Some Of The Best Watch Information Ever Posted On The Forums...

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ID: 51   Posted

Posted by: Neo Nov 28 2004, 06:45 PM

Girard Perregaux - Vintage 1945 GMT Chronograph, King Size


The Vintage line has been further enriched with this magnificent king-sized GMT chronograph. The case, now a hallmark of the Girard-Perrgaux collection, is in pink, yellow or white gold. The black or silvered opaline dial has four counters: a small seconds at 3, hours at 6, minutes at 9, and a GMT 24-hour time-zone at 12. The numerals and hands match the color of the case. The GMT chronograph comes on a full-skin, hand-stitched crocodile strap witha gold buckle.

  • Automatic mechanical movement;
  • water-resistant to 30 meters;
  • Case diameter: 31.95 mm x 32 mm, 12.40mm height;
  • Sapphire crystal front and back;
  • GMT pushpiece at 11 o'clock.

    Posted by: Neo Nov 28 2004, 06:47 PM
    Girard Perregaux - Baguette Diamonds


    Refined and elegant, the For Lady 'Baguette Diamonds' plays scintillatingly with time. Its sophisticated, subtly retro look is underlined, as always with Girard-Perregaux, by elongated horns, making the case even more dynamic. Fashioned in white gold, the models in this line are embellished with a diamond-set bezel or a double row of diamonds. There are also diamond-paved versions as well as versions without diamonds. The mother-of-pearl dial, whose centre can be paved with diamonds, features large numberals in white gold. The straps for this exquisite timepiece come in a selection of silky hues and with a white gold buckle. It is offered in a limited series of 500 individually numbered pieces.
    • Hand-wound mechanical movement;
    • water-resistant to 30 meters;
    • Case dimensions: 20 mm x 30 mm, 10.85 mm height.

    Posted by: Neo Nov 29 2004, 01:03 PM

    DEBUTANTE by Corum


    November 25, 2004

    Stainless steel watch (15 mm) equipped with an ETA E01.001 quartz movement. Diamond-set bezel, white mother-of-pearl dial, dauphine hands, set of 3 stainless steel bracelets set with citrines, blue and pink topaz. Optional bracelets set with diamonds and blue sapphires.

    Source: / October-November 2004 Issue

    Courtesy of europastar

    Posted by: watch7007 Nov 29 2004, 10:36 PM

    dude... you're unreal... 194856-4047.gif

    I just searched thru your message... you got any info on the Prada IWC limited ed (I think a little over 200 watches issued? not sure) My GF and I regrett that we didn't buy it..... I saw it at Milano last year for about $2000 Euro (approx $3000 USD) ... I have never seen it since... I'm killing myself cause the one I was to get was the watch with the days in 'italian' instead of english.... that was soo cool... (daky/date model)

    sigh... 194856-4048.gif (yes, I'm starting to sober up now.... gotta go to work tomorrow... ) heh

    Posted by: Neo Dec 1 2004, 12:00 PM

    Beyond Generations:

    Patek Philippe’s unprecedented exhibition of historical and contemporary timepieces in Tokyo


    November 29, 2004

    Patek Philippe recently gave Japanese watch enthusiasts a unique opportunity to discover exclusive Patek Philippe timepieces, many of which traveled outside of Switzerland for the very first time. This unprecedented two-day exhibition held in Tokyo attracted some 3,000 visitors who came to admire the legendary beauty of so many precious timepieces made in Geneva.


    The Caliber 89 in 18K yellow gold

    “Beyond Generations” symbolically took place at Academy Hills 40 in Roppongi Hills, the new urban cultural district located in midtown Tokyo and known as the “Art-telligent City” – a symbol of diversity of thought and contemporary arts. The name of the event embodies the intrinsic values and philosophy of the Patek Philippe brand, namely tradition, innovation and the quest for unrivalled excellence in watchmaking. It acted as a reminder that a Patek Philippe is designed to last for generations: as the Patek Philippe business ownership passes from one generation to another, so do our precious watches.

    Celebrating a new start for Patek Philippe in Japan

    The exhibition was organized to celebrate the recent restructuring of Patek Philippe distribution in Japan. Over the past 45 years, Patek Philippe developed a close and successful cooperation with Nichibo Shoji K.K. and Isshin Watch company, both Patek Philippe distributors in Japan. To streamline distribution and further strengthen our after sales service, the decision was taken to create a new company – PP Japan Inc. – which was established on February 1, 2004.

    The new company is now the exclusive distributor of all Patek Philippe products in Japan and is in charge of all commercial, service and communication activities for the Geneva watchmaker. Mr. Hideki Frank Nagano, Nichibo’s former Executive Director, has been appointed CEO of the new company.

    A Future ‘Beyond Generations’ for Patek Philippe

    The exhibition was officially opened on the evening of September 21, 2004, during a ceremony and reception attended by more than 400 guests, including key customers, influential business people, prominent artists, 200 journalists and four national television channels. Mr. Philippe Stern, President of Patek Philippe, recalled with emotion his first encounter with the Japanese market 40 years ago when he came with his father, Henri Stern. He spoke of family tradition and quality workmanship: “We concentrate on fine watchmaking and produce our watches with passion and pride”. He then introduced his son Thierry Stern, recently appointed Vice President of the company, who stressed the importance of preserving Patek Philippe values in management to provide this independent, family owned and run company a promising future ‘beyond generations’.

    The largest Patek Philippe exhibition abroad in ten years

    By showcasing unique timepieces for the first time outside of Switzerland, ‘Beyond Generations’ paid tribute to fervent Japanese watch lovers and their appreciation of fine craftsmanship. Sixty historical pocket watches, clocks, complicated timepieces and wristwatches thus traveled from the Patek Philippe Museum in Geneva to Tokyo, alongside the complete current collection – making this the largest Patek Philippe exhibition abroad in the past ten years.

    Among the prestigious timepieces displayed were the following:

      [*]Queen Victoria, an open-face keyless-winding patented invention fob-watch presented to Queen Victoria of Great Britain during the “Great Exhibition” of London in 1851.

      [*]The Flower Garden, an open-face keyless-winding pendant watch made in 1893 and bought as a gift for Marie Curie, Polish-born French scientist and twice Nobel Prize winner.

      [*]The “Henry Graves” Watch, a 12-function equipped complicated pocket watch, ordered by the New York Banker Henry Graves Jr. and delivered to Tiffany & Co., New York in 1928.

      [*]The “Koscowicz”, the first Patek Philippe wristwatch made in 1868.

      [*]An aviator’s split-seconds chronograph, the 1952 model that provided inspiration for the Ref. 5070 watch launched at the Basel Fair in 1998.

      [*]The Caliber 89 in 18K yellow gold, the most complicated portable timepiece in the world with 33 complications, a genuine masterpiece displayed by courtesy of a Japanese collector.

      [*]The Star Caliber 2000 pocket watch created to mark the millennium and combining 21 most fascinating complications. A full set of four unique pieces was on display.

      World premiere launch of Patek Philippe new Gondolo collection Ref. 5111

      The largest and most complete set of Patek Philippe watches from the current collection ever displayed outside the “Baselworld” fair completed this unique exhibition. A total of 600 timepieces, including grand complications such as the Sky Moon Tourbillon (the most complicated Patek Philippe wristwatch from the regular collection), or rare specialty watches such as pocket watches with miniature enameling, cloisonné enameled Dôme table clocks, engraved watches, skeleton watches and Haute Joaillerie timepieces. “Beyond Generations” also provided a unique opportunity to launch, as a world premiere, the brand-new Patek Philippe Ref. 5111 Gondolo for men, a masterpiece in pure Art Deco style. This very stylish model features the famous, high precision, Patek Philippe Caliber 215 PS hand wound mechanical movement.

      “Beyond Generations” – an unprecedented showcase of exceptional Patek Philippe timepieces outside of Switzerland – was a special gift to the Japanese market, celebrating the creation of a new company and paving the way for a promising future for Patek Philippe in Japan.


      Gondolo Réf 5111

      Source: Patek Philippe Press Release

      Courtesy of Europa Star

      Posted by: Neo Dec 1 2004, 12:05 PM



      November 30, 2004

      A stunning surprise from one of watchmaking’s most illustrious names … Rolex.

      Using eye-catching models in a very modern and effervescent ambience, the renowned brand revolutionizes its image with the launch of its automatic chronometer:

      the Oyster Perpetual Datejust Rolesor.


      Source: Rolex Press Release

      Courtesy of europa star

      Posted by: Neo Dec 1 2004, 12:07 PM

      Bulgari family still majority shareholders after sale

      December 01, 2004

      Paolo and Nicola Bulgari have sold 5.9 million shares in the jewelry company their family has owned for more than 100 years.

      Despite the sale of 2 percent of the company, the Bulgari family retains about 52 percent of the company, The Wall Street Journal reported Tuesday. Family shareholders include Paolo and Nicola Bulgari and their nephew, Chief Executive Francesco Trapani, who is allied in a shareholders pact with his uncles and approved Tuesday's deal.

      Credit Suisse First Boston will place the sales, which have a market value of about 50 million euro or $66.4 million. Bulgari shares have risen 24 percent since mid-August, according to the Journal, following strong sales and a 50 percent jump in profit for the third quarter.

      Source : National Jeweler Daily News /

      Courtese of europa star

      Posted by: Neo Dec 1 2004, 12:09 PM

      Bertolucci purchased by a Chinese group


      December 01, 2004

      According to the Le Temps newspaper, the watch brand Bertolucci has passed into Chinese hands, more precisely the group Dickson Concept International Ltd, based in Hong Kong.

      Purchased from its founder Remo Betolucci in 2001 by a group of private investors, the brand, essentially present in Asia and the USA, didn’t achieve its objectives, namely a more concerted effort at internationalization and the doubling of its production figures (around 10,000 watches a year). With fifteen staff today, versus twenty-five three years ago, Bertolucci achieved a turnover of around 15 million Swiss francs.

      The new owner, Dickson Concept International Ltd., is an important distributor in Asia, that has already acquired, in 1987, the French company S.T. Dupont, the luxury cigarette lighter manufacturer.

      Source: Le Temps, Michel Jeannot(BIPH)

      Courtesy of europa star

      Posted by: Neo Dec 1 2004, 12:15 PM

      N E W M o d e l – Mido Baroncelli Automatic


      From Swatch Group company Mido comes the Baroncelli, based on a 1970’s model. First introduced with a quartz movement, and then a manual wind, the Baroncelli is now available with an automatic movement. The case, in stainless steel, measures 39mm. The crystal is sapphire as is the exhibition back. Movement is an automatic caliber Mido 1192 (base ETA 2892-A2) with 21 jewels. The rotor is finished with Geneva Stripes.

      Courtesy of Time Zone

      Posted by: Neo Dec 1 2004, 12:17 PM

      N E W M o d e l – Ernst Benz Chronosport Contemporary


      The latest from Ernst Benz is the Chronosport Contemporary with stainless steel cases that measure 40mm and 47mm.

      Functions are hours, minutes, sweep seconds, day and date. Movement is the automatic ETA caliber 2836-2 with bi-directional winding, Incabloc shock protection, a Glucydur balance and a Nivarox hairspring.

      Dials can be had in white or black, the crystal is sapphire as is the exhibition back. It is water resistant to 50 meters. A stainless steel bracelet is also available.

      MSRP is: 40mm from $895 to $1,095 and 47mm from $995 to $1,195.

      Courtesy of Time Zone

      Posted by: Neo Dec 1 2004, 12:19 PM

      Michel Jordi Back in Business


      Swiss watchmaker Michel Jordi, who recently declared bankruptcy has re-emerged after satisfaying debts of over 2 million Swiss Francs (about $1.7 million).

      The new company is called MJL SA, which will focus on “haute de gamme” watches to be built at a new facility in the Vallee de Joux.

      Courtesy of Time Zone

      Posted by: Neo Dec 1 2004, 12:51 PM

      What does the term "complication" mean

      and how does it differ from "grand complication"?

      by James W. Clee, Bruges, Belgium

      By convention, a watch is said to be "simple" when it indicates hours, minutes and seconds. Following this definition, a watch equipped with an automatic mechanical movement, indicating only these functions, would also be considered a "simple" watch. The same definition applies for a very precise chronometer which indicates the time with a very high degree of accuracy, even though this particular timepiece has been subjected to a series of very stringent tests by the Chronometric Observatory or another official chronometric testing facility. While sometimes people confuse a chronometer and a chronograph, these two timekeepers are not at all the same. Chronographs are defined below.

      A watch is said to be "complicated" when it indicates functions in addition to the time. These may include optical readings using hands or windows, or they may be acoustical in nature, using chimes or bells

      A "grand complication" is a watch that contains at least three "complications", coming from each of the groups listed below.

      Group 1: Complications using visual indications

      a. Simple chronograph

      b. Counter chronograph

      c. Split-second flyback chronograph

      d. Independent second hand chronograph

      e. Jumping second hand chronograph

      Group 2: Complications using visual astronomical indications

      f. Simple calendar

      g. Perpetual calendar

      h. Moon phases

      i. Time equation

      Group 3: Complications using acoustical indications

      j. Alarm

      k. Quarter repeater

      l. Half-quarter repeater

      m. Five-minute repeater

      n. Minute repeater

      o. Passing strike

      Definitions of complications by group

      Group 1 a. A simple chronograph is a watch possessing a center sweep second hand which can be started, stopped and brought back to zero by means of a push-button.


      b. A counter chronograph has one or two additional subdials which count the minutes or hours starting from a given point in time.


      c. A split-second flyback chronograph is equipped with two superimposed center sweep second hands which can be started together. The flyback hand may then be stopped to indicate the reading at an intermediate time. When it is restarted, this hand instantaneously "flies" back to the position of the first hand.

      d. The independent second hand chronograph was the precursor of the modern chronograph. It consisted of an independent center or sweep second hand which could be started or stopped independently of the normal time function but which could not be reset to zero. This second hand advanced instantaneously then remained immobile for nearly a second until it advanced again. It was driven by a wheel and an independent spring which was wound separately by turning the crown backwards. These watches have not been produced for many years but are now highly prized by collectors.

      e. The jumping second hand chronograph used an independent center sweep second hand which advanced continuously rather than in jerks. In addition, this watch contained a small hand in a special subdial at 6 o'clock which completed a revolution in one second, jumping around in four or five successive quick movements. This timepiece is no longer being made.

      Group 2

      Astronomical functions were the first complications to be introduced into watches. As early as the 16th Century, many years before the regulating spiral was invented, exquisite pocket watches were equipped with date readings and lunar phases.

      f. Simple calendar watches provide one, two or three functions, i.e. the date, often the day and sometimes the month. All the months have 31 days so it is necessary to manually correct the watch five times per year.

      g. Perpetual calendar time-pieces provide the three indications of their simple calendar cousins but also automatically correct for the 30-day months as well as for February's 28 or 29 days.


      h. The indicator for moon phases is made up of a small specially shaped window in which the various phases of the moon appear and disappear month by month. The most common mechanism in use today is composed of a single wheel with 59 teeth supporting two symmetrical moons. The wheel moves by one tooth per day which gives a lunation of 291/2 days. Since the true lunation is 29 days, 12 hours, 44 minutes and 2.8 seconds, this gives a difference of 44 minutes and 2.8 seconds per lunation, or an advance of one day over a period of 2 years and 235 days.

      i. The time equation function indicates the difference between the true local solar time and the average artificial time. Our 24-hour day is an artificially designated average solar day. The true solar time varies constantly in relation to the average solar time, with the difference reaching more than 14 minutes around February 11 and 16 minutes around November 3. Only four days per year are actually exactly 24 hours long. If a person wants to set his watch using a sun dial, it is necessary to know this time difference, or time equation, for each day of the year. In the past, some watches were equipped with a fixed hand indicating the time equation at noon each day. Other watches used an additional minute hand carrying a sun which continuously showed the local true solar time. Although no longer considered very useful, the time equation watches are highly regarded by collectors.

      Group 3

      j. The alarm function uses a very old mechanism whose fabrication was a mandatory part of the training for master watchmakers. This acoustical device can be programmed for a period of 12 or 24 hours.

      The term repeater is used for a watch equipped with a strike or chime capable of indicating the hour on demand and repeating it as often as desired. The precision of the time indicated depends on the type of repeater.

      k. A quarter repeater function strikes, on demand, the hours and quarter hours which have just passed. It uses two bells of different tones, signaling each hour by a low tone and each quarter hour by a higher tone followed by the lower one. For example, at 3:40, the quarter repeater strikes three low tones, followed by two series of high-then-low tones, giving bong, bong, bong, silence, then bing-bong, bing-bong. By mentally adding 71 1/2 minutes to the hour chimed, the largest deviation between the real time and the last hour chimed will be 71 1/2 minutes (one-half of a quarter-hour). In our example of 3:40, we can estimate the time to be 3:37.5, giving an error of 2.5 minutes.


      l. A half-quarter repeater function strikes the hours and the quarter-hours but uses a high tone to signal that the half-quarter has just passed. Using our example of 3:40, this repeater would chime as follows: bong, bong, bong, silence, then bing-bong, bing-bong, then bing to indicate that a half-quarter has just passed.


      m. A five-minute repeater system strikes the hours with a low tone and each five-minute interval with a higher tone. At 3:40, the mechanism would chime bong, bong, bong, silence, then eight higher pitched bings.

      n. A minute repeater watch strikes the hours and quarters as does a quarter-repeater. In addition, the minutes which exceed the last quarter are signaled by a succession of rapid strikes on the higher toned bell. For example, 12:59 would be given by 12 low tones, then three series of high-low tones, followed by 14 rapid high tones.

      o. Watches with a passing strike function automatically signal the hours and quarter-hours, with the hour repeated at each quarter. They also are equipped with a device indicat-ing the hours and minutes on demand. The energy for this function is provided by a powerful spring which is wound at the same time as the watch. However, the number of demands is limited. A silence position is also provided to discontinue the chime, if desired.

