotiers is the special section inside the manufacture where Vacheron Constantin’s master watchmakers work on the highest complications. This timepiece exemplifies exceptional technical superiority with a hand-wound movement and caliber 1755 SQ. The openworked case is 37 mm and is made of platinum. The grand complication, the minute repeater, is on-demand strike of hours, quarters, and minutes.

Les Cabinotiers Openworked Minute Repeater is the world’s slimmest-ever openworked minute repeater watch.

Tuesday, April 13, 2010

IWC- Grande Complication

The IWC Specialities watch collection brings to the world one of the supreme wonders of haute horlogerie---the Grande Complication watch. Housed within the massive 42.2mm 18K gold or platinum case of the IWC Grande Complication watch, an exceptional and complex selfwinding movement with 659 individual parts performs an incredible symphony of functions, including a perpetual calendar which indicates day, date, month, century and moonphase, a chronograph, and a minute repeater. Due to the considerable demands placed upon the skills of the master IWC watchmakers in constructing the Grande Complication watch, only 50 are produced each year,guaranteeing the continued mystique of this most incredible of timepieces.

Monday, April 12, 2010

Audemars Piguet- Jumping Hour Minute Repeater

The hours sing out once more on the new Jules Audemars watch from Audemars Piguet. They also dance across the dial with its jumping display and elegant blued Arabic numerals. Combining two in-house specialities – the Minute Repeater and Jumping Hours – this marvel of precision and harmony perpetuates Audemars Piguet’s supreme expertise in the field of complicated watches. With its case and dial featuring a new take on classical styling, it gives a fresh boost to the Jules Audemars collection. This delightful new model will be music to the ears of connoisseurs the world over.

The Audemars Piguet Calibre 2907 driving the new Jules Audemars Jumping Hour Minute Repeater is clearly inspired by the movement of the historical 1992 model, whereas the architecture has been entirely redesigned to match the new case dimensions. Audemars Piguet has implemented innovative solutions to accommodate the relatively large movement and the complex striking mechanism within a diameter of just 43 mm. Blending traditional expertise and cutting-edge technologies, the Manufacture has also endowed the audible mechanism with all the fine-tuned technical details that distinguish its latest generation of Minute Repeaters. In particular, the movement has been equipped with a device that does eliminate any audible gap when the watch does not need to strike a quarter (e.g. 9:13); the sequence of 9 hours and 13 minutes is thus struck smoothly and without any interruption. Minute Repeater watches generally preclude any manual time-setting when the striking mechanism is in operation, since this might damage the movement. To remedy this problem, Audemars Piguet has developed a system that disengages the time-setting system while the watch is striking. This set of breakthrough developments thereby enhances the reliability, the security and the user-friendliness of Minute Repeater watches, while remaining true to the aesthetic appearance of the vintage models. The jumping hour mechanism has also been optimised. So as to enlarge the numerals while making sure the disc was not too large for the movement, watchmakers had to rethink the positioning of the disc and shift it towards the centre of the calibre.

20 pieces total will be made.
Case is 43mm and thickness 12mm.
Flame-blued "Poire Paris" minute hand.

Sunday, April 11, 2010

Girard Perregaux- Opera Two

The Girard Perregaux Opera Two is a minute repeater with Westminster Chime, tourbillon, perpetual calendar wristwatch in oversized, massive solid platinum case. The dial features cutaways which highlight the tourbillon and repeating apparatus. The Girard Perregaux "Opera" series watches are the highest of high grade watches, from Switzerland's oldest continuously operating watch manufacturer.
The dial is silver with dauphine hands. This watch is a perpetual calendar, and the uppermost subdial displays month and leap year cycle. Date is displayed in the 3 o'clock subdial. Day is displayed in the 9 o'clock subdial. Tourbillon is visible working in the 6 o'clock dial cut away.

Movement is the extremely elite manual winding Girard Perregaux Caliber GP 9897 with 37 jewels, beating at 21,600 vibrations per hour and with 75 hour power reserve. The real story with this caliber is, of course, the complications: Westminster Chime Minutes Repetition, Tourbillon and Perpetual Calendar.

