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For all the latest news, reviews, stories, observations and trends in the Swiss watch industry in Australia.

Ladies, correct us if we’re wrong. In this day and age, you want things to be a little different, with an edge. You want that wow factor in every step of your life.  You love surprises. One chic watch and you can break the monotony with a more contemporary mod look… So for all of you who love to leave a little sparkle wherever you go, allow us to introduce you to 5 gorgeous timepieces that combine form and function beautifully, and almost effortlessly…

Reine de Naples Mini 8928 by Breguet

Synonymous with royalty, Breguet has been creating horological art since the early 19th century. The Reine de Naples Mini 8928 features the famous mother-of-pearl dial and an off-centred 6 o’clock chapter ring. The dainty watch has generously-sized graphic Arabic numerals that match the unique case shape. The lug is paved with diamonds and the winding crown is topped with a briolette-cut diamond at 4 o’clock. Opulent prestige continues on the bezel as well, with the flange and folding clasp in gold, finely set with brilliant-cut diamonds.

 

LVCEA Moon Phases by Bvlgari

The Roman jeweller has enriched a much-loved collection with this new moon phase watch. It houses a sophisticated automatic movement capable of tracking the waxing and waning of the Moon with absolute precision. Presented in pink gold, with a colour contributing to the look and sensuality of the watch, the Moon is realistically depicted with craters and transits against a dramatic night sky. Diamond hour markers simulate stars while the mother-of-pearl dial provides a cloudy backdrop.

 

Midnight Diamond Drops Automatic 29mm by Harry Winston

Nothing says it quite like diamonds does it?  The flurry of diamond snowflakes that adorn the dial testify to the gem-setting artistry and superlative design techniques associated with the House of Harry Winston. Presented for the first time in a 29mm case, the smallest timepiece in the Midnight Collection, this petite beauty beats with an automatic heart, promising for a lifetime of precision.

 

Rendez-Vous Sonatina Large by Jaeger-LeCoultre

A delicate chime reminds you of a rendezvous, marked by the collection’s iconic star. The watch houses this complication in a beautifully feminine exterior of pink gold and diamonds. In the hollow of an aperture at 6 o’clock, a day/night indicator alternates between the moon and sun. Dressed in gold, it achieves perfect harmony with the rendezvous star and pink gold case.

 

Oyster Perpetual Lady-Datejust 28 by Rolex

The Oyster Perpetual Lady-Datejust has been a hot favourite for quite a while now. It’s not difficult to understand why. The watch is now in a redesigned, larger 28 mm case featuring a new-generation mechanical movement, calibre 2236, equipped with the Rolex-patented Syloxi hairspring in silicon. The diamond studded dial and bezel lights up the overall look.

 

August 15, 2017 0 comment
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At the Geneva Salon in January, A. Lange & Söhne presented the fifth watch with the appellation “Pour le Mérite”. It’s a classical watch that unites five complications. Hours and Minutes witnesses the creation of “Pour le Mérite”, a microcosm of excellence right in A. Lange & Söhne’s workshops.

Tourbograph Perpetual “Pour le Mérite” unites five complications and pays tribute to classic watchmaking. Watch enthusiasts are well  aware of the complexity involved in crafting a complication. Well, this one has five.

Given the numerous complex mechanisms, the assembly of the 684-part manufacture calibre is a formidable challenge. Only the best watchmakers can put together the individual subsystems with the precision required for them to interact flawlessly in the end.

The assembly

“Substance over semblance” is the underlying motto of the TOURBOGRAPH PERPETUAL “Pour le Mérite”. Two of its five complications serve the sole purpose of improving rate accuracy. The fusée-and- chain mechanism ensures the smooth flow of torque from the mainspring barrel to the balance. Isolated from the influence of gravity, it oscillates inside the rotating tourbillon cage. The split-seconds chronograph is controlled in the classic manner with two column wheels. In a space-saving configuration, the module for the analogue perpetual calendar is built around the tourbillon.