      Grand complications

      It is possible to make several types of grand complications. In general, though, they are composed of a split-second flyback chronograph with counters combined with a perpetual calendar (with or without moon phases) and a repeater function, usually a minute repeater. There is, however, nothing to prevent the addition of other elements not mentioned here, such as a power-reserve indicator, thermometer, hygrometer or any other device not yet imagined by today's watch-making geniuses.


      Patek Philippe pocket watch for James Ward Packard with a perpetual calendar, solar hour, rising and setting sun times, moon phases and a rotating disk of 500 stars representing the Ohio night sky, minute repeater with three bells.


      Is it possible to attribute the creation and development of the first perpetual calendar watch to a specific watchmaker?

      - Ralph Edgar, Portland, Maine, USA

      Most watch historians give credit for this invention to Abraham-Louis Breguet (1747-1823). Indeed, Breguet was a great watchmaker, having invented and perfected a large number of ingenious devices. However, in an article entitled "Horology" published in 1765 in the Encyclopedia by Diderot and d'Alembert, there is a description of a watch equipped with a perpetual calendar using a large disk on which are marked the months and dates of a normal year. But this timepiece was made by a Swiss watchmaker working in Paris named Ferdinand Berthoud (1727-1807). The disk made a revolution in 365 days and the month of February contained 28 days. It was therefore necessary to let the watch stop on February 29 in order to maintain the time equation function which was also part of Berthoud's system. The energy for his perpetual calendar was derived from the daily winding of the watch.

      Another watchmaker also preceded Breguet in the development of the perpetual calendar function. Jean-Antoine Lépine (1720-1814) was known as the inventor of various devices which Breguet then later perfected. One example, among others, is the anti-shock device which is often mistakenly credited to Breguet. Lépine also invented calibers for bridged watches. His ingenious system replaced the upper plate and simplified assembly and the development of functions. It is still used in all mechanical watches today.

      Regarding the perpetual calendar, one of Lépine's biographers wrote: "In 1770, Lépine had the honor of presenting to Louis XV an astronomical repeater watch equipped with a time equation function and perpetual calendar. The former was used only in clocks and the latter was his own invention." Unfortunately, the watch in question has disappeared and no other perpetual calendar timepiece is known to have been made by him. Breguet may have picked up this invention later, since, as some historians speculate, he may have been a student of Lépine.

      Courtesy of europa star

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ID: 52   Posted

Posted by: Neo Dec 1 2004, 01:03 PM

"What is a Perpetual Calendar watch and how does it work?"

by Professor J.C. Nicolet

The early "calendar" watches, dating from the 16th century, were equipped with a mechanism giving the day, date and month in addition to the hour which was still imprecise at that point in time.

In a calendar watch, the days and months follow sequentially but the same cannot be said of the dates which are either 28, 29, 30 or 31 depending on the month and whether it is leap year or not. In a "simple" calendar watch, it is necessary to correct the date five times during the year, i.e. the ist day of March, May, July, October and December

Abrahain-Louis Breguet is usually credited with having invented the mechanism which made these corrections automatically.

His invention led to today's "perpetual calendar" watches as opposed to "simple calendar" timepieces. These models are based on the Julian calendar rather than the Gregorian calendar in use today. As a result, leap years are not deleted at the end of three out of four centuries, thus making it necessary to correct the watch three times in 400 years. Regarding leap years, February 29 has been deleted in the years 1700, 1800 and 1900. It won't be deleted in 2000 but will be in 2100, thus today's ads for perpetual calendar watches are right in their claims that these models will not have to be corrected for over a century. The actual duration of a year is 365.2422 days. The perpetual calendar counts the year as having 365.25 days while the simple calendar counts 12 x 31 = 372 days making it necessary to remove 6 or 7 days every year.

How it works:


To explain how the perpetual calendar works, we will discuss a mechanism devised by the author for an astronomical clock (see diagram).

  • The principal part of the mechanism is the perpetual lever -B- which pivots on -b-.
  • It returns to its position by an action of the spring -rb- and it normally pushes against the perpetual cam -P-.
  • A small finger -D- completes one turn per day around point (d) and drags the lever between the hours of 23hOO and midnight by sliding on its inclined plane.
  • The perpetual level -B- is equipped with two pawls -C1- and -C2- which are acted upon by their two respective springs.
  • Each day around midnight the beak -Bj- moves the seven-pointed day star which is held in place by its jumper-spring.
  • The diagram shows the position at midnight just before the jump to March 1.
  • Normally the date is changed by the pawl -Cl- while the pawl -C2- slides onto the cam -L-.

    Five times per year, when the date changes from the 30th to the lst (or for leap years, from February 28 to 29), it is the pawl (C2) positioned behind the catch of the cam (L) which causes the hand to move from 30 to I (or from February 28 to March 1). For the month change, the lever (M) pivoting on (m) held by a pin on the cam (L) moves the month star from February to March.

    The secret of the perpetual calendar is in understanding the way that the perpetual lever engages the pawl (C2) behind the catch of the cam (L) on the appropriate date. We have seen that the perpetual lever at rest pushes against the cam (P). This cam is the memory for the perpetual calendar. It has seven ridges corresponding to the months with 31 days, four indentations corresponding to the months with 30 days and a movable rectangle for February. The cam thus determines the three levels of rest for the perpetual lever.

    The pawl (C2) which is engaged behind the catch of the cam (L) can occupy three different levels, This pawl can then become engaged behind the catch on the evening of the 30th and will not act until the 31st at the same time as the the pawl (Cl).

    This then is the case of 31-day months corresponding to the seven ridges. The pawl (C2) becomes engaged behind the catch on the evening of the 29th when the lever pushes on the base of the indentation. The evening of the 30th, between 23h00 and midnight, it causes the date to change to the 31st. Finally for February the lever, pushing on one side of the rectangle and always lower than the bottom of the indentation, allows the pawl (C2) to move the date from February 28 or 29 directly to March 1.

    An ingenious addition is that the small movable rectangle has three sides equidistant from its center of rotation and the fourth side which is positioned higher than the others. Thanks to this small simple mechanism hidden behind the date star, it rotates one-quarter of a turn each year so that once every four years, the highest side pushes on the lever.

    For that year, the pawl (C2) will only act on the 29th of February, corresponding to the leap year. If we simplify the mechanism by replacing the small movable rectangle by a fixed indentation, the jump will always occur on February 28 and the calendar would then have to be corrected for leap years. This simplified device is called a "semi-perpetual calendar".

    The month is changed from 31 to I by the action of a pin placed on the cam (L) acting on the lever (M) which pivots on (m). As soon as the pin of the cam (L) escapes from the lever, the latter is drawn behind the next tooth by a spring. The end of (M) is jointed to allow it to pass behind the next tooth, thus causing it to move at the end of the following month.

    Courtesy of europa star

    Posted by: Neo Dec 1 2004, 01:12 PM
    "Why do watches have rubies in them?"

    by Professor J.C. Nicolet


    The important parts of a mechanical watch are mainly those that move, i.e. gear trains, the balance and the escapement. In early times, the fine pivots of these pieces turned directly in holes drilled into two brass plates separated by pillars. In order to facilitate assembly and repair, the upper plate was later replaced by separate elements, called "bars" (also "bridges" or "cocks" depending on the number of supports).

    The lower brass plate (called "bottom plate") was drilled with small holes in which the other ends of the pivots turned. These holes also contained small oil sinks from which the oil flowed into the holes to lubricate the pivots. With time, though, dust from the air collected in the oil sinks. This resulting mix of oil and dust formed an abrasive substance which acted like sandpaper, slowly filing away the softer brass of the plate and to some extent even the harder steel pivots. With continued use, the abrasive action of the oil-dust mixture working in concert with the turning action of the pivots caused the holes to become oval. The watch would then start to work erratically, finally stopping.

    These observations led watchmakers to look for a material harder than brass that would withstand more wear and tear from the pivots. The substance they turned to was the ruby, a material second only to the diamond in hardness.


    The use of the ruby goes back to 18th century England (at the time the cradle of quality horology) where watchmakers first had the idea of using small ruby pellets (called jewels) as bearings for the pivots of the balance. The technique of drilling the ruby was invented by a Swiss optician and astronomer, Nicolas Fatio, who went to England in the hope of exploiting his invention. He tried to obtain a "royal privilege" for his technique which they wrongly claimed was already in use. In the end, Fatio did not receive the privilege and other skillful workers set about producing drilled ruby pellets for the watch trade.

    In those days stones were second-rate rejects from the jewelry trade. The technique allowing fro precision drilling of the rubies gave the British watch industry supremacy over continental horology for about 20 years. After that, French watchmakers such as Abraham-Louis Breguet brought over English craftsmen (and their jeweling techniques to work for them in France. This market the beginning of the end of the British monopoly.

    For many years, this relatively costly labor-intensive technique limited jewels exclusively to very high quality watches. Slowly their manufacture became more industrial and their pieces more accessible to other aspects of watchmaking.

    Making Synthetic Rubies:


    Top- The creation of the elongated pear-shaped pieces of artificial crystal.

    Bottom- The pear-shaped pieces are sliced using a copper and diamond cutting tool. The slices are then cut into half, in squares and finally in rounds measuring from 0.3 to 0.5 mm in thickness and 1.15 to 2.55 mm in diameter.


    A further decrease in price accompanied the creation of synthetic rubies, based a method developed in 1902 by August Verneuil, Professor in Paris' Conservatoire des Arts et Métiers. In fact, synthetic rubies, as well as their natural counterparts are corundum, i.e. crystal-line aluminum oxide.

    In the industrial fabrication process, the basic component alumina (aluminum oxide) undergoes a series of operations, i.e. purification, heating, fusion and crystallization, which results in pear-shaped pieces of artificial ruby. Chromium oxide is added to get the red color of natural rubies.

    The large-scale manufacture of rubies permitted the creation of abundant quantities of these synthetic stones, more homogeneous in quality than the ones found in nature. The jewelry trade takes most of these stones. In watchmaking, the cost of the rubies came mostly from the labor needed to drill and set them, as the cost of the raw material was relatively low. Having said this, it must be noted that from beginning to end-product, about 90% of the ruby is destroyed, with only the remaining 10% usable for watches. Up until 1930, the ruby pellets were jewelry-fitted into the brass, but later, the technique of driving (pressing) them into the plates was adopted, thus lowering production costs even more.


    In the mind of the public, the idea that watches contain jewels give them a certain added prestige value. Manufacturers were quick to exploit this belief and started to add unnecessary stones to increase the prices of their products. The term "upjeweling" was an American term coined to refer to this dubious practice which was fairly widespread in the U.S. at the time. It was finally abolished by the U.S. Customs authorities who disallowed "upjeweled" imports from entering the country. There are some, however, who suggest that their real motives may have been less noble and that this was merely a kind of camouflage protectionism for the U.S. watch industry.

    Today, Swiss watchmakers no longer use this questionable practice and their advertisement is not based on the number of jewels in a movement. The total number of rubies, i.e. "jeweling", can vary. In a simple hand-wound mechanical watch, the number of jewels varies from a minimum of 14 to a maximum of 19.

    In automatic or complicated watches, where there are more moving parts, the number of rubies is higher. Once in awhile, someone will hear a rumor that a what repairer has stolen the rubies out of a watch and replaced them with brass bearings. This is a totally baseless myth. For the watchmaker to remove the rubies and replace them with brass would require a lot of effort and would certainly not be worth his time given that the jewels cost only a few cents to buy.

    To sum it all up, having jewels in a watch is certainly a factor that adds to its overall quality. They are indispensable for the long-life and correct functioning of a good quality watch.

    Courtesy of europa star

    Posted by: Neo Dec 1 2004, 01:21 PM
    I can't seem to wear mechanical watches. Either they work sporadically or they don't work at all on my wrist. Why is that?

    by Professor J.C. Nicolet

    There may be several reasons why a mechanical watch does not work. Most people who have this problem fall into one of the following categories.

    1. An old and worn watch
    2. A new but not water resistant watch
    3. A manual-winding watch
    4. Automatic and water resistant watches
    5. Watches used under rigorous conditions
    And what about quartz watches?

    1. An old and worn watch
    Sometimes a person inherits a high quality watch which had worked well for more than 20 years when worn by its previous owner. Therefore, the new owner expects it to work as well for him. Well, it's precisely because the timepiece has given good service for so long that it has become worn out and it deserves a good retirement alongside other "antiques". Nobody expects modern exploits from a classic car, even if it was the best during its era. Why should we expect anything different from a watch?

    2. A new but not water-resistant watch
    A modern watch, even if housed in a magnificent case but one which is not water-resistant, can have problems when it is subjected to many of life's daily activities. If worn during sleep, dust can enter the watch just from rubbing against the sheets. On the other hand, if the watch is removed before going to bed, its internal temperature decreases creating an airflow into its interior. As the air enters, so does the ambient dust, but unlike the air, these small particles do not leave.

    Non water-resistant watches need more care that other timepieces and it is necessary to have them cleaned more often; usually once a year for small ladies' models and once every two years for less delicate men's watches.

    The use of perfume can also damage these watches as it can negatively affect the oil used to lubricate the delicate watch parts. Happily, synthetic oils used today are more resistant to the chemical in perfumes.

    3. A manual-winding watch
    All hand-wound mechanical watches, water-resistant or not must be wound regularly. Modern mechanical watches can often work for 40 to 50 hours between windings as compared to earlier models whose power-reserve was 30 to 36 hours. It is preferable, however to wind these watches every day and at about the same time because this will increase their precision.

    Some wearers wind their watches whenever they happen to think of it, that is, several times during one day and not at all the following day. It is not wonder, then, that their timepieces sometimes stop. If this sounds like you, you should consider wearing a quartz or an automatic mechanical watch.

    4. Automatic and water-resistant watches
    Automatic and water-resistant watches can also present a number of problems that may be due to two factors:

    -the wearer is too still,
    -the wearer is too active.

    People who are bedridden or confined to a chair because of illness, old age or, as is more likely the case, have low activity desk jobs, are not getting enough activity to rewind their automatic watch. When these people were healthier or just more active, their watches worked well, and it is perhaps difficult for them to admit that they are the reason for the poor operation of their faithful timepieces.

    On the other hand, people who are too active, especially those who gesture a lot, tend to overwind their watches. They should remove their watches at night to better maintain the automatic winding mechanism. For those who are less active, they should wear their watches at night to keep them wound.

    Watchmakers have defined what they call the "winding speed" of manual-winding mechanical watches by using a very simple formula:
      Time worn + time not worn
        Time worn

          8 + 16

        Winding speed= ------------------------------------------------= 3


          A normal winding speed is between 2 and 3. Below 2, the watch may stop. Above 3, it will work very well at the beginning but the mechanism will wear out faster than normal.

          5. Watches used under rigorous conditions

          Everyone who wear a watch under difficult conditions should use a water-resistant or even a diver's watch, especially when this watch is exposed to shocks, water (especially sea water), acids, dust or sudden temperature changes. Watches used under such conditions should be equipped with resistant crystals and anti-shock devices. For doing housework, it is also preferable to wear water-resistant timepieces because they can be unintentionally exposed to water.

          The magnetic doors on refrigerators and cabinets may magnetize a watch if they come into direct contact with it. In these cases stainless steel offers better protection than a gold case. A magnetized watch works very poorly though, at first glance, it is not apparent that there is the problem.

          And what about quartz watches?

          Quartz watches with analog display, that is with dial and hands (the only kind of quartz watches manufactured in Switzerland) can be damaged by water and dust. If they are in a watertight case, they are well protected and should work fine as long as the battery is good. They are also less susceptible to the effect of magnetism than their mechanical counterparts. However, they have the additional disadvantage of stopping with no warning once the battery is low. If it has not been changed for a long time, it is a good idea to replace the battery before going on a trip or on vacation since the right one my be difficult to find outside major centers in most countries.

          Swiss companies selling quartz watches are able to ensure good maintenance and repair as long as the component parts are available. Once parts are no longer being made, the watches cannot be repaired. On the other hand, mechanical watches can be repaired as long as a watchmaker can be found who is capable of handmaking defective parts. This, of course, is expensive, but if the watch is a collector's item, it may be worth the effort.

          Courtesy of europa star

          Posted by: Neo Dec 1 2004, 01:59 PM


          Is it true that nickel can cause allergies? And if so, can wearing a watch and bracelet made of nickel alloys be harmful to one's health?

          For the past few years, there has been a lot of talk of allergies caused by metal alloys containing nickel that are in constant contact with the skin. In order to have a better understanding of this phenomenon, we will take a closer look at nickel and the allergies that this metal may cause.

          What is an allergy?

          The condition that we call an allergy is rather complex and cannot be explained without going into great detail. In general, however, an allergy is a biological reaction produced by a particular substance that affects certain individuals in varying degrees, although many other people may not be affected at all. Allergies are usually unpredictable and can even sometimes cause violent responses. It has been estimated that about 10% of people in normally good health are susceptible to some kind of allergy.

          An allergy to nickel is quite real although, in some ways, it is a bit surprising since our bodies need a certain quantity of metals to maintain good health. This is the case for zinc, cobalt, copper and nickel that are found in our bodies in the form of trace elements. Their presence in insufficient quantities or their total absence can result in rather serious medical difficulties. For example, the lack of nickel creates problems in growth, reproduction and longevity in animals.