Technical Data:

: Pink gold
Dimensions / Diameter : 42.00 mm Height : 14.54 mm Case-back : Sapphire crystal, secured by 6 screws Water resistance : 3 ATM (100 feet) Movement : GPME0980, manual Calibre : 12 1/2 ''' Frequency : 21,600 Vib/h (3 Hz) Jewels : 37 Power reserve : min. 75 hours Functions : Tourbillon, hour, minute, minute repeater on four gongs (hours, quarters and minutes - Westminster chime), perpetual calendar, small second on the Tourbillon

Thursday, April 8, 2010

Did You Know...

Have you ever wondered what is exactly Grand Sonnerie is??

Well, Grande sonnerie (French, meaning 'grand strike') is a complication in a mechanical watch or clock which combines a quarter striking mechanism with a repeater. On the quarter-hour, it strikes the number of hours audibly on a gong, and then the number of quarter-hours since the hour on a second gong. In addition it can strike the hours on demand, at the push of a button. The term is sometimes used erroneously for a mere quarter striking mechanism.
It is more complex than the petite sonnerie, which merely strikes the hours on the hour and the quarter hours on the quarter, with no repeater function.

What's the big deal? And how does it work?

In the noted horology book "Britten's Old Clocks and Watches", G.H. Baillie defines a Grand Sonnerie movement as follows:

"A form of quarter-striking in which the hour last struck is also repeated at each hour."

It works like this, striking the quarter-hour on one gong and the hour on a second, slightly lower-toned gong:
  • At 3:15 the clock strikes once on the higher chime to indicate the quarter hour, followed by three strikes on the lower chime to indicate the hour.

  • At 3:30 the clock stikes two times on the higher chime (half-hour), followed by three chimes on the lower gong (hour) ...etc.

This way, if you are within hearing distance of the clock, day or night, you can tell exactly what time it is at each quarter hour.

Petite Sonnerie
A "petite sonnerie" movement strikes once on each quarter and then the hour on the hour.

F.P. Journe- Sonnerie Souveraine

All you really need to know about this watch is that it costs half a million bucks and has a waiting list of two to three years. Requiring ten patents and six years of development (as you can see in the right photo there's some really crazy stuff happening on the inside), the F.P. Journe Sonnerie Souveraine ($560,000) is a grand-strike clockwatch and minute repeater. What does this mean? Basically, it sounds the hours and quarters — like dong, dong, dong... ding-dong, ding-dong for 3:30. This might not sound like a big deal, but it's apparently huge in real watchmaking.

Journe’s Sonnerie Souveraine is much more than ‘simply’ a grand sonnerie; it is a grand et petite sonnerie plus a minute repeater. A sonnerie is a clockwatch; that means that it sounds the time (hours and quarters) in passing - just like an old grandfather clock: although a grandfather clock is likely to strike only the hours or perhaps half hours. A grand sonnerie (full strike) sounds the hours and the quarters at each quarter (every 15 minutes), i.e. at 4.45 we would hear four dongs (hours) and three ding-dongs (quarters). A petite sonnerie (small strike) sounds only the hour at the hour the quarters at the quarters, i.e. at 4.45 we would hear only the three ding-dongs of the quarter hours."

Technical Data:
Calibre 1505: Manually wound. 40 jewels. 400+ pieces in movement
Movement Dimensions: 35mm x 7.8mm
Balance: 4 adjustable weights. 21,600 v/h. Free-sprung.
Power Reserve: 120 hours/5 days without chime. 48 hours with grand strike. 24 hours of autonomy after strike runs down.
Case: Steel. 42mm x 12.25mm

Wednesday, April 7, 2010

Jaeger Le Coultre- Master Minute Repeater

Since 1833, when the inventive Charles Antoine LeCoultre established this venerable watchmaker, it has produced some of the most outstanding and innovative timepieces. It wasn't until 1931, however, that the Jaeger-LeCoultre brand rose to international fame. It was then that the Reverso - an ingenious reversible watch - was unveiled to the public.

Two years in development, this is a stunning addition to the Jaeger lineup. It is the first minute-repeater that is water resistant to 50 meters. It displays its functions on the front dial which offer a view into this miniaturized wonder of mechanical engineering. The watch chimes - which are sublime to hear and which were designed in collaboration with the Orchestra Leader Georges Prêtre - produce a very sonorous 55 decibels (at two feet away). An incredible 15-day power reserve. Limited to a very exclusive 200 individually numbered pieces.

Also features: Luminescent hour markers. All parts are hand-chamfered and polished. Nickel silver sunray-patterned bottom plate.

Technical Data:

Case:   Titanium
Dial Color:   Open-worked
Watch Bracelet / Strap:   Leather - Purple Alligator
Watch Clasp:   Titanium Deployant Clasp
Movement:   Mechanical Manual
Engine:   Calibre Jaeger-LeCoultre 947 (21,600vph, 41 rubies)
Functions:   Hours, Minutes, Power Reserve, Minute Repitition, Quarters and Hours Repitition.
Crystal:   Sapphire - Anti Reflective
Case Diameter:   43.0 mm
Caseback:   Sapphire Crystal display back. Gorgeous rear decoration.
Bezel Material:   Titanium
Bezel Function:   Fixed
Water Resistance:   50m / 165ft (suitable for showering; not usually suitable for swimming; unsuitable for diving)
Crown:   Titanium, Fluted
Power Reserve:   15-day power reserve

Monday, April 5, 2010

Gerald Genta- Octo Minute Repeater

The first in the world to be associated with jumping hour and retrograde minute functions.

It’s been more than 30 years since Gérald Genta revived the popularity of striking watches, the incredibly complex mechanical models that tell the time through music. Formerly intended for nocturnal use in a world without electricity, they testify to a genius that continues to fascinate connoisseurs of contemporary watchmaking art. On request, a minute repeater model strikes the hours, quarters and minutes – each hour on a low-pitched note, each quarter on alternating low and high-pitched notes, and each minute on a high-pitched note. Gérald Genta watches chime the Gs and Cs at an optimally musical cadence. At 11:59, the 31 notes required ring out in about 15 seconds, a period that is neither too lengthy nor too rushed and creates a tune that is both melodiously and clearly audible.

The Octo Minute Repeater features baroque-inspired ornamental dials adorned with multiple geometrical motifs. Red or black lacquered, engraved in white or red gold, they form typically sophisticated Gérald Genta compositions each of which is produced in a limited edition of one. The jumping hour appears through an aperture cut-out in the traditional 9 o’clock position, while the retrograde minutes move across a 180° semi-circle exactly opposite. The brand’s signature read-off style is thus both instinctive and easy.

The Octo cases reserved for this exceptional edition are crafted in red or white gold with polished middles and satin-brushed bezels. On the surfaces, polished studs punctuate the sweeping run of the retrograde minutes. On the other side, a key of G sign discreetly signals the minute repeater pusher that replaces the conventional sliding bolt in order to ensure the case is perfectly water resistant, and also matches the beaded winding crown. Onyx and hawk’s eye cabochons subtly distinguish one from the other.

The self-winding movement constitutes a new feat from the Manufacture Gérald Genta. It is to date the only calibre to combine minute repeater, jumping hour and retrograde minutes, and its construction is remarkably slender. The central minute repeater calibre is the thinnest in the world (3.12 mm thick) and complete with the oscillating weight and the jumping hour-retrograde minute plate measures a mere 7.38 mm in all. Thanks to this major technical accomplishment, the watch itself features an extremely moderate size. Its undeniable elegance is further enhanced by the pleasure of hearing it chime with a delightfully resonant tone stemming from over five years of pioneering acoustic research conducted by the brand.

The innovative Grand Complication is sublimated by a hand-engraved personalised decorative pattern reflecting the style of the dials and extending over the bridges featuring twelve segments evoking the twelve hours. This refined touch complements the traditional fine watchmaking finishes such as bevelling, polishing, circular satin brushing and hand-drawn flanks, as well as the concentric circular graining and the “Potter finish” old gold colour typical of Gérald Genta movements. This work of art may be admired through a sapphire crystal case-back, complete with its solid gold oscillating weight exquisitely openworked around a signature G motif.