          On the other hand, too large a concentration of these normally necessary trace minerals can provoke physiological perturbations in certain individuals. The person in question becomes the victim of a chronic disorder with varying levels of gravity depending on the amount to which he or she is exposed. The symptoms are not the same for everyone and, at any given concentration, reactions can vary from intensely serious to hardly noticeable.

          Density, in kg/m3: 8890

          Melting point, in °C: 1440

          Expansion coefficient per °C: 13.1 x 10-6

          Elastic modulus, in daN/mm2 : 2.1 x 10-4

          Figure 1: Certain Physical Characteristics of Nickel

          What is nickel?

          Nickel is found in the earth's crust as a naturally occurring silvery metal in the form of various minerals. Primary nickel is obtained from mining its ore and from nickel matte. Denoted by the symbol Ni, this element has the atomic number 28 and is chemically located in the category of metals between cobalt and copper.

          Nickel is plentiful in nickel-iron meteorites as well as at the centre of our planet, but is found to a lesser degree on the Earth's surface, ranking in 24th position by order of abundance. Some of its physical characteristics are given in Figure 1.

          From an historical point of view, nickel was already being used in 3000 B.C. in the form of an alloy that was probably of meteoritic origin. It was only isolated as an element in 1751 by the Swedish chemist Axel Fredrik Cronstedt. But, it was only in the 19th Century that nickel was extracted on an industrial scale, first in Norway then in New Caledonia following the discovery of important deposits in these countries. Today, Canada is the world's largest producer of this metal.

          In 1890, nickel was introduced into cast metal and steel alloys in order to improve their mechanical characteristics. A little less than 100 years ago, researchers from a number of countries, working independently and concurrently, invented the all-important stainless steel. Today, about 40% to 50% of all nickel produced in the world goes into making this amazing material. The most common category of stainless steel is ‘10-18’, which contains 10% nickel and 18% chrome. It is used in the manufacture of many consumer items such as sinks, pots and pans, kitchen utensils and flatware, as well as roof gutters and other devices that come into contact with water or other fluids.


          Figures 2&3: The current fashion of body ‘piercing’ has been much talked about in the media recently as seen by these newspapers published in the Swiss town of La Chaux-de-Fonds.

          Nickel and watches

          In the domain of watches, one of the most obvious uses for nickel is in stainless steel that is used in the production of water-resistant cases. But this is not its only use. Nickel and watchmaking have many other less apparent connections as well.

          First, an alloy of nickel, copper and zinc called ‘nickel silver’ has been used for nearly 150 years in the production of plates and bridges in very high quality timepieces. This particular composition, which is about 15% to 20% Ni, replaced the customary use of brass.

          Secondly, nickel silver also replaced silver in the production of cases for inexpensive watches before the invention of stainless steel.

          Thirdly, pure nickel is used to electroplate watch parts such as bridges and plates made of brass in order to prevent their oxidation. Just a thin protective layer of nickel is enough to maintain the shiny metallic appearance of these watch components.

          Another use for nickel is in the manufacture of balance springs and pendulum rods. In this respect, watchmaking owes a great service to Charles-Edouard Guillaume (1861-1938), a Swiss who worked at the International Bureau of Weights and Measures. In 1920, he was awarded a Nobel Prize in Physics for his discovery of anomalies in nickel-steel alloys . A fortuitous observation by Guillaume regarding the coefficient of expansion of nickel-iron alloys led to the discovery of Invar, a ferronickel containing 36% nickel with a very low coefficient of expansion, as well as a variation of Invar that Guillaume called Elinvar, whose thermo-elastic coefficient is practically zero between -60° C and +70° C.

          Applications of these new alloys were quickly recognized, finding uses in precision pendulum rods, watch balance springs, geodetic baselines, length standards, thermostats and a host of other devices where high precision is important. Guillaume's total compensating balance for high precision watches and chronometers was perfected by using an Elinvar hair spring.

          Nickel is also used in common every day items, such as coins, metal buttons for clothes, costume jewellery including bracelets, necklaces and earrings, as well as knickknacks and souvenirs, etc.


          Figure 4: The back of a chrome-plated nickel silver watch that has been corroded by perspiration.

          What causes allergies to nickel?

          1. In order for an allergic reaction to occur, the skin of a sensitive individual must be in direct contact with the object containing the nickel. For watches, this necessarily means the case or the bracelet.

          2. Another condition for an allergic response is that the nickel must be liberated rather easily from its alloy onto the skin in the form of cations, or positively charged particles.

          3. Thirdly, these positive ions must be transported by some sort of fluid serving as an electrolyte. This liquid most often is sweat, but may also be water from the sea or from a swimming pool.

          The stainless steel used in the manufacture of watchcases liberates varying amounts of nickel ions depending on the nature of the alloy and the proportions of the individual components. A stainless steel created for medical purposes gives off practically no nickel.

          For those persons who are allergic to nickel, which usually manifests itself in the form of dermatitis, they should definitely avoid wearing costume jewellery or earrings made of nickel silver. In any case, earrings made of any nickel-containing material should never be used until a newly pierced ear or other body part heals completely. The current style of piercing ears, tongue, lips or other areas of the body using earrings or body rings made of metals containing nickel has become a major factor in the increase in nickel allergies today. Because of the popularity of this type of piercing, girls aged 10 to 15 years are at the highest risk for this type of allergy (Figures 2 and 3).

          Another important factor in the liberation of nickel ions is the condition of the metal surface that is in contact with the skin. Rough or porous surfaces retain the electrolytic fluid, usually perspiration, and thus become very active zones for producing the allergenic cations. The resulting corrosion of the metal then generates even higher concentrations of the metal ions. Upon examination of the back of a chrome-plated watch case that has been attacked by sweat, it is surprising to see how much corrosion has taken place and, therefore, easy to understand why the wearer's skin can become sensitive (Figure 4).

          In addition to stainless steel watches and bracelets, the bi-colour models made of gold and steel can also be problematic for people with sensitive skin. Gold and stainless steel have different electric potentials and the transportation of ions in the sweat is accelerated. Therefore, an increase in galvanic corrosion results in an even greater risk of allergy (Figure 5). The rate of corrosion and the rate of allergies are closely linked. When the two metals are soldered together, the corrosion often occurs at the joint. A cavity then appears becoming the site of even more erosion (Figure 6).

          The solution to the nickel-allergy problem is to use alloys that give off no or very little nickel cations. As mentioned above, there is a type of stainless steel used in medical devices that liberates hardly any nickel ions. It is classified as AISI 316 L stainless steel.

          People who are sensitive to nickel might want to avoid watches that contain any nickel at all. Alternatives might include models such as Swatch that are made of synthetic materials, or perhaps the prestige timepieces made of pink or yellow gold.

          White gold (also called grey gold) often contains nickel that exceeds the acceptable levels for nickel-sensitivity. Gold-plated watches worn over long periods of time are also at risk of causing allergies. The thin layer of gold eventually wears off and exposes the skin to the nickel-containing metal beneath as shown in Figure 7.


          Figure 5: This demonstrates a case of galvanic corrosion aggravated by the presence of two metals having different electric potentials.


          Figure 6: An example of the galvanic corrosion of two metals that have been soldered together.


          The problems relating to nickel allergies are important enough that the European Community is drafting legislation to control these materials. A number of individual countries have already taken measures concerning various objects that are made with metal containing nickel. With a statue enacted June 27 1989, Denmark is the first. This legislation forbids the importation and production of a whole list of items that liberate quantities of nickel greater than 0.5 microgram per square centimetre over a period of one week. These include metal buttons, watches, earrings necklaces, bracelets and other objects that come in contact with the skin. This statute also defines a test method using DMG (dimethylglyoxime in ammonia) that is placed on the object after removing any varnish or coating from its surface. The proposed European Community directive is similar to that of Denmark.

          Difficulties relating to the application and enforcement of such standards are not insurmountable because suitable materials already exist. However, in the production of watches, the cost of these substitutes is a non-negligible factor. The industry should be aware of these proposed new regulations and start preparing for their enactment.


          Figure 7: Even gold-plated watches are subject to corrosion as the gold wears off. The ridges are the most likely to be affected.

          In the meantime…

          While waiting for such directives, there are several precautions that can be followed to prevent or diminish the risk of nickel allergies from watches.

            [*]First, remove the watch at night to decrease the length of time it is in direct contact with the skin.

            [*]Secondly, wipe the case often with a clean, dry cloth. A slightly damp cloth can be used if the watch is water-resistant. In addition to preventing the build-up of irritating nickel ions, this is a basic common sense measure of good hygiene.

            [*]Watchmakers have often expressed how surprised they are at the nonchalant attitude of many watch owners when it comes to the cleanliness of an object in direct and continuous contact with their skin.

            [*]Thirdly, after perspiring heavily, the watch should be removed and washed. By caring for one's watch in this way, the risk of allergies to nickel can be greatly reduced.

            Courtesy of europa star

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ID: 53   Posted

Posted by: Neo Dec 1 2004, 05:17 PM

Officine Panerai Radiomir 8 Days. Eight Days of powers!

PANERAI Radiomir 8 Days

Eight Days of powers for the most contemporary Panerai Radiomir.


The Radiomir collection is enhanced by the 8 Days model, using an innovative movement which once more reaffirms the philosophy of Officine Panerai, firmly based on a functional simplicity achieved through “Haute Horlogerie” solutions. This is a return to the past, with the representation in a modern key of a mechanism which Officine Panerai has already experimented with the hand-wound 8-days movement. The Calibre used in the 1940’s was the Angelus, while the new model from Officine Panerai has a Jaeger-LeCoultre base.

The complexity of the Radiomir 8 Days is the result of many factors. The case 45 millimetres in diameter and consists of three parts; it is fitted with the patented slim wire loop strap attachments which provide the maximum resistance and reliability. The roundness of the caseband with curved planes intersecting where the diameter is greatest, requires numerous operations, carried out by only the most expert craftsmen, since the smallest mistake in the polishing operation would irreparably damage the pleasing convexity of the watch.

The screw back and the crown ensure water-resistance to 100 metres, a degree of water-tightness that is important for a piece which combines sporting qualities with elegance. Its unique style is reinforced by a leather strap with an over-sized buckle, the trapezoid design of which is inspired by that of the earliest models created by Officine Panerai. This horological adventure began in 1938 with the Radiomir made to order for the Royal Italian Navy, and the design returned in the late 1990’s, since when the production of this model has been planned to meet the demands of the public of enthusiasts, searching for pieces distinguished by a strong, sought-after personality.

The debut of the Radiomir range of Officine Panerai’s latest historical dates back to 1997, with a model created a limited platinum edition with a Rolex movement. This piece is highly sought-after by collectors and sells for very high prices at international auction sales. In its turn the Radiomir 8 days is distinguished by its prestigious mechanical movement: The Panerai OP XIV calibre is actually based on JLC 1877 calibre, a hand-wound movement with a power reserve of eight days, a duration now considered standard for currently produced top-of-the-range watches. The finish of the movement is reinforced by its Côtes de Genève decoration, as well as by its burnished blued screws. A peculiarity is the unusual positioning of the graduated scale indicating the power reserve, which is fitted on the bridge of the movement and therefore visible through the sapphire glass porthole on the back of the watch.


The dial of the Radiomir 8 Days is made using the technique employed by Panerai for its early watches: it is a sandwich dial, in that it consists of two superimposed discs, the upper one being perforated, while the lower one is covered with luminous material. The small seconds dial is at 9’clock in accordance with the traditional Officine Panerai positioning.

Below, the Limited Edition Officine Panerai Radiomir 8Days in Platinum (5 pieces worldwide).



Those Limited Edition (5 pieces) Radiomir 8 days watches in platinum were manufactured to celebrate Sincere Watch Ltd 50th Jubilee Anniversary (Singapore). On the back of the watch there is an additional little engraving that says "1954 2004", What a coincidence! The Radiomir 6154 "Egiziano" was too born in 1954, I guess that unknowingly to all, those 5 magnificent Radiomir pieces have a double birthday to celebrate!

Officine Panerai Radiomir Models:

Radiomir 2533 (1937-1938), Radiomir 3646 (1942), Radiomir 6152 (1948-1952), Radiomir 6154 (Egiziano 1954), Radiomir GPF 2/56 (1956), Radiomir PAM 21 (1997), Radiomir Split Seconds (1999), Radiomir GMT/Alarm (1999), Radiomir (2000), Radiomir Platinum (2000), Radiomir Zerograph (2000), Radiomir Tourbillon (2000), Radiomir Second Counter (2001), Radiomir Independent (2001), Radiomir Chrono (2003), Radiomir 8Days (2004).

Source: GMT / Antiquorum Magazine (Winter Edition)

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ID: 54   Posted

Posted by: Neo Dec 2 2004, 03:27 AM

Take your Time

Few things say more about a man than his watch. Its character, look and style can give others a peek into a man's background (and priorities) without having to ask a single question. That is why purchasing a watch is such a personal -- and important -- decision.

Of course, there are men out there who only need a watch to tell time, and for those guys a watch whose price ends with .99 would suffice. But for the rest of us, a watch has a more prominent meaning (and for the select few who dabble in the Rolex territory, it can even be an investment opportunity).

We all understand the basic concept of a watch (it tells time, most work with quartz movement and are battery operated, etc.). A deeper understanding, though, can help you recognize the subtle differences between different timepieces. Comprehending these intricacies will not only help you make the best possible purchase according to your needs, but may even save you money.

So here are eight questions you need answered when it comes to watches. This crash course won't necessarily make you an expert on the subject, but it will help you become a very well informed consumer.

1- Is a Rolex worth the high price?

There are two possible answers to this question, and I still haven't figured out which one is right. Why do some people automatically say "no"? Because the Rolex corporation artificially inflates the price of its watches by limiting the yearly supply of some of its collections (the Daytona is notorious for being near impossible to find), leading to scarcity in the market. It is a strategy similar to the one employed by De Beers, the world's largest diamond retailer, which limits the supply of diamonds on the market to keep prices high (even if De Beers has plenty stored in its safes).

Rolex also meticulously (and some say dictatorially) controls its authorized dealer system to make sure that all watches are sold at its suggested retail price. Any dealer that sells a Rolex at a discount is subject to having his dealer status revoked. So since it is nearly impossible to get a new real Rolex at a discount, you will always pay a premium for the name (thanks to smart marketing by Rolex execs) and not necessarily for the craftsmanship (though it is still very high). That is why many watch experts say that, for the cost of a Rolex, you can get a higher caliber mechanical watch from a different company.

On the other hand, some firmly believe that a Rolex is worth the price because it is still a premium watch made with the highest level of craftsmanship. The artificially inflated prices also help Rolexes maintain their extremely high resale value. And, of course, you can't underestimate the cachet value of a Rolex. The status and prestige it projects can, in certain people's eyes, justify its exorbitant price. More than any other regularly produced watch, owning a Rolex is an investment and a status symbol, more than it is a teller of time. If you want to buy a watch purely on its mechanical merits, nothing beats a Piaget or a Jaeger.

2- What do "chronometer" and "chronograph" mean?

Chronometer is a designation given to a watch that has the highest standard of precision. The designation is given to automatic and mechanical movement watches, not those that run with quartz movement. A watch carrying the chronometer certification has passed vigorous tests demanded by the Swiss Official Chronometer Control (COSC).

A chronometer's mechanical movement is close to perfection, so the time it displays is almost always accurate (unlike other self-winding or automatic watches), and therefore carries a premium price over non-chronometer watches. The 15 days of rigorous tests conducted by the COSC include testing its performance under different temperatures, different positions, and even under water.

A chronograph designation is often confused with a chronometer one, though they are completely different. A chronograph is basically a watch with stopwatch capabilities. It displays different counters or mechanisms for measuring elapsed time. Counters can register seconds, minutes and hours. This gives its owner the ability to time anything he wants.

3- Are serial numbers important?

Most premium watches (and all luxury watches) have a serial number. A very important component, it identifies your watch and is one way of ensuring that your purchase is legitimate. All authorized dealers of premium watches have access to a database from their respective watch manufacturers, listing all the serial numbers of all their watches. If you spend a good amount of money on a timepiece, you should make sure that your watch is the real deal by contacting the manufacturer or visiting an authorized shop that can look up the serial number of any potential purchase.

4- Should I buy a watch on the Internet?

You can get deep discounts on brand-name watches on the Web that you simply can't get in retail stores or through authorized dealers. The main reason is because most online watch retailers buy watches in bulk from authorized wholesalers. Wholesalers clear out their inventory at discounted prices, and the savings are passed on to you, the consumer. Authorized dealers must sell watches at their full retail value or risk losing their licenses (watch companies do this in order to maintain pricing levels and control brand distribution, and understandably so).

The drawback of buying a watch on the Net is that, more often than not, its serial number is polished off in order to protect the wholesaler (who is selling the watches to unauthorized retailers) from being identified by the watch manufacturer. Without a serial number, a watch cannot be serviced or repaired by an authorized repair shop or the manufacturer. Resale values will consequently be lower, and you might have a hard time getting your watch insured.

The worst part is that without a serial number your watch loses its warranty from the manufacturer. Luckily, most reputable e-tailers carry their own warranty that matches and often supersedes anything the manufacturer gives you. If you do decide to purchase a watch online, it is important that you do so from a well-established online retailer, like, to guarantee that your warranty is honored (and that the product is legitimate). If it makes you feel better, remember that most premium watches are built to last for years (if not decades), so neither the manufacturer's nor the retailer's warranty will extend as long as you'll probably need it to.