Sunday, April 4, 2010

Vacheron Constantin- King Fouad I pocket-watch

The King Fouad I pocket-watch sold for a record SFr 3,306,250, making it the most sought-after pocket-watch in this sale and the 5th most sought-after pocket-watch in the world.
This superb piece was presented as a gift in July 1929 by the colony of Swiss people living in Egypt to mark the visit to Switzerland of King Fouad I. This remarkable 18K gold timepiece features a silver dial graced with 12 complications: a split-seconds chronograph with 30-minute register, a perpetual calendar, displays of the date, day, month, leap-year and moon phase, as well as a minute repeater striking three gongs on demand, grande sonnerie striking the hours and quarters on three gongs, and petite sonnerie striking the quarter hours on three gongs. The striking mechanism possesses its own winding train distinct from that of the 46-jewel movement.

Sidetrack history regarding King Fouad I,

Born in 1920, Egypt’s last monarch, King Farouk I was a notorious glutton, kleptomaniac, skirt chaser and, to top it all off, he was extremely whimsical too. He ascended the throne at the age 18 as a wide-eyed idealist all set to always be good only to discard these ideals as time wore on. Psychologically unhinged, he could shed tears seeing a dead bird during a promenade and the very next moment he could grab a cat and smash it smack against the wall. Becoming king, Farouk immediately issued a decree outlawing red cars in his country. Simply because all of his 100-plus cars were of exactly that color… Soon after he had so much antagonized all of his onetime allies and the army that the revolutionaries did not find it at all difficult to overthrow him…

After the 32-year-old Farouk left the country never to get back again, the new regime quickly moved to auction off the king 's vast collection of trinkets and stolen treasures, including a huge collection of pornographic magazines and the world’s largest collection of post stamps. Searching the royal palaces, they found whole rooms laden with things at various times and places pilfered by the kleptomaniac monarch — empty bottles, coins, watches and untouched toothpaste tubes. And pricier things like, for example, a ceremonial sword Farouk had picked up right from the coffin of the Shah of Iran and a priceless pocket watch stolen from Winston Churchill.

At the age of 18 Farouk fell in love with the 17-year-old beauty Safinez Zulfikar and shortly after married her but not before he made her change her name. From then on Safinez was supposed to go under the official name Farida which in Arabic means “the only one”. It wasn’t long before the young king started having flings with other women though. Farouk was spending much time and effort to make his subjects believe he was an insatiable lover and convince them he certainly did! Always a glutton, the king would devour huge amounts of meat, fish, and eggs and was a real sucker for carbonated soft drinks. His gluttony for fine cuisine soon made the six-foot-tall former king dangerously obese, weighing nearly 300 pounds (136 kilos).

A great fan of night clubs and gambling, Farouk would often sit in casinos entertaining himself by spitting on passing waiters and guests and flirting with women. Those of the latter who ignored his attentions could easily wind up in one of his five palaces without their consent. Farouk was particularly partial to married women often blackmailing them to divorce their husbands. And it seems he just couldn’t care less about the feelings of his wife Farida who bore him three children during their 11 years together only to see her husband divorce her in the end. Shortly after the breakup the king, eager to win back his people’s love and respect, tied the knot with Nariman Sadeq, a 16-year-old commoner who looked so much like the woman he once craved for… After the 1952 coup Nariman followed her husband into exile in Italy but two years later she returned home and obtained a Moslem divorce.

Farouk continued to live a lavish life even in exile, and continued his obsessive accumulation of material goods squandering what had remained of his once vast fortune. In Rome he made the acquaintance of the 18-year-old aspiring actress Irma Minutolo. The two met during a beauty pageant Irma was taking part in. She never won any awards but managed to win the heart of the playboy ex-king who bought her a plush apartment and was paying for her music and singing lesions. Until Farouk’s last day Irma Minutolo remained his lover which did not prevent him looking for and finding ever new bedfellows…

Farouk died in Rome, on March 18, 1965. On the night he died, he was again eating in his favorite restaurant in the company of a new and his last girlfriend. He was only 45…

Saturday, April 3, 2010

Jaeger Le Coultre- Grand Master Tourbillion

Jaeger-LeCoultre celebrates the opening of its Heritage Gallery with the release of the Master Grand Tourbillon, an exclusive series equipped with a fascinating tourbillon mechanism. Made up of 78 parts weighing barely 0.28 grams in all, the grade 5 titanium tourbillon carriage spins elegantly on its axis once a minute. The date indication is adjustable in both directions and makes a bigger jump between 15 and 16 so as not to spoil the view of this magnificent technical accomplishment. In addition to the prestige of the standout complication, the automatic movement also features a dual time-zone display.

For this limited edition, Jaeger-Lecoultre has devised a balance with a 11.5 mg x cm2 inertia capable of supplying the automatic movement with the energy it needs to keep the carriage in motion and to perform the characteristic 28,800 vibrations per hour expected from a high- precision movement. Among the screws arranged around its rim, four of them serve to make adjustments. This technique ensures constant adjustment over time that is unperturbed even by shocks. Any losses in energy due to friction are also reduced by the use of spyr-type gear-wheel teeth with a profile specially designed to ensure regular transmission of force. The lever is also more compact so as to fit into the limited space of the tourbillon carriage. Finally, the automatic movement is wound in one direction only, in harmony with lengthy research that has shown that, once on the wrist, a watch winds twice as fast this way than in the bidirectional mode.

Technical Data:
  • Mechanical automatic winding Jaeger-LeCoultre Calibre 978, crafted and decorated by hand
  • 28,800 vibrations per hour
  • 48-hour power reserve
  • 302 parts
  • 33 jewels
  • 7.05 mm high
  • 22-carat single-piece oscillating weight, openworked and decorated with relief engravings
  • local time enabling fast adjustment on both directions (travel time zone)
  • date hand synchronised with local time, adjustable in both directions
  • 24-hour reference time indication
  • minutes
  • tourbillon regulator with seconds indication
  • sunburst black base with applied rhodium-plated gold numerals and hour-markers, 11 luminescent dots
  • hour and minute: Alpha type in rhodium-plated brass, luminescent
  • date: rhodium-plated brass with double red-varnished triangle
  • reference time: rhodium-plated brass
  • 1 crown to start the watch and to adjust local time, reference time, minute and date
  • ø 43 mm in 950 platinum cambered sapphire crystal, hardness N°9
  • sapphire crystal case-back revealing the movement
  • water-resistant to 50 metres
Leather strap:
  • 22/20 in matt alligator leather and 18-carat white gold folding clasp
  • platinum 950: Q166 64 70


Friday, April 2, 2010

Parmigiani Fleurier- Tourbillon Arlequin Limited Edition Watch

This collector's timepiece is limited to just 3 pieces and is pretty stunning if you are the sort of person who not only enjoys the looks of Parmigiani Fleurier watches, but also those decorated with precious jewels. The Tourbillon Arlequin watch is placed in the Kalpa XL watch case and fitted with the manually wound Caliber PF 500 movement. The watch complications include the time and power reserve indicator. Most tourbillon watches use the tourbillon cage as a subsidiary seconds indicator, but a centrally positioned seconds hand is also included in this watch. The highlight of the Tourbillon Arlequin is the checkerboard-like arrangement of 92 baguette cut diamonds and 45 baguette cut sapphire stones all over the dial. The stunning watch makes up in bold looks, what is loses in legibility. The 44mm tall by 37.2mm wide case is in platinum. It is an ultra decadent watch with an equally ultra decadent price (by request only). A nice, almost haute jewelry timepiece from Swiss Parmigiani Fleurier.


Dior- Christal Tourbillon Diamonds And Rubies Watch

Here is a stunning piece of Dior men's jewelry and it is a one-of-a-kind watch at that. LVMH-owned Dior takes one of their standard watch designs and forgoes much of that unnecessary stuff, like most of the metal. Instead the watch seems to be held together mostly by diamonds, rubies and red tinted mineral glass. The movement is a manually-would tourbillon that you can see operating almost in silhouette through the tinted red glass.