5- How can I tell if I have a quality watch?

The classic definition of a "good" watch generally refers to a watch with mechanical movement. Most mechanical watches use an intricate system of gears and springs that rely on mechanical energy to operate. Because of their craftsmanship, these watches are given higher regard because they capture the fine art of watch-making. They command a higher premium as a result.

But mechanical watches, by their very nature, are often inaccurate (when there is no movement, such as your arm swinging, mechanical watches stop and require winding). In fact, a quartz watch (a simpler and less expensive movement, which uses a battery that sends electric currents to a small quartz crystal to ensure timing accuracy) is much more accurate than a mechanical watch, but is sold at a lower cost.

Quartz watches are cheaper because they are not perceived as "sophisticated" by connoisseurs. But who cares? At least they are reliable and accurate. If you are set on mechanical movement, know that most popular mechanical watches that are manufactured nowadays use automatic movement, which means they wind themselves thanks to the movement of the wearer.

Without getting too technical, I recommend you check out the offerings of Swiss watchmakers for a "good" watch. They are made with the highest standards in the world. With the consolidation that is occurring in the industry, most well-known brands are owned by a small group of companies. This means you can get the same level of craftsmanship of a higher priced watch by buying its lower priced cousin in the company product line.

For example, if you can't afford a Movado, you can buy its less expensive counterpart by Esquire (it is made by the same company, but since Movado is the more prestigious brand, it carries a premium price). In fact, I would say that a $250 Esquire offers the quality of a watch priced at $1,000 or more. Similarly, you can purchase a Tissot (a trademark of the Swatch Group) at a much lower price than an Omega (also a Swatch Group brand) without compromising much quality.

6- How should I care for my watch?

A premium watch is an intricate instrument and should be treated as such. Too often, people assume that because they forked over $1,000 or more on a watch, they never have to take care of it. That's like thinking that you never need to bring a Ferrari to a dealership for an oil change because you put down $200,000 to buy it.

The biggest misconception when it comes to watch care is assuming that watches can be waterproof. A watch is not waterproof, nor is the most advanced submarine in the world. It is water resistant. Every watch carries a designation on how much water the moisture seals can withstand. Quality watches will offer resistance from 100 meters to 1,000 meters. Humans can't go beyond 100 meters anyway, so high-depth ratings are more of a status symbol than of usefulness. If your watch does not have a depth indicator, do not take it into a pool or shower.

In fact, unless you're a professional diver, don't bother taking a watch into a pool or sea. They contain more chlorine or salt than you ever want to expose your precious watch to. The elements can erode the lining of the case (consists of the essential parts of your watch, i.e. the dial, the face, etc.) and diminish the finish of your watch. If you must take your watch into water, make sure you rinse it with warm water immediately afterwards.

Some other tips:

  • Wash your watch in warm soapy water occasionally, to maintain its luster. Use a toothbrush to clean the bracelet.
  • Have your watch serviced every three to five years. Like any high-precision instrument, it needs a tune-up to work perfectly.
  • Store your watch in a soft cloth to prevent it from getting scratched or chipped.
  • Avoid extreme temperatures or extreme temperature changes that can cause condensation.
  • No matter how shock resistant a watch claims to be, never drop it to test it. Shock resistant designations are given to timepieces that can remain intact when dropped three feet onto a wooden floor; take the manufacturer's word for it.

    The cover of a watch's face, known as the crystal, is designed to protect the dial. There are three main types of crystal found in watches: acrylic, mineral and sapphire.

    • Acrylic crystal is an inexpensive plastic that does not prevent scratches, but allows scratches to be buffed out.
    • Mineral crystal is glass, which is composed of several elements that aid in resisting scratches (it is seven times harder than acrylic crystal). It is generally found on more expensive watches.
    • Sapphire crystal is the cover of choice for premium watches. It is the most expensive type of crystal and is three times harder than mineral crystal. It is made of an extremely durable synthetic material that makes it shatterproof and scratch resistant (not scratchproof). Some have a non-reflective film to prevent glare.
    • 8- What is the legal definition of a Swiss watch?

      Like Champagne, Bordeaux or Port, certain products have stringent standards (based on location or quality) that must be met before carrying a particular designation. The Swiss have several organizations to ensure the integrity and reputation of Swiss watchmakers. The accepted standard for what constitutes a Swiss-made watch is a Swiss movement, set into its case in Switzerland, by a manufacturer of Swiss origin.

      A Swiss movement is defined as a movement that was assembled in Switzerland (by a Swiss-based manufacturer), and whose Swiss movement parts constitute 50% or more of a movement's total value. Movements that meet this requirement will carry a stamp (on the watch's face or back of the case) with the words "Swiss," "Swiss Made," "Swiss Quartz," "Suisse," "Produit Suisse" or "Fabrique en Suisse." The former three are the most popular in North America.

      If your watch says "Swiss Movement," it means that the inside parts of the watch are Swiss, but that the case is not, therefore it cannot carry the other stamps. If the case is Swiss, but the movement is not, it will say "Swiss Case."

      Some other tidbits: If your watch has a "T" on its face, it means it has tritium, the greenish-white substance on the hands and numbers that glows in the dark. If the face has the letter "O," it means that the hourly markings on the dial are made of gold.

      Complicated, isn't it? Don't worry, once you purchase your watch, you can use all this information while you show off your shiny new timepiece. Happy shopping.


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ID: 55   Posted

Posted by: Neo Dec 2 2004, 04:06 PM

'Rolex' spam taps into bling-bling culture

Published: October 25, 2004, 9:37 AM PDT

By Will Sturgeon

Special to CNET

Rolex watches have long been seen as a must-have product among the aspiring nouveau riche--but the brand, built upon high standards of quality and prohibitive costs, is in danger of being sullied by unsolicited e-mail.

In the same way that Viagra has been a brand made synonymous with spam, so Rolex is in danger of becoming a generic byword for unsolicited e-mails.

A vast number of spam e-mails offering either cut-price Rolex watches or fakes are currently flooding people's in-boxes--growing in number more than any other kind of message, according to e-mail security company MessageLabs.

The deluge appears to have begun in earnest last week. Natasha Staley, information analyst at MessageLabs, said the company has seen this sort of spam explode on the scene.

"Of all the brands out there being exploited by spam, Rolex is now by far the most common," she said.

Staley believes the marketers behind the products may be trying to cash in on "bling-bling culture," which is fueling a desire for famous-name jewelery and flashy trinkets and accessories--whether fake or genuine.

Many of the offers are promising watches, described as indistinguishable from the real thing, for as little as $75. Behind the campaign would appear to be a Web site called, which also offers watches from other manufacturers, including Bulgari, Cartier and Chopard. At least six seemingly different e-mail campaigns link to, through variously disguised URLs.

The owners of the site could not immediately be reached for comment.

Forgeries are nothing new. In the past, many travelers have returned from destinations, typically in the Far East, with fake Rolex watches, but the launch of spam campaigns to sell such products threatens far greater market saturation.

A statement on the Rolex Web site claims: "Official Rolex watches are sold through official Rolex jewelers and are not available on the internet."

But for many, fakes will be close enough, and their proliferation will do enough to dilute the exclusivity of the Rolex brand.

"These products are appealing to the kind of people who buy fake Burberry caps. They probably don't care that they are fake," Staley said. "The Rolex brand is built upon exclusivity, and this does erode away at the brand."

As with all spam marketing, however, consumers should be aware that there is no guarantee the product bought will even turn up, and MessageLabs' Staley warned against handing credit card details to spam marketers.

"If these people are prepared to rip off watches, they are probably prepared to rip off credit cards," she said, sounding a warning to any consumers tempted by some cheap "bling."

Will Sturgeon of reported from London.

Source: (thanks barnowl)

Posted by: Neo Dec 3 2004, 11:55 AM

Cacharel Launches a Watch Collection


December 03, 2004

After jewellery in Spring 2004, Cacharel is confirming its launch in the jewellery-watch world with a collection of watches, designed and manufactured with the collaboration of Christian Bernard group.

The story of the brand began in 1962 when the designer from Provence decided to create his women’s ready-to-wear label, giving it the name of a bird from Camargue.

Creativity, femininity and daring characterise this first watch collection, punctuated with original pieces. Like the world of fashion and dreams, it is oriented towards young (in spirit not necessarily age), dynamic and urban women who are interested in and sensitive to fashion.

Each model bares reference to ready-to-wear and accessories: the watchstrap fabrics are all exclusively Cacharel and are only available in limited edition; the buckles use the same designs as the luggage and bags; the lining and the dials play with the label’s colour codes: ice blue for freshness and optimism and chocolate brown to illustrate the timeless character of the label.

Three creative spirits prevailed at the launch of this collection:


"Design" line and "Origins" line

The spirit of "Design"

Modern femininity in an expressive and contemporary style, for this design line with pure and simple elegance; these minimalist, glamorous and soft models bring to life all the sensuality of the Cacharel woman. The refined alliance between materials and shapes evokes dressmaking ateliers.

The spirit of "Origins"

Revisiting Cacherel memories and the flowers of famous Liberty prints, this line perfectly illustrates the sentimental and romantic spirit of the label, where lightness, femininity and softness express nostalgia for dreams and the past. The label rekindles its links with origins and modernism through materials, shapes and decoration on the cases, straps and dials.


"Pop" line

The spirit of "Pop"

A daring and fun line in a truly Cacharel style where the shimmering colours of the fabric straps and a graphic design provide the freshness and fun. The straps follow the ready-to-wear trends and deserve their own catwalk. Creative and accessible models for modern women who follow fashion whilst imposing their style, carried by the optimism of youth.

Source: Press Release

Courtesy of europa star

Posted by: Neo Dec 3 2004, 12:05 PM

Dubey President Cinette Robert Honored by IIPP


The International Institute for Promotion and Prestige ( was founded in Geneva in 1963 and is active in 67 countries, with members drawn from political, diplomatic, scientific, cultural and economic circles. The IIPP aims to find in countries around the world people, institutions, groups and companies whose activities, accomplishments and work deserve to be brought to the attention of a wide audience through the award of an international distinction.

This week they honored Mrs. Cinette Robert, president of Dubey & Schaldenbrand with the “MERIT FOR DEVELOPMENT OF THE WATCHMAKING TRADITION” distinction award.

The award was given at a ceremony in La Chaux de Fonds. A new watch by Dubey was also unveiled to mark the event.

Courtesy of timezone

Posted by: Neo Dec 3 2004, 12:11 PM

Omega Official Timekeeper of World Record Attempt


Omega once again reaffirms its commitment to brand ambassador Ellen MacArthur as her Official Timekeeper as she prepares to set off on her non-stop solo round-the-world sailing record attempt. Ellen will be keeping a sharp eye on her Omega watch over several stressful months as she attempts to beat the existing record of 72 days, 22 hours, 54 minutes and 22 seconds set by Francis Joyon on board IDEC earlier this year.

The 75ft trimaran B&Q has been berthed in Falmouth (UK) since Monday 15th November whilst Ellen and her team await a suitable weather window to carry her south past the Equator. Standby Mode shifted up to AMBER today, with a possible departure this weekend to be confirmed during the day. As Ellen tellingly revealed earlier this week, "Half my mind is out there already".

Omega will accompany Ellen both on her wrist and on the master clock installed inside B&Q, which will count down the vital days, minutes, hours and seconds remaining during her gruelling solo voyage.

Ellen MacArthur has been an ambassador for the brand since October 2002 and Omega has already acted as her Official Timekeeper during the Kingfisher2 Jules Verne record attempt in January 2003 and her east-west solo transatlantic record attempt on B&Q earlier this year.

Only 6 solo sailors have attempted to race around the globe non-stop on multihulls - the fastest and most extreme boats on the oceans - and only one of these succeeded in the pursuit of this world record. Omega is proud to accompany her on this exceptional journey.

Source: Omega Press release

Posted by: Neo Dec 3 2004, 12:12 PM

Davosa Flieger Power Reserve


The Ref. 160.403.17 is the latest from Davosa.

Featuring a stainless steel case that measures 44mm X 11.2mm, this Flieger Power Reserve model features the hand-wound ETA caliber 6498 (nee UNITAS).

The crystal is mineral and it is water resistant to 50 meters.

Courtesy of timezone

Posted by: Neo Dec 3 2004, 12:15 PM

Dubey & Schaldenbrand Aerodyn Trophee


Dubey & Schaldenbrand took the opportunity to unveil a new watch last week during the awards ceremony to honor its president, Mrs. Cinette Robert.

The Aerodyn Trophee features the NOS movement Aurore 19, which was the first tonneau-shaped caliber with direct-drive center seconds. This limited edition consists of 175 pieces in 18kt rose gold.

The curved dial features a guilloche finish, and the luminescent hands are in the same color as the 4 gold-dust numerals, reminiscent of a sundial.


It has an AR coated sapphire crystal and display back. The movement features a gear-train bridge with the coat-of-arms of Ponts-de-Martel.

Courtesy of timezone

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Posted by: Neo Dec 3 2004, 12:53 PM

Watch collectors find they can make valuable fashion statements.

A watch's primary function might be to keep track of hours, minutes and seconds, but its style, system and statement are hardly secondary factors.

That was a lesson collectors learned with quartz watches.

Advancements in timekeeping techniques -- some of which date back centuries -- barely budged until the 1970s, when quartz watches came on the scene, replacing the tension-controlled springs found in mechanical watches with a crystal in an electric field to oscillate at a constant frequency.

Almost immediately, the demand for mechanical watches waned and a slowdown in production of those watches followed.

But what happens when people stop making something?

"Everyone wants one," says Edward Faber, co-owner of New York's Aaron Faber Gallery, which sells vintage, collectible and estate jewelry. "They want one for the nostalgia of a mechanical watch."

That made such watches "collectible," and in a world of expensive toys and eccentric hobbies, collectible often is a code word for valuable.

"Now if you have a Daytona Rolex or Patek Philippe moon-phase (watch) -- if you have the means to acquire these -- when you walk into a board meeting in Los Angeles, London, Paris or Italy, it gives you cachet," says Faber, who wrote "American Wristwatches: Five Decades of Style and Design" (Schiffer).

The private market for high-end mechanical watches started to skyrocket, with particular interest from European and Asian collectors, and auction houses recognized the trend. The value continues to increase so dramatically, according to Faber, that watches made in the 1950s and '60s that cost hundreds of dollars then, are now worth thousands.

"The Rolex Explorer -- a simple black military watch -- sold for $300 in the '70s. Now you can spend $6-, $7- or $8,000. You could have bought a Patek Philippe moon-phase full-price for $2,000 in the early '80s; now you cannot find them for less than $100,000," says Faber.

A Cartier Tortue Minute Repeater, a rare minute-repeating wristwatch in 18- karat yellow gold from the 1920s, was auctioned earlier this year for $640,500.

A luxury watch is an acceptable -- yet noticeable -- sign of wealth for a man looking for a counterpart to a woman's diamond ring or tennis bracelet. "A big gold bracelet or pinky ring a man can't really wear. But it's OK to wear a 1930s Cartier or Vacheron Constantin," observes Faber.

It's a perpetual challenge to mix modernity with a brand's heritage and integrity, all equally important elements when you're hoping to design a future collectible, says Stanislas de Quercize, president and CEO of Cartier North America.

For the 100th anniversary of Cartier's first wristwatch, the Santos, the company unveiled an updated version with its classic square face and screws that stand out, representing the rivets on an aircraft that Louis Cartier's friend Alberto Santos- Dumont would have flown. Cartier created the watch so Santos-Dumont would be able to tell time while he was in his plane and unable to reach his pocket watch.

Brian Pier was on vacation in the Netherlands in the early 1980s when he shelled out about $30 for his first Swatch, a quirky watch with a black face, gold hands and a black plastic band that he expected would last two weeks.

That Swatch still runs, and Pier has changed the batteries only twice. It sits among his collection of almost 1,000 Swatches -- his favorites are the artist series watches, particularly the Sam Francis splatter-painting Swatch.

Source: (by Samantha Critchell)

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ID: 57   Posted

Posted by: Neo Dec 3 2004, 01:22 PM

A bit old news but still interesting (Neo).

IBM & Citizen Watch develop Linux-based "WatchPad"


Oct. 11, 2001

Tokyo -- (press release excerpt) -- Citizen Watch and IBM Research today announced that they have started the research collaboration on Linux Watch technology and jointly developed their first prototype, called "WatchPad" to further explore a new type of personal information access devices for the pervasive computing era. (enlarged photo available here)

IBM Research first demonstrated the Linux Watch last year, illustrating the viability of the operating system across all platforms, from large enterprise servers, to medium-sized and small servers, workstations, desktop systems, laptops and the smallest intelligent devices.

Citizen Watch is the first company that decided to work with IBM Research to enhance current features and develop new application technologies for the intelligent watch. Citizen Watch will explore the possibility of commercializing next generation watches as communication devices in the future. IBM Research will support Citizen Watch with its expertise in hardware and software, including system design, low power architecture, reliable and flexible IT infrastructure for future pervasive computing and communication applications.

Among the technologies Citizen Watch has developed for the WatchPad are packaging design and component design including display and input device. IBM Research has provided technologies including hardware architecture,

system design, and software, including Linux.

Two companies plan to collaborate with key universities by sharing the WatchPad technology for joint research. By working with universities, Citizen and IBM Research hope to accelerate progress in developing next generation intelligent devices.


Posted by: Neo Dec 3 2004, 01:49 PM

Wristwatch Television


Catch the game on this diminutive wristwatch TV.