Case is 42mm wide in White gold, with the thorough assortment of diamonds and rubies being carried over to most of the bracelet. The style of this high cost fashion watch is impressive with a rhyme and reason to the jewel layout. The dial skeletonization is uniquely done, and the views of the movement are quite pretty. I like the use of the large pyramid-cut ruby as the palette over the tourbillon. Price for this piece unique Dior watch was 1.3 million Swiss Francs. This Dior Christal Tourbillon Diamonds and Rubies watch has been nominated to be included in the awards for the 2009 Geneva Grand Prix d'Horlogerie.


Perrelet- Five Minute Repeater

Perrelet is bringing you a five minute repeater that is unique in configuration. It features the renown P-201 repeater caliber, which allows you to activate the ringer on demand by simply pressing the button which is located at the 8 position.

A low-pitched tone strikes once for the hour, followed by two tones in succession, one low-pitched and one high-pitched, which sounds the five minutes. Two strikes in succession for every five minutes that we have passed since the last hour.

The legacy of the expertise of the watchmakers of the 19th century, this timepiece meets Perrelet's high quality criteria in water resistance which is guaranteed to five atmospheres (50m).

The volume of sound is guaranteed by means of an ingenious "empty case" system, which offers a greater resonance compared to a standard case. Due to the high degree of complexity involved in the manufacture of the mechanism, only a very small quantity (120 a year). Aficionados and connoisseurs alike understand this limitation perfectly, as it is so difficult to offer a sound, a melody that keeps pace with the passing of time.

Ref. A 3010/1
Automatic five minute repeater, two tones
Central hour, minutes and second indication
Exclusive Perrelet rotor with glass
18-carat rose gold case
Alligator strap, deployment clasp
Limited Edition of 120 per year

Thursday, April 1, 2010

Perrelet- Turbine

Since its unveiling at Baselworld 2009, the Perrelet Turbine has been one of the most discussed, blogged-about and desired watches on the planet.

What has caused such a stir about the Perrelet Turbine is the 12 titanium blades that spin behind the masculine watch’s face. Yes, the face actually spins. Inspired by a fighter plane’s Turbine engine, Perrelet’s new watch features a creative double-rotor movement that allows the wearer to actually see the movement in motion right on his wrist. On top of one of the coolest, most eye-catching watch designs in recent memory, the Turbine is coming from a brand that is really poised to be a major player in the coming years.

Hidden inside a rather large 44mm case, the movement beats at 28,800 vibrations per hour and features a standard power reserve of 42 hours.
At this time, the Perrelet Turbine collection is available in titanium (Ref: A5006/1 and A1047/1), DLC-coated titanium (Ref: A1047/2) and much more expensive 18kt rose gold version.

Technical Data:
Movement: Perrelet P-181, automatic
Complications: Double Rotor
Power reserve: 42 hours
Case material: Titanium, DLC-treated titanium, or rose gold
Case dimensions: 44 mm
Case height: N/A
Dial: Black, black and red, titanium
Water resistance: 50m
Strap: Black rubber
Crystal: Sapphire, AR-coated

Wednesday, March 31, 2010

Zenith- Defy Extreme Sea

Founded in 1865 by its fastidious owner, Zenith, as its name connotes, represented the pinnacle of watchmaking perfection. Georges Favre-Jacot and his company was one of only a few watchmakers that manufactured complete watches. Morever, he produced these watches using up-to-date machinery and tools that he built himself.

The black dial is made of multi-layered carbon fiber and aluminium, and comes with a window allowing you to view the balance wheel. The watch has a self-winding automatic chronometer movement, with power reserve indicator.
This timepiece is water resistant by up to 3,300 feet making it a real diving watch you can carry with you even at the zenith of your underwater mission.

Technical Data:

Case:   Titanium - Black
Dial Color:   Black / Carbon Fiber Skeletonized
Watch Bracelet / Strap:   Black and Blue Titanium with blue lateral inserts
Watch Clasp:   Deployant Triple folding
Movement:   Automatic Chronograph movement with harmonic plate
Engine:   Zenith El Primero 4035 SX (15 1/2''', 332 parts, 36,000vph, 35 jewels)
Functions:   Hours, Minutes, Seconds, 60-seconds Tourbillon at 11, Chronograph, Helium Escape Valve
Watch Chronograph:   Center Sweep Seconds hand measures 1/10 second. 30-minute totalizer at 3 o'clock. Chronograph push buttons in Black Titanium with carbon fiber guilloche inserts. 12-hour counter at 6.
Crystal:   Sapphire - Anti-reflective both sides (3.8mm thick)
Case Diameter:   46.5 mm
Case Thickness:   17.0 mm
Caseback:   Black Titanium Screw-in back with Blue engraving
Bezel Material:   Black Titanium and Carbon Fiber, with stainless steel decorative screw heads & cone-shaped indexes
Bezel Function:   Unidirectional Rotating
Mass:   190.0 g
Water Resistance:   1000m / 3330ft (suitable for swimming, snorkeling, skin diving, diving)
Crown:   Black Titanium screw-in crown with shock protecting device
Calendar:   Rotational date aperture
Power Reserve:   55-hour power reserve.

Tuesday, March 30, 2010

Harry Winston- Midnight Minute Repeater

The renowned watchmaking house Harry Winston is delighted to unveil its limited series, reference 450/MMMR42RL.W, Midnight Minute Repeater watch. This new model incorporates a unique horological complication, standing out due to its unprecedented subtlety and complexity.

Soft and exquisite in its exterior, the round case of the Harry Winston watch, 42 mm in diameter, accommodates a self-winding mechanical movement, with a balance frequency of 21,600 vibrations per hour. The movement offers a 38-hour power reserve.

An open display enables the watch wearer to admire the minute repeater mechanism. It can be switched on by pressing the button, nestled at 8 o’clock. The aperture, placed in the upper left part and enfolded in a ring of gold, is protected by a sapphire crystal. It reveals a true technical accomplishment: two hammers, skillfully etched with Harry Winston initials, are featured on the outside of the movement.

The Harry Winston iconic design is distinguished by off-center time indication, conventional arches and a glaring diamond, which embellishes the aperture, just as well located off-center. Thus, the name of this prominent brand is directly linked to the idea of conventional, yet audacious designs.

The Midnight Minute Repeater watch is engineered to strike the hours when necessary. For this purpose minute repeating uses distinct tones, treble for hours, treble and bass alternating for hours, as well as highs for minutes. To achieve the best possible results, this mechanism requires both matchless technical and musical exactitude.

The watch boasts 30-meter water-resistance. It comes with a black alligator leather strap, finished with folding clasp, which is done in rose gold.

Technical Data:
Automatic Winding, with frequency of 21,600 vph, 38 hour power reserve

Off-center hours and minutes, minute repeater

Diameter of 42 mm, rose gold or white, water resistant to 30 meters

Silver or black, with aperture for display of minute repeater hammers, protected by sapphire crystal

Black alligator leather with folding clasp in rose gold

Saturday, March 27, 2010

Zenith- Zero Gravity Tourbillion

The Defy Xtreme Tourbillon ZERO-G El Primero is a mean looking master piece that actually defies gravity. ZENITH has devised a Zero-G (zero gravity) system. The gyroscope cage Tourbillon comprises an escapement mounted on cardan joints rather like marine chronometers. The instrument, which is sensitive to changes of position, is kept in a constant horizontal position, thereby ensuring optimal amplitude for the spiral balance-wheel.
Coordination is provided by an invention patented by ZENITH: a second gear train is the reference point for the swinging of the escapement axles and a differential gear with inverter compensates all the relative movements of the framework.

The Zero-G Tourbillon, whose cage alone comprises 166 of the 294 parts that make up the device, 10 conical geared wheels with spiral teeth and 6 ball-bearings, was developed from the El Primero automatic caliber that beats at the record speed of 36,000 vibrations per hour.