  • The specially designed micro tuner and headphone antenna (must be connected to wristwatch TV for reception) pull in stations.
  • Digital display shows time and date, and Thin Film Transistor technology displays a crisp 280 x 220 resolution picture on its 1 1/2" color monitor.
  • Volume and channel buttons are on the side; time, channel and volume appear in the top LCD.
  • Receives both UHF and VHF channels.
  • Fully charged, the watch provides one hour of viewing; or, extend viewing up to three hours with the battery powered (four AA batteries not included) docking station.
  • Docking station also plugs into AC for unlimited viewing and to recharge the watch (2 1/2-3 hour charge time).
  • Nylon band, hook-and- loop closures.
  • As with other televisions that use an antenna, ours works best in areas with strong broadcast signals and minimal interference. 3/4" H x 1 3/4" W x 1 3/4" L. (3/4 oz.)

Retail: $179.99 - $199.95



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ID: 58   Posted

Posted by: Neo Dec 3 2004, 04:46 PM


- New York office exceeds previous year’s turnover by 70% -

New York, December 1, 2004 — In an exciting finish for Antiquorum worldwide’s 30th Anniversary year, the New York office held a highly competitive and extremely successful auction which achieved an exceptional total of US$5,360,046 (€ 4,041,474) for its Important Collector’s Wristwatches, Pocket Watches &Clocks sale. In addition, Antiquorum USA saw an unprecedented US$16,960,348 in its total annual sales, a 70% turnover increase over the previous year.

Bidders from around the world, including Europe, the United States, Asia, and North Africa, keenly vied for 336 lots, of which sold pieces hammered 116% by value. For the third consecutive sale, lots offered without reserve achieved remarkable results. In addition, along with telephone and live auction bidders, over 233 registered online bidders purchased a total $US 900,000 (€ 678,600).

“We are extremely excited to see that contemporary and vintage watches are increasing in popularity in the United States,” said Osvaldo Patrizzi, Antiquorum’s founder and chairman. “With such tremendous interest from American buyers, we expect to continue to see strong growth in this market.”

The auction’s top four lots were all Patek Philippes – three wristwatches and a pocket chronometer, the star being the last timepiece offered for the day, a Ref. 1518, 1st series, which fetched $US 401,000 (€ 302,354). Another highly sought-after brand was International Watch Co., (IWC) with two limited edition wristwatches: Lot 310, the IWC “Il Destriero Scafusia” achieved $US170,000 (€ 128,180), and lot 309, an IWC “Grand Complication,” Ref. 3770 sold for $US103,500 (€ 78,039). Vacheron Constantin timepieces did extremely well, with the watch manufacturer represented in the top sales with lot 226, a “Les Complications Tourbillon Squelette” wristwatch which fetched US$108,100 (€ 81,507). In addition, Rolex watches were again keenly sought after, with lot 283, a so-called “Jeanne-Claude Killy,” Oyster Chronograph Anti-Magnetique which sold for $US 92,000 (€ 69,368).

Antiquorum continues its unwavering focus to provide innovative services to clients worldwide. With services such as real-time, online bidding, as well as direct and responsive contact with expert horologists, Antiquorum continues to use cutting-edge auction methods to address the needs of its expanding, international clientele.

The “Top 11 Lots” for Antiquorum’s December 1 auction are as follows:


Lot 336 US$ 401,000 / € 302,354

Patek Philippe & Cie, Genève, Ref. 1518, 1st series.

Production of this reference started in 1941. Extremely fine and very rare astronomic, 18K pink gold wristwatch with perpetual calendar and chronograph with moon phases.


Lot 335 US$ 258,000 / € 194,532

Patek Philippe & Cie, Ref. 2438-1.

Produced circa 1960, an extremely fine and rare, astronomic, water-resistant, 18K yellow gold wristwatch with center-seconds, and perpetual calendar with moon phases.


Lot 334 US$ 241,500 / € 182,091

Patek Philippe & Cie, Genève, Ref.1436, first generation, sold on May 8, 1961.

Production started in 1940. Extremely fine and rare 18K yellow gold wristwatch with square button, split-seconds chronograph, 30-minute register, and tachometer.


Lot 327 US$ 197,500 / € 148,915

Patek Philippe & Cie, Genève, Ref. 961, made in 1989.

Exceptionally fine and equally rare 18K gold, keyless, astronomic, minuterepeating pocket chronometer with instantaneous perpetual calendar, moon phases, 24-hour indications and Earnshaw-type spring detent chronometer escapement with free-sprung helical balance spring.


Lot 310 US$ 170,000 / € 128,180

International Watch Co., Schaffhausen, “Il Destriero Scafusia", No. 67 of 125.

Produced in a limited edition of 125 examples in 1993. Extremely fine and rare, oversized, astronomic, minute-repeating, 18K pink gold wristwatch with split-seconds chronograph, secular perpetual calendar and moon phases, and one-minute, flying tourbillon regulator.


Lot 332 US$ 111,500 / € 84,071

Patek Philippe & Cie, Genève, “Arabic Leap Year, Ref. 3450, second series.

Production started in 1981. Fine and rare astronomic, self-winding, 18K yellow gold wristwatch with perpetual calendar, moon phases, and Arabic numerals for the leap year indication.


Lot 226 US$ 108,100 / € 81,507

Vacheron & Constantin, Genève, “Les Complications Tourbillon Squelette,”.

Produced in the 2000s. Extremely fine and rare, skeletonized, water-resistant 18K pink gold wristwatch with visible one-minute tourbillon regulator, and 42 hour power reserve indicator.


Lot 309 US$ 103,500 / € 78,039

International Watch Co., Schaffhausen, “Grande Complication,” No. 18/50.

Produced in a limited edition of 50 examples in 1993. Very fine and extremely rare, astronomic, “Grande Complication,” self-winding, platinum wristwatch, with minute-repeating, chronograph, secular perpetual calendar, and moon phases.


Lot 241 US$ 97,750 / € 73,703

Officine Panerai, Firenze 1860, “Radiomir Tourbillon,” Ref. OP 6547.

Produced in a limited edition of only two examples in 2001. Very fine and extremely rare oversized, platinum wristwatch with visible one-minute tourbillon regulator under three golden bridges.


Lot 250 US$ 94,300 / € 71,10

Franck Muller, Genève, “Tourbillon-Split-Seconds-Perpetual-Equation of Time” Ref. 1790 QPTR.

Produced in the 1990s. Extremely fine and rare, astronomic, platinum wristwatch with one-minute tourbillon regulator, co-axial round button split-seconds chronograph, perpetual calendar, moon phases, and retrograde equation of time.


Lot 283 US$ 92,000 / € 69,368

Rolex “Oyster Chronograph Anttimagnetique”.

The so called “Jean-Claude Killy,” produced in the 1950s. Very fine and rare, tonneau-shaped, water-resistance, 18K yellow gold wristwatch with round button chronograph, registers, and triple date.

* Exchange rate used for the purposes of this press release only:

1 US$ = SFr. 1.14 / Euro .752 / HK$ 7.8 / UK£ .5272 / Yen 106.4

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ID: 59   Posted

Posted by: Neo Dec 4 2004, 08:37 AM

Rugged luminous timepieces produced originally for military men

are now a big hit with civilians as well.

By Wei Koh, Straits Times

December 4, 2004

ONE IS a coveted brand of luxury sports watch. The other manufactures low-cost but robust timepieces for the United States army. On the surface, Officine Panerai and PLT Traser appear to have little in common. But both brands have their roots in creating luminous compounds that help soldiers to tell time in the depths of the ocean or in the dead of night. As with Ray Ban sunglasses and Jeeps, Panerai and Traser have also successfully made the leap from the military world to civilian consumer culture. It's a fact of modern warfare that a significant number of skirmishes and operations take place in the night. This has created a need for instruments such as watches and sighting equipment that emit a small amount of self-perpetuating light.

The Officine Panerai brand was founded in 1860 by Giovanni Panerai in Florence, Italy. The watches cost from $6,000 to $30,000 each and are only available at The Hour Glass, Cortina and Sincere shops here. In 1910, the Panerai family patented a luminous substance made from zinc sulphide and radium bromide called radiomir. Radiomir was encased in glass tubes to increase its resistance to ageing and used to create luminous sights for naval guns for the Italian navy. In 1936, Panerai built the Radiomir watch for the navy's special torpedo group. This watch featured cases and movements made by Rolex but with a special dial that used radiomir markers and hands. Radiomir watches were used by commandos to calculate dive times while guiding underwater torpedoes towards their targets.

In 1949, Panerai received a patent for the luminor material, a tritium-based compound that replaced radiomir. Panerai made slightly fewer than 300 watches. In 1992, facing a cut in the military's budget and in a bid to stay solvent, it issued limited runs to consumers. Watch models were named after the luminous compound that made them famous - the Luminor and the Radiomir.

The hottest watch this year might well be the 45mm Radiomir Black Seal, which pays tribute to the first Panerai worn by Italy's commandos in the 1930s. The watch - expected to hit Singapore by year-end and costing about $7,000 - is simple and unerringly masculine and glows like a traffic signal in the dark. Singapore's Panerai brand manager Fabien Levrion says: 'We understand the DNA of our brand has to do with creating luminous, robust watches that are rooted in our military history.' But while Panerai commemorates the military history of the past, yet another brand is steeped in contemporary military culture. This brand is called Traser and it makes watches for some of the world's most elite fighting forces.

Since the creation of the luminous compound tritium, the US army has used watches painted with this radioactive substance. On April 12, 1988, a security officer in the US, monitoring a huge cache of these watches, received a shocking Geiger counter reading. Apparently many watches were emitting up to 100 times the 50 dpm (decays per minute) radiation level considered safe. The watches were quickly destroyed. Mr Jim Bickman, the chief executive officer of American company Stocker and Yale which was contracted to supply these watches, was in a state of panic. But he found a solution - an extremely bright but safe light source made from tritium gas contained in small glass tubes. These tubes were originally used in compass needles and for rifle sights for the M-16 carbine. In 1989, he submitted his new watches with hands and markers incorporating these glass tubes for testing with the US army. It was found that while these watches were many times brighter than previous models, no radioactivity could be measured on their surface. And the manufacturer claims that this permanent light source or PLT is 100 times brighter than traditional tritium paint and maintains its intense luminosity without batteries or solar power.

Mr Bickman's company continued to evolve its design and in 1994 created the Navigator wristwatch which has since become standard equipment for US army rangers, army special forces and Navy SEALS, among others. As with trench coats and dog tags, the Navigator watches were brought to the civilian market by military enthusiasts. Between 1989 and 2000, one million of Mr Bickman's watches went to the armed forces and a further 500,000 were sold to civilians. Today, these watches are sold under the Luminox and Traser brand names. Unlike Panerai, they are a lot more affordable, ranging in price from about $500 to $1,000 each.


Traser watch

Says Mr Yusoff Mohammad, an army officer: 'I never really liked wristwatches until I saw the Traser. For me, it oozes a sort of paramilitary cool. 'When I found out they are used by so many elite forces, I had to have one.'

Source: Straits Times

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ID: 60   Posted

Posted by: Neo Dec 4 2004, 08:43 AM

Raid Watches Limited Edition Marina Flottiglia Mas

RAID MARINA Flottiglia Mas


  • Automatic Swiss made movement Eta 2836
  • In Steel Ø47mm,
  • Rotating bezel,
  • Saphhire crytal,
  • 200 Metres watre-proof,
  • Screw crown,
  • Hour, minutes and hands luminiscent Tritium,
  • Rubber Strap with stell ardillon buckle.
  • Supplied in a pear wood box, with a torpedo "Maiale", a Flottiglia Mas booklet, spare strap and scewdriver.
  • Limited Edition of 1945 pieces.

    Source: OM Watches December 2004

    Posted by: Neo Dec 4 2004, 09:54 AM
    This article was taken from a french web site and google translated.

    Audemars Piguet Watch Dual Time Millenary Maserati


    December 3, 2004.
    Created in 1914 in Bologna by Alfieri Maserati born of a family of seven brothers, of which all except one were implied in the development of cars. (the seventh brother, Mario, are supposed to have drawn emblème of the mark, the famous three-pronged fork) Maserati is undoubtedly the prototype of the manufacturer of sports cars resulting from the race. It is however only after the Second World war that the mark will come to the production from its splendid and brilliant WP From Quattroporte drawn by Pietro Frua, which was the fastest truck of its time, in legendary Khamsin, Bora or Merak, Maserati incontestably marked of its print the automobile legend.

    It is in September 2004 that the manufacturer celebrated his 90 years of success. The occasion for Audemars Piguet to present at the time of a dinner of official reception at the Miani Villa of Rome, in the presence of George-Henri Meylan, managing director of Audemars Piguet and Martin Leach, managing director of Maserati and 600 recommend come from the whole world, the news Dual Time Millenary Maserati, shows completely original by its design, its colors and its materials, published in limited series.

    It is in the Millenary collection, whose case evokes the architecture of Colisée, that is registered this creation dedicated to the Italian car manufacturer. It should be said that its oval form, print at the same time of modernity and of classicisme, lent itself particularly to this new interpretation, inspired of the design and the Maserati spirit. For its dial, Dual Time Millenary Maserati adopts a three-dimensional revolutionary esthetics: the dial made up of four independent parts of which two are tilted according to different angles' directed towards the center, the principal turn of hour and the zone of indication of reserve of walk, giving to the unit an astonishing structure in relief. The analogic display of the date and the two turns of hour are shifted in their centers.

    The partnership between clock making Manufacture and the Italian car manufacturer, founded on common values of tradition, excellence and innovation, appears thus profitable and very promising... for the greatest pleasure of the amateurs of chronometer and cars of exception.

    Source: La Cote des Montres

    Posted by: Neo Dec 4 2004, 10:00 AM
    Majestic in size, classic in style, its spare lines assert the Patrimony Grande Taille's patrician personality

    Its Sweeping Round Case Houses A Proprietary Movement Bearing The Hallmark Of Geneva Indication Of Quality And Origin.


    A large, trim, perfectly round case featuring a broad, understated dial and a proprietary hand-wound mechanical movement compose the new Patrimony Grande Taille launched this year by Vacheron Constantin and designed for men with an eye for exceptional design.

    Its patrician personality is manifest at first sight. With its slim profile and deliberately unadorned face, this new Patrimony Grande Taille embodies the classic heritage of a maker born nearly two and a half centuries ago, amply confirmed by the exceptional movement that brings it to life.

    Designed and crafted according to the most demanding standards of Genevan horology at its finest, the Vacheron Constantin caliber 1400 hand-wound mechanical movement can rightly claim the title of "mouvement manufacture", i.e. a proprietary design born of the experience and expertise of the company's own team of master watchmakers and made on its own premises.

    Since the essential phases of caliber 1400's construction all take place on the territory of the Republic and Canton of Geneva, this movement can legitimately be inscribed with the Hallmark of Geneva indication of provenance, a mark of quality attesting the exceptional excellence of its design and finish. Here for instance, all appropriately flat areas of the movement are decorated with a ribbed "Côtes de Genève" pattern, sharp angles chamfered then, along with all flat screw heads, polished by hand.

    To house this accomplished demonstration of Genevan mechanical genius, Vacheron Constantin stylists have designed the 18K yellow or white gold case of the Patrimony Grande Taille according to two sets of aesthetic norms rarely applied in tandem. While the stylish slimness of its profile salutes the classic tradition, its 40-millimeter diameter provides a distinct contemporary touch.

    Framed by the case's slim polished bezel and protected by a clear sapphire crystal, the dial face is slightly cambered at its outer edge and displays a broad pale silvery finish with subtle opalescent luster, enhanced only by discreet 18K gold hour markers and domed minute dots. A pair of baton-shaped hands, also in 18K gold, add to the watch's understated distinction, confirmed by the "Maltese cross" signature at its center.

    Fitted with a matching 18K gold standard prong-type gold clasp, the Patrimony Grande Taille's classic alligator mississipiensis strap comes in black for the white gold model and in maroon for the yellow gold design

    Technical Specifications
    • References 81180/000G-9117 and 81180/000J-9118
    • Caliber caliber 1400, hand-wound, with Hallmark of Geneva indication of origin
    • Movement thickness 2.60 mm
    • Movement diameter 20.35 mm, or 9 lines
    • Movement jewelling 20
    • Frequency 28 800 v.p.h.
    • Indications hours and minutes
    • Case 18K white or yellow gold, Ø 40 mm
    • Water resistance to 30 m (~ 100 feet)
    • Dial pale silvery toned, with opalescent finish and cambered border
    • Strap black or maroon hand-stitched alligator mississipiensis leather
    • Buckle prong-type, in 18K white or yellow gold

      Posted by: Neo Dec 4 2004, 10:16 AM
      The Malte chronograph: a meeting of traditions

      Where Exceptional Horology Encounters Exquisite Craftsmanship, Traditions Meet, Marry And Merge To Set Unprecedented Standards Of Excellence.


      Born of technical excellence wedded to expert design, the chronograph now joining Vacheron Constantin's Malte collection carries on the company's finest chronographic traditions of topflight quality and understated styling. It features a hand-wound mechanical chronograph movement with traditional column-wheel construction and elaborately decorated parts along with an arresting engine-turned dial.

      Designed to time, record and display given spans of time, the chronograph stands in many ways as the quintessential depositor of the spirit of horology. Instrument watch par excellence, it was gradually developed during the 19th century at the urging of scientific and engineering circles, industrialists and even sportsmen lamenting the lack of an accurate and practical way of determining the duration of all sorts of phenomena, processes and performances.