Bringing the Tourbillon Zero G and the Defy Xtreme range together produces an unforeseen design, a perfect alchemy of engine and bodywork. A figure 8 on its side, symbolizing infinity or a lucky number, is drawn around the hours and minutes display at 11 o’clock and around the opening of the phenomenal Tourbillon at 5 o’clock. A multi-layered dial of Hesalite glass, carbon fiber and aluminum beneath two sapphire glasses, a blackened titanium case that is waterproof at 1000 meters, a black shot-peened titanium case, a protected crown, helium valve and titanium bracelet with Kevlar inserts and high-temperature resistance are the features that make this an extreme sports timepiece.

Friday, March 26, 2010

Zenith- Defy Extreme Grande Date Limited Edition

Considered the highest point of watch-making perfection the Swiss brand Zenith was founded in 1865, Le Locle by a young watchmaker Georges Favre-Jacot, and through the years gathered prestige by creating high-performance luxurious timepieces which have obtained over 1500 international awards and by creating over 50 different mechanical movements, and among them we include the emblematic El Primero, widely accepted as being among the best chronograph calibers ever built. Today this brand belongs to LVMH group, and continues to design timepieces extremely appreciated by the watch collectors worldwide.
        Zenith gained its international prestige for creating a diversified area of highly exclusivist watches, and Zenith Defy Extreme Grande Date Stealth limited edition is among the most attractive models they have designed during the last year, a timepiece which successfully combines sporty and vanguard style touches becoming a coveted collector’s item.
        The watch is available in two coloristic options, featuring either grey or black titanium case that emanates sportiness and masculinity. Zenith designers have added to the dark accents of the case extreme contrasting matte red in the watch’s hands and balance-wheal Bridge.

        The model accommodates not only a ravishing avant-garde design but also the latest technology in its anti-shock system, the Zenith patented Open Grande Date 4039 SX movement and an El Primero Chronograph with a 3-disk Grande Date, one-of-a-kind technology. The Defy Stealth design finds its inspiration in the Stealth Bombers aircrafts.
        The case dimensions, 46.5 mm in diameter emanate strength and masculinity and its construction is rendered complete by the titanium case back which provides a mind numbing water resistance of 1000 meters; the timepiece is also equipped with graduated unidirectional rotating bezel, and helium valve positioned at 10 o’clock.
        Due to its multi-layered transparent structure, the model is a continuous challenge for the imagination, the dial is revealed through a sapphire crystal that has received anti-reflective treatment on both sides and the indexes are manufactured from titanium as well as the watch’s brushed bracelet.
         Zenith Defy Extreme Grande Date Stealth, limited edition is a fascinating, eye-catching timepiece which was manufactured in only 250 pieces per variation, world wide and is available for an exclusivist price of $31,000.00.


Zenith- Open Minute Repeater

A technical highlight of the prestigious Zenith Academy watch collection is undoubtedly the remarkable "El Primero" Open Minute Repeater.  Within a collection famed for its mechanical virtuosity and exclusivity, this model achieves a pinnacle of excellence all its own.
Within the classical confines of the 45mm 18-karat gold case nestles the Zenith 4043 caliber, an exclusive creation of the historic Swiss manufacture.  Among the most complicated mechanical movements in the world, this mechanism comprises 461 individual components, 45 jewels, which unite to drive two complications.  In addition to the high-beat chronograph mechanism, which can mark independent time intervals with a precision to within 1/10th second, the Caliber 4043 presents a minute repeater--long esteemed as one the two most difficult and sought after high complications in the horological repertoire.  By activating the slide piece on the left side of the case, the user can activate the minute repeater, which will chime the hour, quarter hour, and individual minute on a combination of low, high-low, and individual high tones.  To unite the chronograph and the minute repeater, Zenith created a clever patented system whereby the chiming mechanism encircles the axes of the chronograph.  

Zenith is offering the Academy Open Minute Repeater watch in a "Classical" variant which features a solid gold guilloched silver dial, and a highly contemporary "Open" version, whose transparent sapphire dial exposes tantalizing glimpses into the daunting complexities of the mechanism.  Both models are extremely limited in production, and each watch is engraved with its individual number.  A hand-sewn alligator strap and a deployant buckle in 18K gold keeps the Academy Open Minute Repeater securely on its owners wrist.