      Watchmakers finally came up with satisfactory solutions, inventing a variety of new components and ingenious devices in the process. From the moment it appeared, the chronograph has being continually perfected and upgraded, becoming ever easier to use and ever more capable.

      Dependable expertise
      Vacheron Constantin lost no time coming up with its own chronograph designs and, by the early years of the 20th century, its designs were reputed for their reliability and good looks.

      As watches migrated from pocket to wrist, Vacheron Constantin forged ahead, coming out with its first two-pushpiece chronographs during the nineteen thirties. This construction markedly improved performance, enabling two successive times to be captured without having to reset the chronograph to zero, unavoidable with single-pushpiece models in the pocket-watch style, i.e. with the pushpiece fitted in the winding crown axis.

      Chronographs soon graduated from simply measuring the time a given event took to precisely determining the duration of particular phenomena, read by the chronograph seconds hand off a variety of specifically calibrated scales on the dial - tachymetric, telemetric, pulsometric and even productometric. Over the years, Vacheron Constantin has naturally designed and launched a variety of chronograph designs, some featuring one or more scales of this kind. Its most recent entry, the hand-wound Malte Collection chronograph, features a telemetric scale along with the more usual tachymetric graduations.

      Accomplished horology and masterful craftsmanship
      In a clear salute to tradition, Vacheron Constantin watchmakers chose a hand-wound mechanical movement for their new Malte Collection chronograph: the legendary caliber 1141, a tried and tested design with an impeccable technical record, not least because of its fine, dependably efficient column-wheel construction.

      In the style of many an earlier model, the new Malte chronograph features a 30-minute totalizer and a subdial for the running seconds positioned on the 3-to-9-o'clock axis, along with a center chronograph seconds hand.

      Every watch movement by Vacheron Constantin is finished like a piece of jewelry, with caliber 114 no exception. A clear sapphire case back provides a fascinating look at its complex construction and magnificent finish. Along with "côtes de Genève" decorative ribbing and the circular graining of appropriate areas, the sides of its parts and components are "stroked" by hand with a file to create delicate parallel lines. Steel parts are chamfered by hand and their chamfer polished; flat screw heads are also meticulously polished. In keeping with solid, long-established traditions, these and many other craft techniques are regularly put to good use today still in Vacheron Constantin workshops.

      Traditional expertise and technical virtuosity also come together on the Malte chronograph's dial face, a true if discreet work of art in its own right. Made from a sheet of silver-finished 18K gold, its center is painstakingly engine-turned by hand. The neat, crisp layout of its various features - hour circle with minute and second divisions, telemetric scale based on one kilometer, 30-minute totalizer and subdial for the running seconds - results in comfortable, immediate legibility. Along with two 18K gold and three-blued steel hands or pointers, the dial features six round hour markers and six Arabic numerals in 18K gold, all protected by a glareproofed sapphire crystal.

      In white or in pink 18K gold, the case embodies to perfection the Malte Collection's assertive personality. Its generous size and finely balanced proportions, "fan-shaped" bracelet lugs and round pushpieces, crown featuring a stylized version of the corporate "Maltese cross" symbol and pair of "swordblade" shaped hands all compose an undeniably contemporary composition, yet one that will in time come to be admired as a classic Haute Horlogerie design.

      The Malte chronometer comes with a fine maroon or black alligator mississipiensis strap fitted with a classic, prong-type buckle in 18K white or pink gold.

      Technical Specifications
      • References 47120/000G-9098 and 47120/000R-9099
      • Caliber caliber 1141, hand-wound mechanical
      • Movement thickness 5,60 mm
      • Movement diameter 27 mm, or 12 lines
      • Indications hours, minutes and seconds; chronograph seconds hand and 30-minute totalizer
      • Rate frequency 18,000 v.p.h.
      • Power reserve 48 hours
      • Movement jewelling 21
      • Case 18K white rhodium-plated gold or pink gold
      • Water resistance to 30 m (~ 100 feet)
      • Dial pale silver finish, center engine-turned by hand; totalizer and subdial with fine snailed pattern
      • Strap black or maroon alligator mississipiensis leather
      • Buckle prong-type, in 18K white or pink gold

        Posted by: Neo Dec 4 2004, 10:26 AM
        This article was taken from a french web site and google translated.

        Ebel SPORTWAVE. The athletic hour according to Ebel.

        December 3 2004.
        Leading collection proudly carrying the signature inimitable of the Architects of the Time, Sportwave gives a new and dynamic breath to the ebel emblem: the wave. Done for the action and the requirements of the life of today, Sportwave illustrates the values of the brand: authenticity, creativity, raffinement.


        This new line, clearly targeted on a young clientele, understands models sport that bring to the basic qualities of the brand a new lighting. The legendary motive « vague » dear to Ebel was redessiné for him to give a resolutely modern aspect. Thus the maillons rippling bracelet in brushed steel are tailored to the perfection to obtain an incomparble sensation of flexibility and of comfort to the wrist. Pure, the face is proposed in a selection of timeless colors and brightens itself polite indices applied to the hand and of Arabic figures for a big legibility. The polite glasses is endowed with six silky, true screws recognition brand of the line.


        Available in versions Lady, Gent and Chronograph, all the models are fashioned in steel or in steel and now, and shelter a movement to quartz. Unquestionably chic and sport by nature, the model Lady is endowed with a set glasses of 36 diamonds and of a made pearly face set of 11 diamonds. Of an orange one bursting, the face of the model Gent possesses a fresh and dynamic charm. The chronograph is dressed of a matching black face of three meters, elevated, just as the needle of the seconds to the center, of orangish keys. The form ergonomique and contemporary of the push-buttons returns the access to the particularly easy and done functions echo to fluid design of the maillons of the bracelet.


        This new launch and his highly symbolic name show the ebel vision: to create the tendencies rather than to follow them…

        The collection
        To the occasion of this launch, Ebel proposes the following versions:
        • - models Chronograph – 43,20 mm of diameter – face money, black or orange – polite glasses – bracelet in brushed steel
        • - models Gent – 39,40 mm of diameter – face money, black or orange – polite glasses – bracelet in brushed steel
        • - models Lady – 28,40 mm of diameter – face money, black, orange or made pearly set of 11 diamonds – polite or set glasses – bracelet in brushed steel

          • Movement to quartz
          • Etanchéité to 100 meters
          • Freezes flat saphir, treatment anti-reflection
          • Polite Crown in steel
          • Melts can with lives and logo «Sportwave»
          • Bracelet in steel with fermoir deploying to three blades in polite brushed steel
          • Needles with Great-super-luminova
          • Index with Great-super-luminova for the orange faces
          • Suggested Retail Prices:

              [*]SportWave Gent steel face orange on steel: 1100 Euros TTC

              [*]SportWave Stopwatch steel face black on steel: 1500 Euros TTC

              [*]SportWave Lady steel face makes pearly index diamonds glasses set diamonds: 2700 Euros TTC

              Source: La Cote des Montres

              Posted by: Neo Dec 4 2004, 10:30 AM

              This article was taken from a french web site and google translated.

              Ebel BELUGA BARREL

              Lines sensual for a precious delight.

              December 3 2004.

              Perfectly in line with the changeable relation that the women maintain with shows to them, Ebel proposes a new one and delicate variation on the theme of the Beluga Barrel. The line Beluga is a balance model refined, mixes inimitable of soft sensualité and of feminine elegance whatever his form, round or lightly arched in his version barrel


              The made pearly face dressing the illustrated models here brightens itself of a splendid decorated motive that elevates a brightness iridescent, himself put in value by 13 indices in diamonds. The design of this slender can reinforces the purity feeling, while the incomparble sensation of softness and of comfort that obtains the bracelet does this watch a delight to carry.

              What's more of these undisputable attractions, the can of the model in now generous yellow framed of two rows of rocks étincelantes: 116 diamonds for a total weight of 0,72 carats. Of what to underline with delicacy bend them voluptuous of the form barrel and intensify the brightness of this very pretty model for some to do a jewel to leaves entire.

              Small delicious, resolutely irresistible, this all last interpretation of the Beluga Barrel returns to the perfection the femininity according to Ebel.


                [*]Movement to quartz

                [*]Water resistent: to 30 meters

                [*]Freezes saphir

                [*]Can and bracelet in steel or in now yellow 18 cts

                [*]Available with bracelet in alligator

                [*]Case dimensions: 33,40 mm (length)

                Suggested Retail Prices

                  [*]Version in steel face makes pearly decorated sun index diamonds: 2,180 Euros TTC

                  [*]Version in now yellow face makes pearly decorated sun index diamonds glasses set diamonds: 11,880 Euros TTC

                  Source: La Cote des Montres

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ID: 61   Posted

The water resistance of a watch is measured in bars. An easy way to remember this scale is this:

1 bar = 10 meters.(3.3 feet deep in water)

So when you see the markings on the back of your watch "Water resistant 10bar", or "W.R. 10bar, this means your watch is likely to resist water up to 333 feet. If you see a 20bar marking this means your watch is "likely" to resist water up to 666 feet deep. (my math is Anyway, you get the point right? If your watch has no markings regarding water resistance you don't have any protection. If the back of your watch casing is engraved with "water resistant" and does not have a bar rating, this means it is "likely" to resist intermittent splashing or heavy rain.

This is inaccurate. 1bar=33 ft. not 3.3ft. And its 1bar at the surface, so at 33ft you are at 2bar of pressure.

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ID: 62   Posted

This is inaccurate. 1bar=33 ft. not 3.3ft. And its 1bar at the surface, so at 33ft you are at 2bar of pressure.

Bzzt. Close but no cigar. :D

1 bar is 10 metres underwater. 2 bar is 20 metres underwater. A 10 bar watch is a 100 metre diving watch.

P is the hydrostatic pressure (in pascals);

p is the water density (in kilograms per cubic meter);

g is gravitational acceleration (in meters per second squared);

h is the height of fluid above (in meters).

1 bar = 100 000 pascals

Where you're getting confused is that pressure in bars is measured relative to atmospheric pressure. A watch at 10 bars is 10 bars more than the 1 atm we have. 1 atm is an absolute scale, 1 bar is relative, that's why we have the two similar units.

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ID: 63   Posted

Bzzt. Close but no cigar. :D

1 bar is 10 metres underwater. 2 bar is 20 metres underwater. A 10 bar watch is a 100 metre diving watch.

P is the hydrostatic pressure (in pascals);

p is the water density (in kilograms per cubic meter);

g is gravitational acceleration (in meters per second squared);

h is the height of fluid above (in meters).

1 bar = 100 000 pascals

Where you're getting confused is that pressure in bars is measured relative to atmospheric pressure. A watch at 10 bars is 10 bars more than the 1 atm we have. 1 atm is an absolute scale, 1 bar is relative, that's why we have the two similar units.

Nope, you're the wrong one.

1bar = 10m = 33ft.

At surface level you are already at 1 bar of pressure.

Therefore at 10m/33ft you are under 2bar of pressue.

Bar is not a relative measure at all times. There is bar(g) and bar(a) (gauge and absolute)

I know its only the citizen website but...

"What is a BAR or ATM of pressure?

Water resistance is measured in BAR's or ATM's when the watch is in a static (motionless) state. One BAR or ATM is equivalent to the pressure at 33 feet under water. One thing to keep in mind is that we live at 1 atmosphere of pressure. This means that when a watch is water resistant to 3 "BAR or ATM", it is water resistant to 66 feet under water, not 99 feet as many people believe."

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ID: 64   Posted

Water resistance is measured in BAR's or ATM's when the watch is in a static (motionless) state. One BAR or ATM is equivalent to the pressure at 33 feet under water. One thing to keep in mind is that we live at 1 atmosphere of pressure. This means that when a watch is water resistant to 3 "BAR or ATM", it is water resistant to 66 feet under water, not 99 feet as many people believe."

This contradicts Seiko, Casio and every other company's information, by the way. Seiko rate their watches at 100m (330 feet) or 10BAR as can be seen in this chart:


Wikipedia, the unreliable Encyclopedia says the following, but you can probably go and edit it to make your argument correct. :D

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ID: 65   Posted

This contradicts Seiko, Casio and every other company's information, by the way. Seiko rate their watches at 100m (330 feet) or 10BAR as can be seen in this chart:

Wikipedia, the unreliable Encyclopedia says the following, but you can probably go and edit it to make your argument correct. :D

That pretty much matches everything Ive seen previously. Only it doesn't really support your argument. They only equate pressure ratings to various activities. The citizen site is the only place I've seen the issue of absolute vs gauge pressure addressed. I bet I can dig up the exact same chart some where on the citizen site too. Though honestly 1 bar resistance is probably within manufacturing tolerances on most watches.

The main point of the first post was that the OP was off by a factor of 10. Not to quible over the relatively minor (for watches) 1 bar difference.

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ID: 66   Posted

Really depends on what gauge you are looking at!

Just semantics really :bleh:


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ID: 67   Posted

Only it doesn't really support your argument. They only equate pressure ratings to various activities.

Did you miss the legend at the top of the Seiko chart?

5BAR=50M, 10BAR=100M ...

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ID: 68   Posted

Posted by: jjajh Dec 7 2004, 06:10 PM

Tag Heuer Monaco V4--Revolutionary Concept Watch

The end of the gear train

In traditional watchmaking, there is an age-old principle: power and motion are transmitted by gears. Whether circular gears, bevel gears, helical gears, worm gears, lantern gears or differential gears, the gear form the basis of mechanical timemaking.

But now, enter Ruchonnet. His idea was to replace the gears by notched drive belts, just like in a car engine. So, what were the potential advantages of this world first ‘revolution’ in wristwatch movementsı In a traditional calibre, if we want to transmit power and motion from one point to another, we need to add more gears. On the other hand, with a drive belt system, we can go basically anywhere we want, with no obstacles.

The second advantage is that a drive belt absorbs shocks more easily because of its flexibility. But Ruchonnet didn’t stop there. He also wanted to eliminate the need for lubrication, which would therefore cut down on the indispensable maintenance required for the smooth operation of a watch. Thus, he proposed replacing the traditional jewels (the red synthetic rubies) by ceramic micro ball-races, the smallest of which is 2.2 mm in diameter and 0.5 mm high, which would dramatically reduce the effects of friction.

The third ‘revolution’ involved the oscillating mass, or weight, which traditionally is superimposed on the movement and moves in a rotational manner. Ruchonnet came up with the idea of having a linear oscillating weight made up of a 4.25-gram platinum ingot that moves up and down on a track between the four spring barrels. A gear system on the long side of the weight engages a cogwheel and converts the linear motion into a rotating movement.

A shared folly

"What is great about this project," explains Philippe Dufour, "is that people finally began to understand Ruchonnet’s folly. It took a lot of courage to take on such a venture."

And courage is what TAG Heuer and its CEO Jean-Christophe Babin have definitely demonstrated. Excited by the idea of “defying the most established conventions,” comforted by the strong tradition of innovation that is at the core of the brand’s identity, Babin placed all of the resources of his enterprise, both human and technological, in the service of this new concept. Eighteen months of development were needed to bring the Monaco V4 Concept Watch to the prototype stage “just a few days before the BaselWorld fair.”

The bombshell

On the opening day of BaselWorld, TAG’s announcement of its new timepiece exploded like a bombshell in the terrain of mechanical watchmaking. As always, the analysts quickly became divided into two camps; they were either enthusiastic supporters or total sceptics. To the latter, who declared that beyond the functional prototype presented at BaselWorld, the Monaco V4 could never be made on a commercial scale, Philippe Dufour disagrees. “The idea is ingenius,” he declares, which certainly means something coming from the talented Master watchmaker who turned Ruchonnet’s idea into reality.

As for Jean-Christophe Babin, who makes no attempt to hide the difficulties that might arise before the watch can be manufactured on a commercial scale, his determination is absolutely unwavering. “It will take the time that it takes, but the Monaco V4 will be made on a commercial scale,” he insists.

Industrial solutions

Nothing is really preventing the commercialization of this remarkable watch because all the industrial solutions have already been found, especially in terms of the material necessary to make the 13 notched drive belts, whose tension is controlled by turnbuckles. The name V4 comes from the movement's four spring barrels, which are mounted on a V-shaped main plate and are visible on the reverse side of the watch.

It is impossible to know the exact nature of the material that makes up the drive belts. It is a special alloy with amazing properties, classed as a ‘defence secret’ by the French army. Just one of these micro drive belts, measuring only 0.5 mm by 0.45 mm, can support a weight of more than 40 kilos!

As for the famous spring barrels, each of the four can store 375 g of energy for a total strength of 1.5 kg. If one, two or even three of the barrels should stop working, the watch would still continue to tick away. The barrels are mounted in a V, at an angle of 15° in relation to the dial, reminiscent of a V-shaped car engine. Two constant velocity joints, also as in the world of the automobile, transmit their energy to the movement. They are supported by sapphire bridges, which have the added advantage of allowing the movement to be visible from below.

Total design

The Monaco V4 is also a success from a design standpoint for the simple reason that there is nothing ‘decorative’ about it, but rather it is all ‘design’. In other words, the form of the watch, emphasized by the bridges and the sapphire crystal, comes integrally from the functionality of the piece. The Monaco V4 does not have a ‘dial’ in the traditional sense of the term, but neither can it be classed as a ‘skeleton’ watch. Housed in the evolution of the brand’s famous TAG Heuer Monaco timepiece, created in 1964, the movement itself becomes the aesthetic expression of the watch.


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ID: 69   Posted

Did you miss the legend at the top of the Seiko chart?

5BAR=50M, 10BAR=100M ...


Actually those are ISO ratings. iso 5bar=50m etc etc. I looked into the whole thing more and all those ratings are really just the result of following the tests and labeling properly. Nothing as specific as saying that it would be okay at 5 bar and not at 6 bar. Unfortunately I can't get the complete iso standard without paying for it, but for example a 30m watch is tested at 1m for 30min and then 20m for 90s and given the 30m rating for it. *shrug* So taking those charts as very specific depth ratings isn't really correct.

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ID: 70   Posted

Posted by: Neo Dec 9 2004, 08:31 AM

This article was posted on and reveals an interesting point of view from a guy named Scott. I post this just for educational purposes and thank rag_head for notifying us.

Corrupt Companies

Submitted: 10/19/2003 8:34:17 AM

Modified: 11/3/2004 2:57:38 PM

This is a very serious scam and these Rolex thieves should be shut down immediately.

Montres Rolex SA is a watch company comprised of Patrick Heiniger and other executives who make huge salaries while cheating you of your hard earned dollars by misrepresenting their products as Swiss Made and acting like they are a non-profit organization. The fact that they are set up as a non-profit company but that the executives and many others in the company make some of the largest salaries you can imagine is sickening, but the fact that they cheat you is and me is horrible.

Rolex uses hundreds of different names on ebay to bid up the prices of Rolex watches on ebay in order to control secondary market pricing. Nearly 100% of the time, they don't complete the transactions, and the sellers are forced to list the items again and again -- thus perpetuating the market pricing control and appearance that their items are being sold for much higher dollar amounts than they actually would have been if a real buyer would have completed the transaction.

They hide behind aliases so they can lie to people and not be held accountable as well as giving the appearance Rolex is a much more powerful company. Rolex higher-ups run several watch-related forums, posting messages under fake names so they can praise Rolex watches and again lend the appearance that many watch aficionados really love these junk watches. There are too many to keep track of or know about.

The watches they sell are assembled in Hong Kong and China in addition to Switzerland using some Chinese components -- but they don't mention the fact that they use these components in their watches. They want you to believe their watches are all assembled by hand in Switzerland using 100% Swiss components and that it takes one year to make a Rolex. Ask anybody in the world in the watchmaking business, and they will tell you that there is no way that Rolexes can take anywhere near that long to assemble. Rolex pumps out almost 1,000,000 junk watches per year. They claim the watches are assembled in Switzerland, but only some of them are. Independent studies have shown that balance wheels, hairsprings, bridges, screws, mainsprings, crowns, and other components are manufactured in China. These components have the exact same specs as the ones used in Rolexes and an insider who is very upset with these business practices has been contacting everybody he can to tell them of this fraud.

This makes it obvious that everyone who bought the earler cheaper models were totally ripped-off, too. They have several models which they pay as little as $15.00 dollars for and then claim it sells at retail from $1,500.00 up to $100,000 dollars.

They sell them on through retail stores and on ebay claiming it to be a promotion to retain value in the age of the internet (behind the scenes of course). This promo has run for over 4 years!

You should be paying much less for these cheap watches, but Rolex is artifically keeping prices very high in order to steal your hard earned money.

Also note that Rolex claims there are many counterfeit Rolex watches out there. How can they be counterfeit if they come from the same company that supplies Rolex their watches?

I sincerely doubt the company sells Rolex a great movement and sells everyone else a duplicate piece of crap. Look at all of the replicas on the streets that look and run exactly like Rolex. Rolex helped develop them. Then they shut down street merchants in order to get free publicity in "raids."

When a customer asks about all the bad press on the internet about Rolex, Rolex conveniently claims everyone who has negative statements are simply disgruntled people from the past who are trying to make trouble for them because they didn't get a good enough deal. Rolex is a mafia styled organization. This is a ridiculous assertion, the truth is there are many people who know these watches are a scam and are trying to help inform others.

Rolex successfully fooled millions of people making hundreds of millions of dollars. They have enough ill gotten money to buy advertising in an attempt to look more legitimate. They frequently refer people to magazines in which they have placed ads. Keep in mind that it doesn't matter what publication they are in, it is simply paid advertising. Anyone with the money can get into these same magazines.

If you bought any Rolex watch take it to be appraised and learn for yourself. Then contact us and we'll help do something about it. These models in particular are definitely using China components.

1. Explorer

2. Explorer II

3. GMT Master

4. GMT Master II

5. Submariner

6. Seadweller

7. President

8. DateJust

9. Daytona

10. Ladies President

11. Yacht Master

12. Lady Yacht Master

Do a search on Google for Rolex replicas to see many fake Rolexes produced by Rolex and sold all over the world. You can find Chinese sources for genuine Rolex products, and now Rolex has just invested millions of dollars to build new factories/service centers in mainland China. They are stealing your hard earned money, so please be ware and help us stop this scam.


Black Hawk, Colorado



Posted by: Neo Dec 10 2004, 05:29 AM

Posting from Bad Business Bureau, submitted on October 1, 2004

(thanks to Fendushi)

I found the information posted below and feel that it should be posted on this site and would ask that Americans perpetuate this information to help educate the world. Too many people have been fooled into believing that the Swiss build the best watches while shunning the Asians. Read below and you'll realize that the Asians are heavily involved in the production of the Swiss Made watches and many of the components are even produced in Asia in some of the best known Swiss brands of watches. Read and learn and then be sure to email this to others. What a scam!!

I also must post this from the Federation of the Swiss Watch Industry regarding what the term 'Swiss Made' really means. I have found this analysis from a NAWCC member:

Here is a breakdown of what the term Swiss Made legally means (taken directly from the official website for the Federation of the Swiss Watch Industry) at

Swiss Made

A general overview

Moreover, a law "regulating the use of the name 'Swiss' for watches" sets out the minimum conditions that have to be fulfilled before a watch merits the "Swiss made" label.

This law is based on a concept according to which Swiss quality depends on the amount of work actually carried out on a watch in Switzerland, even if some foreign components are used in it. The term is actually stating that Swiss assembly people in the watch industry are the best rather than the components being the bestIt therefore requires that the assembly work on the movement (the motor of the watch) and on the watch itself (fitting the movement with the dial, hands and the various parts of the case) should be carried out in Switzerland, along with the final testing of the movement. It also requires that at least 50% of the components of the movement should be manufactured in Switzerland. The 50% term is later discussed as 50% of the value of the components.

Legally speaking

  • Conditions for use Case
  • A Swiss watch "Swiss Quartz" indication
  • A Swiss watch movement "Swiss parts" indication
  • Material extent of the use of the word "Swiss" Role of the FH
  • Wristlet

    A Swiss watch
    Only when it is Swiss, may a watch carry the indications "Swiss made" or "Swiss", or any other expression containing the word "Swiss" or its translation, on the outside. According to Section 1a OSM, a watch is considered to be Swiss if:
    • its movement is Swiss;
    • its movement is cased up in Switzerland;
    • and the manufacturer carries out the final inspection in Switzerland.

      A Swiss watch movement
      As we have seen, to be Swiss, a watch must use a Swiss movement. According to Section 2 OSM, a movement is considered to be Swiss if:
      • it has been assembled in Switzerland;
      • it has been inspected by the manufacturer in Switzerland; and
      • the components of Swiss manufacture account for at least 50 percent of the total value, without taking into account the cost of assembly. Remember that 50% of the VALUE of the components must be manufactured in Switzerland. A $10.00 Chinese movement unassembled could be sent to Switzerland and then assembled using 1 (ONE) Swiss manufactured rotor or screw or any component on the movement that cost $10.00 and this movement will qualify for legal use of the term. Remember that Franck Muller used the Poljot movements (Russian manufactured) with platinum Swiss manufactured rotors, and although it was a bit of a black eye for the Swiss watch industry and an eye opener for collectors, did not cause Franck Muller any problems because Watchland was complying with the legal use of the term on their watches.

        Material extent of the use of the word "Swiss"
        The word "use" is understood in a broad sense: it not only covers the application of the above-mentioned designation to the watch, but also, according to Section 3 § 5 OSM:

        • the sale, offering for sale or putting into circulation of watches bearing such an indication;
        • the application of this designation to signs, advertisements, prospectus, invoices, letters or commercial papers.
        • Particular cases


          The "Swiss made" indication may only appear on a wristlet if it is of Swiss manufacture and if the watch is also Swiss. A wristlet is considered to be Swiss if it has undergone an essential manufacturing operation in Switzerland and if 50 percent of the production costs originate in Switzerland.

          When a Swiss wristlet is attached to a watch manufactured abroad, it may only bear a reference to the word "Swiss" if this designation clearly shows that only the wristlet is of Swiss manufacture (for example, "Swiss wristlet").


          The "Swiss case" indication on a watch case betokens that the case is of Swiss manufacture. A case is considered to be Swiss if:

            [*]it has undergone an essential manufacturing operation in Switzerland (stamping, turning, or polishing);

            [*]it has been assembled and inspected in Switzerland; and

            [*]over 50 percent of the manufacturing costs (excluding the value of the material) are due to operations carried out in Switzerland.

            When the "Swiss case" indication appears on the outside of the case, and the watch is of foreign manufacture, the origin of the movement or of the watch must also be affixed to the outside of the watch.

            "Swiss Quartz" indication

            This indication is often illegally affixed to the outside of the watch, especially by foreign manufacturers wishing to show that the quartz movement used is of Swiss origin. But, according to the OSM, the use of this indication on the outside of the watch signifies that the watch is Swiss.

            "Swiss parts" indication

            This marking indicates that the movement is composed of movement-blanks which have been manufactured in Switzerland, but assembled abroad. This indication may only appear on the movement, and never on the outside of the watch.

            Role of the FH (Fédération de l'industrie Horlogère Suisse FH)

            The FH has a double role in the protection of this indication of geographical origin;

              [*]firstly, the FH advises the companies on the lawful markings for watches and movements according to the Federal Council's Ordinance governing the use of the word "Swiss" for watches;

              [*]secondly it may act against companies which illegally use this indication, in order to protect the consumer, on the one hand, and, on the other hand, the renown of this designation, which is synonymous with quality.

              If you have any questions about "Swiss made", please do not hesitate to contact a member of our Legal staff. (See also News)

              Download the text of the Federal Council's Ordinance governing the use of the word "Swiss" for watches.

              There have been rumors for years that many Swiss Made watches use components manufactured in the far east. I think this really clarifies that they can do so without any penalty. If ETA can produce most of a movement in Taiwan and then send it to Switzerland for assembly while utilizing the very valuable marketing tool known as Swiss Made, then they are within their legal rights. And if they can do this and produce said movement for half as much as if they produced it in Switzerland, then they undoubtedly will or are. My main problem is that the same people who so loudly endorse this marketing term "Swiss Made" also denounce their far east colleagues, and this isn't right. The Asians and Russians are doing some nice work. I'll bet you a nickel that their nicest work appears in some of the nicest mainstream watches on the market."


              Oklahoma City, Oklahoma



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ID: 71   Posted

Posted by: Neo Dec 10 2004, 05:45 AM

Self-winding watch with the quartz precision. How does it work ?

At the present time the Swiss watch industry is applying two parallel technologies: electronic technology, with the analog quartz watch (sometimes combined with digital display) and the more traditional technology of the mechanical watch which origin dates back in the 14th century.

Almost 90 % of the industry's production, in terms of volume, is currently made up of electronic, battery-operated watches, mainly of the analog type. 10 % is of mechanical products whose export value continues to be of fundamental importance, as these watches represent more than 52 % of Swiss watch exports in terms of value.

In an analog quartz watch, the heart of the watch is the integrated circuit, made up of a large number of electronic components grouped together on a base of only a few square millimeters.

The source of energy consists of a miniature battery which lasts several years. The time is divided by a quartz oscillator which is made to vibrate by the energy supplied by the battery. Quartz watches are extremely accurate thanks to their high frequency of vibrations (32 kHz); their annual variation is only about one minute per year, equivalent to less than a second a day. In this field there are two main kinds of products:

1) watches with an analog display (hands),

2) watches with digital display; this is fitted with liquid crystals which receive, directly from the integrated circuit, the impulses needed to display the time. So there is no mechanical transmission.

An electronic (quartz) watch


1) Battery, providing the power

2) Integrated circuit, controlling the quartz and the stepping motor

3) Oscillating quartz, dividing the time

4) Trimmer, regulating the frequency

5) Stepping motor, transforming the electrical impulses into mechanical power

6) Gear train, activating the hours, minutes, seconds hands

7) Analog display

These two types of products are sometimes combined together in the same finished watch (double display, particularly useful for measuring short time intervals).

The traditional mechanical watch is made up of about 130 parts assembled in the three main parts which are the source of energy, the regulating parts and the display. The number of component parts is much higher in so-called complicated watches (date, phases of moon, fly-back hand, etc.). The "ébauche" (about 60 parts) fitted with the regulating and certain other parts, forms the movement, in other words the internal mechanism of the watch, which makes it possible to maintain a constant tension in the spring once it has been wound manually or automatically (by movements of the wrist) and to regulate the display by means of the hands (hours, minutes, seconds). A watch is said to be finished when the movement has been fitted with a dial, hands, and case.

A mechanical watch


1) Barrel/mainspring providing the power

2) Gear train, transmitting the power

3) Escapement, distributing the impulses

4) Balance wheel & hairspring, oscillating, making the division of time

5a) Winding stem, for manual winding and setting

5b) OscillatingwWeight, for automatic winding

6) Dial train, activating the hours, minutes, seconds hands

The combination of these two technologies recently brought on a new type of watch movement running like a traditional quartz movement but getting its energy the same way as in a self-winding mechanical movement (Self-winding watch with the quartz precision).

Its working principle is simple and however revolutionary: an oscillating weight streches the mainspring which release starts a micro-generator converting the mechanical energy into electrical power. This power is then accumulated in a capacitor. The system works later as a traditional quartz watch, meaning that the integrated circuit controls the power supply and provides the impulses to the stepping motor.

Source: Federation of the Swiss Watch Industry FH

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ID: 72   Posted

Posted by: Neo Dec 10 2004, 09:49 AM

Glycine Watch With Pascal Alajouanine

June 15, 2004


Airman 9


Pascale Alajouanine

For its 90th anniversary Glycine Watch has signed a special partnership deal, through which the firm will support the stunt pilot Pascale Alajouanine over the next three years.

"Our new ambassador is our perfect counterpart," said a delighted Katherina Brechbühler, General Manager of the Biel based firm. "This pleasant French woman is the ideal representative of our values of rigour and technology," criteria that are particularly important in the world of aviation and, to an even greater extent, aerobatics.

A native of Boulogne, near Paris, Pascale Alajouanine obtained her pilot’s licence on CAP-10 more than twenty years ago. Today, she flies on CAP-232 and holds the European Champion title after recording seven French championship victories and one team World Championship success. For her, accuracy and technology are important not just in her sporting career, but also professionally, since she works part-time as an optician. "To tell the truth, from May to September, during the aerobatics season, I have very little time to spend in the job," she points out.

The new Airman 9 from Glycine is a particularly apt match for this "Airwoman". Since the launch of this extraordinary watch at Baselworld 2004, Pascale Alajouanine has been wearing the Airman 9, which combines chronograph and universal time functions. She is very enthusiastic about this genuinely out-of-the-ordinary timepiece, water resistant to 200 metres and equipped with the ETA 7754 automatic calibre. "The chronograph helps me to plan my flying times and keep to them. In fact, in aerobatics programmes, the time allowed is limited," she explains. "In addition, with the universal time function, during competitions taking place in other time zones, I can easily stay in touch with my base."

Source: Federation of the Swiss Watch Industry FH

Posted by: Neo Dec 10 2004, 09:56 AM

Vacheron Constantin inaugurates its ‘Home’

December 09, 2004

After a year’s restoration work in collaboration with the architect Eric Maria, Vacheron Constantin returned to its ‘home’ yesterday on the Quai de L’Ile in Geneva, where it has been since 1843. The continuous presence of Vacheron Constantin on the Quai de l’Ile for over 130 years is as unique and exceptional as its status in watchmaking history.

Vacheron Constantin, the world’s oldest watch Manufacture in uninterrupted activity since 1755, the ‘Maison’ Vacheron Constantin perpetuates the founding values of the finest Geneva watchmaking traditions, at the heart of a district constituting its historical cradle. Divided into two floors that form a unique entity, the ‘Maison’ houses the boutique, the brand archives, the tools and the watches from 1755 to the present day, as well as an artistic workshop dedicated to the restoration of antique watches and to the creation of one-of-a-kind or personalised models.

Traditional craftsmanship and contemporary culture

The interior design uses wood, bronze and leather to convey rarity, originality and fine workmanship, corresponding to the values inherent to horological creations carrying the Vacheron Constantin signature for the past quarter of a millennium.

Offering a modern, integrated area composed of two floors, the renovated premises are designed to be a spacious, serene and dynamic home, with the boutique on the ground floor and the heritage area on the 1st floor. The cohabitation between the current collection and vintage watches enables the visitor to grasp the essential values of the brand from its origins through to the 21st century.

On the upper floor, watches, machines, original antique furniture and company records highlight a quarter of a millennium of watchmaking history. The premises will also progressively house the areas dedicated to Vacheon Constantin’s ‘Métiers d’Art’ workshops for bevelling, engraving and decoration of the movement and the restoration of antique watches. There is also a lounge-library run by a team dedicated to the brand heritage who are available to respond to any requests for information.

The inauguration of the ‘Maison’ is a prelude to the year 2005, the calendar year commemorating the 250th anniversary of the brand, which will feature the launch of five exceptional creations: symbols representing a comprehensive survey of one quarter of a millennium of watchmaking history, and witnessing to the exceptional know-how of the master-watchmakers of Vacheron Constantin.




250 years of landmarks

  • 1755 Jean-Marc Vacheron opens a watchmaking workshop in the Saint-Gervais district of Geneva. He creates his first models there, heralding an impressive production, and founds a dynasty that will shape the destiny of one of the greatest names in watchmaking history.
  • 1819 At the end of the Napoleonic Wars, François Constantin joins the company. For decades, he travels tirelessly the length and breadth of Europe, opening up all the markets of the era to the marvels of ingenuity carrying the Vacheron Constantin signature.
  • 1839 A mechanical genius hired to manage production, Georges-Auguste Leschot revolutionises watch production by developing the first machines capable of making interchangeable parts.
  • 1875 Now somewhat cramped within its historical premises on the Tour de l’Ile, the Maison moves to the nearby Rue des Moulins, where the company headquarters, museum and boutique are still located to this day.
  • 1880 Adoption of the Maltese Cross as the brand symbol, derived from a component that used to be fixed to the barrel-cover in order to prevent excessive winding of the mainspring and thus to enhance the rating precision of the watch.
  • 1906 Inauguration of the Vacheron Constantin boutique on the Rue des Moulins, at the heart of Geneva.
  • 1911 Vacheron Constantin makes its first wristwatches.
  • 1955 Celebration of the company bicentenary with the development of the world’s thinnest mechanical movement: just 1.64 mm!
  • 1979 Sculpted directly from a gold ingot and then set with 130 carats of emerald-cut diamonds, the Kallista watch by Vacheron Constantin immediately asserts itself as one of the world’s most dazzling watch creations, the result of no less than 8,700 hours of meticulous workmanship.
  • 1992 Launch of the Vacheron Constantin 1755 (minute repeater) and 1760 (tourbillon) movements.
  • 1994 Inauguration of the Vacheron Constantin private museum, a faithful reconstitution of an 18th century cabinotiers workshop.
  • 1996 The Manufacture launches its Overseas sports collection.
  • 1998 Integration of the Haute de Gamme movement workshops in the Vallée de Joux, with which the company has enjoyed a long-established partnership and increasingly close ties.
  • 2000 Launch of the Malte Collection, characterised by its resolutely contemporary spirit, and is emblematic shaped Tourbillon.
  • 2004 Inauguration of the new Manufacture. Launch of the new Patrimony en hommage aux grands explorateurs, which perpetuates the art of enamelling.
  • 2005 Vacheron Constantin celebrates its 250th anniversary.

Source: Vacheron Constantin Press Release

Courtesy europastar

Posted by: Neo Dec 10 2004, 10:01 AM

N E W M o d e l – Dunhill A-Centric


Dec 09, 2004

Dunhill, a company of the Richemont Group, has unveiled its latest mechanical model, the A-Centric.

Movement is an ETA automatic finished by Dubois-Depraz.

It is available in 18kt yellow gold or stainless steel with a sapphire crystal.

MSRP is $7,900 for the gold version.

Courtesy timezone

Posted by: Neo Dec 10 2004, 10:02 AM

N E W M o d e l – Piaget Limelight


Dec 10, 2004

The latest offering from Piaget is this delicate piece for the ladies.

The case is done in 18kt white gold. The watch comes with six different interchangeable multi-colored straps.

Dials can be had in in opal, pink opal, meteorite, onyx, turquoise and cachalong (translucent opal). Options include bezels set with 160 diamonds or in a hand-engraved guilloche pattern.

Movements are Swiss quartz.

Courtesy timezone

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ID: 73   Posted

Posted by: Neo Dec 12 2004, 02:14 AM

"Swiss Made" - A general overview


Watches, clocks and alarm clocks manufactured in Switzerland bear the designation "Swiss made" (or its abbreviation "Swiss") as well as the logo of the producer or distributor. This label ("place of origin" in legal terms) enjoys a solid reputation throughout the world. And globalization of trade has done nothing to diminish its importance. On the contrary, the modern consumer is looking for a maximum of information when he or she goes shopping for a new timepiece.

What lies behind this reputation ?

What does a label like this mean for the consumer ?

"Swiss made" embodies a concept of quality that has been forged over the years. It includes the technical quality of watches (accuracy, reliability, water-resistance and shock-resistance), as well as their aesthetic quality (elegance and originality of design). It covers both traditional manufacturing and new technologies (micro-electronics).

The Swiss are not the only watchmakers to manufacture high-quality timepieces and are consequently faced with strong competition. However, thanks to their unique infrastructure and to their know-how and spirit of innovation, they have succeeded in maintaining their leading position.

The intrinsic value of the "Swiss made" label, therefore, is the result of considerable efforts on the part of watchmaking companies, who are ultimately responsible for maintaining its reputation.

While prestigious brand names have thrived, they have never relegated the "Swiss made" label to a secondary place. The brand names and "Swiss made" have always worked together in an alliance that provides the consumer with the best of guarantees.

It is hardly surprising that this asset whets the appetite of counterfeiters. "Swiss made" has to be constantly protected on every market. Providing this protection is one of the principal tasks of the FH which conducts an on-going battle through legal and administrative channels to thwart anyone abusing the "Swiss" name. The weapons used in this battle are the laws of each of the countries concerned, backed by international agreements (bi-lateral treaties signed by Switzerland with several European countries and multi-lateral conventions drawn up by the World Intellectual Property Organization and by the World Trade Organization - TRIPS agreement -).

Recognizing that it must set the example, Switzerland has already reinforced the legal instruments at its disposal. The new law on "the protection of brand names and place of origin", passed on 28 August 1992, introduced more severe punishments. The Swiss customs authorities, for their part, keep a vigilant eye on all imports, exports and merchandise in transit.

Moreover, a law "regulating the use of the name 'Swiss' for watches" sets out the minimum conditions that have to be fulfilled before a watch merits the "Swiss made" label.


This law is based on a concept according to which Swiss quality depends on the amount of work actually carried out on a watch in Switzerland, even if some foreign components are used in it. It therefore requires that the assembly work on the movement (the motor of the watch) and on the watch itself (fitting the movement with the dial, hands and the various parts of the case) should be carried out in Switzerland, along with the final testing of the movement. It also requires that at least 50% of the components of the movement should be manufactured in Switzerland.

Certain regions in Switzerland have their own "place of origin" labels. One of the most renowned is "Genève", which identifies top-quality timepieces made in the city and canton of Geneva. Like "Swiss made", this label is very popular with counterfeiters and therefore benefits from continuous protection within the framework of the FH's anti-counterfeiting programme.

The Swiss watch industry is very active in safeguarding the integrity of "Swiss made" and its other regional labels of quality.

The vigilant consumer can also play an effective supporting role. By choosing reputable sales points and not being tempted by deals that are as dubious as they are outlandish, he or she will help to thwart counterfeiters, protect his or her own interests and contribute to the defence of fair trading.

The FH and its regional representatives will be happy to provide further information on this subject.

Conditions for use

A Swiss watch

Only when it is Swiss, may a watch carry the indications "Swiss made" or "Swiss", or any other expression containing the word "Swiss" or its translation, on the outside. According to Section 1a OSM, a watch is considered to be Swiss if:

  • its movement is Swiss;
  • its movement is cased up in Switzerland;
  • and the manufacturer carries out the final inspection in Switzerland..

    As we have seen, to be Swiss, a watch must use a Swiss movement. According to Section 2 OSM, a movement is considered to be Swiss if:
    • it has been assembled in Switzerland;
    • it has been inspected by the manufacturer in Switzerland; and
    • the components of Swiss manufacture account for at least 50 percent of the total value, without taking into account the cost of assembly.
    • If the movement fulfills these conditions, but the watch is not assembled in Switzerland, the "Swiss" indication may be affixed to one of the components of the movement. On the outside of the watch, may then only appear the "mouvement suisse" or "Swiss movement" indication. Section 3 § 3 OSM requires that the word "movement" appear in full, and be written in the same type-face, of identical size and colour, as the word "Swiss".

      The left picture represents the right display.

      Material extent of the use of the word "Swiss"
      The word "use" is understood in a broad sense: it not only covers the application of the above-mentioned designation to the watch, but also, according to Section 3 § 5 OSM:
      • the sale, offering for sale or putting into circulation of watches bearing such an indication;
      • the application of this designation to signs, advertisements, prospectus, invoices, letters or commercial papers.

      Particular cases


      The "Swiss made" indication may only appear on a wristlet if it is of Swiss manufacture and if the watch is also Swiss. A wristlet is considered to be Swiss if it has undergone an essential manufacturing operation in Switzerland and if 50 percent of the production costs originate in Switzerland.

      When a Swiss wristlet is attached to a watch manufactured abroad, it may only bear a reference to the word "Swiss" if this designation clearly shows that only the wristlet is of Swiss manufacture (for example, "Swiss wristlet").


      The "Swiss case" indication on a watch case betokens that the case is of Swiss manufacture. A case is considered to be Swiss if:

        [*]it has undergone an essential manufacturing operation in Switzerland (stamping, turning, or polishing);

        [*]it has been assembled and inspected in Switzerland; and

        [*]over 50 percent of the manufacturing costs (excluding the value of the material) are due to operations carried out in Switzerland.

        When the "Swiss case" indication appears on the outside of the case, and the watch is of foreign manufacture, the origin of the movement or of the watch must also be affixed to the outside of the watch.

        "Swiss Quartz" indication

        This indication is often illegally affixed to the outside of the watch, especially by foreign manufacturers wishing to show that the quartz movement used is of Swiss origin. But, according to the OSM, the use of this indication on the outside of the watch signifies that the watch is Swiss.

        "Swiss parts" indication

        This marking indicates that the movement is composed of movement-blanks which have been manufactured in Switzerland, but assembled abroad. This indication may only appear on the movement, and never on the outside of the watch.

        Role of the FH (Fédération de l'industrie Horlogère Suisse FH)

        The FH has a double role in the protection of this indication of geographical origin;

          [*]firstly, the FH advises the companies on the lawful markings for watches and movements according to the Federal Council's Ordinance governing the use of the word "Swiss" for watches;

          [*]secondly it may act against companies which illegally use this indication, in order to protect the consumer, on the one hand, and, on the other hand, the renown of this designation, which is synonymous with quality.

          If you have any questions about "Swiss made", please do not hesitate to contact a member of our Legal staff. (See also News)

 of the Federal Council's Ordinance governing the use of the word "Swiss" for watches.


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ID: 74   Posted

Posted by: Neo Dec 13 2004, 10:35 PM


Sparkling tennis star Maria Sharapova becomes TAG Heuer new worldwide “sport and glamour” ambassador


December 13, 2004

TAG Heuer, the Swiss sports watch and chronograph brand and the fourth largest luxury brand in the world watch market, is proud to announce that the young and charismatic tennis champion Maria Sharapova becomes its newest brand female ambassador. As the new star of world tennis and, at only 17-years-old, already the winner of 2004 Wimbledon and WTA year-end championships, Maria Sharapova has signed a long-term ambassador agreement with the Swiss watchmaking brand, covering product development, advertising, public relations and merchandising.

"I am ecstatic," says Maria Sharapova, the 17-years-old Russian tennis star, and the third youngest Wimbledon Champion in WTA history. "To represent a brand as legendary as TAG Heuer is a great honour. TAG Heuer has been teaming with the greatest champions in the history of sports, renowned athletes like Carl Lewis, Ayrton Senna, or nowadays Tiger Woods, and famous teams like Ferrari and McLaren. To me, TAG Heuer is the most prestigious luxury partner I can dream of, as legendary and glamorous as the individuals and teams with which it is so closely related, and yet at the same time ultra-fashionable and feminine. It's a perfect fit for me, as I love high tech, glamour and winning. I look forward to building a strong relationship with TAG Heuer in the coming years."


“In just two seasons Maria Sharapova has made her mark on the WTA pro tennis circuit, quickly advancing to the number 4 in the 2004 singles WTA rankings, and winning two of the most famous tournaments in tennis," says Jean-Christophe Babin, TAG Heuer’s President and Chief Executive Officer. "Off the court, her beauty and grace have romanced the fashion world, with profiles in leading fashion magazines, and the launch of her own perfume. She is truly a phenomenon. Determined, passionate and audacious, she has shown extraordinary character in taking on the best players in professional tennis and winning. At the same time she is graceful and extraordinarily feminine. Maria Sharapova works hard to be the best she can be, yet remains true to the joy and passion she feels for the game. Nobody in the world of sports better than Maria embodies the fusion of sport with glamour, and therefore TAG Heuer core positioning”.

“She's the perfect TAG Heuer Ambassador, an ideal representative of the brand's core values of passion, prestige and performance, which have driven the TAG Heuer brand in its pursuit of perfection for 145 years. We are very excited that she is joining the TAG Heuer Team, and she will go a long way toward reinforcing the brand's profile in the professional tennis world, which goes back to our ’Inner Strength’ campaign in the 1990s, when Boris Becker and Monica Seles were TAG Heuer Ambassadors." Mr Babin concludes.


TAG Heuer, the benchmark in prestigious sports watches and chronographs since 1860, currently ranks as the fourth luxury brand in the world watch market. The Swiss watchmaking legend draws from its active engagement in the world of sports to create the most accurate measuring instruments and sports-inspired timepieces ever made. From the Olympic Games in the 1920s to its new role as official timekeeper and chronograph for the legendary Indy 500 and IRL championship, TAG Heuer has maintained a constant quest for innovation and excellence, pursuing the summit of performance and prestige. This is reflected in its partnerships with Team McLaren Mercedes in Formula 1 racing; with Tiger Woods and Ian Poulter at the highest levels of international golf, Sébastien Bourdais as Champcar world champion, and with Kimi Raïkkönen at the top of Formula 1. With Maria Sharapova, TAG Heuer more than ever stands for “Sport and Glamour”.

Source: TAG Heuer Press Release

Courtesy Europastar

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ID: 75   Posted

Posted by: Neo Dec 15 2004, 05:59 PM

The revelation of a brand


December 14, 2004

Emile Péquignet, founder and ingenious creator of the brand based in Morteau, has just handed over management to a new team, a team that will develop the brand while conserving its genetic code… The story of a metamorphosis.

As he prepared for retirement, Emile Péquignet could have transmitted his brand, savoir-faire and exceptional collections to a large enterprise, even a watch group. However, his preferance was that it should remain independent. As it happened, another person from Morteau and also a watch lover, Didier Leibundgut, stepped up and decided to continue the work of this creator.


Irresistible univers of Watch and Jewellery


Caméléone-interchangeable-150 availables straps


Sorelle and Caméléone-interchangeable for

Sorella-interchangeable-150 availables straps


Massaï watch and jewellery


Moorea Quartz Chronograph

Didier Leibundgut intends to develop the brand based on its existing lines. Above all, however, he wants to maintain and even strengthen Péquignet’s identity, its genetic code, so to speak. “What exists is already so rich. Its products generate such a magic that they must be continued… You can be sure that we are going to develop these icons,” insists the new owner. Founded 30 years ago, Péquignet is now undergoing a metamorphosis, a transformation that is in harmony with its past.

Didier Leibunbdgut likes to talk about the brand’s genes, but what are they exactlyi Let’s say first of all that they possess an essentially feminine identity, a femininity that is accompanied by an undeniable reputation for creativity. Didn’t the Péquignet collections win the ‘Cadran d’or’ trophy for their designs not less than five timesi Last but not least, the brand has an exemplary savoir-faire and high levels of quality and reliability. The proof can be seen in the return rate for its products, which is less than 1.5% under their three-year guarantee. Who else can claim this?

In this respect, too, each watch has an individual quality control number. “This is quite normal. Here, we have always sought excellence in excellence,” proudly explains Leibunbgut in the Morteau headquarters. This is also where the Swiss movements for the watches are assembled. The brand’s principal collections, however, are assembled in Switzerland.

In a word, Péquignet represents a successful marriage between Swiss Made and the French Touch. What this means is that this type of Haute Couture watchmaking places these luxury objects within the reach of everyone, or nearly everyone. The entry level price of each watch collection is around ¤1000. For Didier Leibundgut, who says he hates the elitism due to money, there is no question of changing the brand’s positioning.

In the future, he says, Péquignet will evolve based on its icons, beginning with its famous family of interchangeable ladies’ timepieces. According to the mood and desires of the woman who wears them, the ‘Caméléone’, ‘Sorella’, and ‘Lady’ models can interchange their bracelets, which are available in a seemingly limitless array of materials and colours. To each, her own style. The Caméléone, inspired by the Art Déco period is light and timeless. The urban and active woman is attracted to the youthful and dynamic Sorella collection. The larger, stone-set Lady timepiece, with its more distinctive lines, falls into the Haute Couture class.

Now added to this ‘interchangeable’ category, are the soft curves and elongated lines

of the ‘Massaï’ collection, whose elegance admirably accentuates the feminine wrist. The Massaï also contains a collection of bold and youthful jewellery.

Péquignet remains more than ever faithful to the Mooréa, which has made its reputation and success, and which is available in ladies’ and men’s versions. For the latter, the chronographs, despite their large size, are still just as elegant as before.

To emphasize even more the value of its jewels, Péquignet has created a new display, which will soon occupy a place of honour at the brand’s loyal retailers. You can bet that, under these conditions, others will soon follow. And this is good. While Péquignet is very present in France, Portugal, Belgium, Holland, Luxembourg and the Middle East, it remains rather unknown in countries such as Germany, England, Italy, the United States, China and Asia in general. The wonderful journey begun by this small regional enterprise, independent from the large groups, an enterprise that knows so well how to translate beauty into watchmaking, will continue to unfold.


Courtesy europastar

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