684 minute parts…assembled together, working in perfect tandem. This is no mean feat to achieve. “The harmonious interaction of the five complications does not even begin to do justice to the amount of work involved,” says Anthony de Haas, Director of Product Development at A. Lange & Söhne.

 

Reset Lever

 

In fact, no two assembly processes are alike. “Even if each of the 684 parts is manufactured strictly within the micrometre tolerance range, the watchmaker still has to perform many minute adjustments to ensure that all the mechanisms work together perfectly as envisaged by the calibre engineers,” de Haas muses. He adds: “On the part of the watchmakers, this calls for the utmost of technical comprehension, experience-based knowledge, manual virtuosity and virtually infinite patience.”

Fusée-and-chain mechanism

Once the watchmaker has wrapped the delicate chain around the previously assembled mainspring barrel, they can integrate both components into the basic movement. The chain is then attached to the fusée. The planetary gearing or differential must be mounted first. Inside the fusée, it ensures that the flow of power from the mainspring barrel to the escapement is not interrupted while the watch is being wound. The 38-part mechanism handles this function in a space with a diameter of merely 8.6 millimetres.

 

Assembly of the fusée-and-chain mechanism

Using the ratchet wheel placed on the square barrel arbor, the watchmaker can adjust the final basic tension of the mainspring.

 

Ratchet Wheel

The Tourbillon

This is one of the very complex complications to master. There is a lot of preliminary assembly of individual parts involved. Initial assembly is followed by adjustments, disassembly, final finissage and final assembly. The tourbillon bridge firmly secures the cage to the chronograph bridge as it rotates suspended between two diamond endstones. The newly introduced curved shape of the tourbillon bridge posed new challenges to the finishing specialists. The black-polish technique applied to the surface of the steel part is finished to a mirror gloss so immaculately that incident light is reflected in only one direction. The surface shines only when viewed from that angle. From all other perspectives, it appears to be jet black.

 

Assembling a Tourbillon Bridge

Chronograph and Rattrapante mechanism

With a total of 136 parts that are all manually tweaked and adjusted, this requires a patient effort. All the wheels, levers, arbors and springs involved in the complex switching sequences must interact in a precisely defined order within fractions of a second to prevent mechanical conflicts.

The rattrapante hand arbor is about one centimetre long and extends from the dial to the rattrapante wheel on the opposite side of the movement. The arbor is turned from one piece of round hardened steel and painstakingly trued by hand. Then, it is passed through the hollow chronograph hand arbor. The assembly of the rattrapante split-seconds clamp reflects finesse as well.

 

Rattrapante Wheel

 

The rattrapante hand arbor is about one centimetre long and extends from the dial to the rattrapante wheel on the opposite side of the movement. The arbor is turned from one piece of round hardened steel and painstakingly trued by hand. Then, it is passed through the hollow chronograph hand arbor.

Assembly of the rattrapante split-seconds clamp

Two column wheels control the chronograph functions. One of them deflects the arms of the rattrapante split-seconds clamp. The clamp is freely suspended so that its arms can centre themselves around the periphery of the rattrapante wheel, gripping it with uniform pressure from both sides. The surfaces of the clamp and the wheel are finished with straight and circular graining. The fine teeth of the wheel are roughened for a better grip.

 

Split Seconds Clamp

Perpetual calendar and the moon phase

The perpetual calendar is a very useful complication to have. In this watch it correctly displays the different durations of the months in the 100-year cycle of the Gregorian calendar. It only needs to be corrected by one day in the year 2100. This is ensured by the 48-month wheel of the calendar module that has recesses and protrusions for each month.

For all those who love the poetic moon-phase complication, this watch has a very precise one. The seven-stage transmission for the moon phases is calculated so precisely that it only needs a one-day correction after 122.6 years of uninterrupted operation. The deep blue hue of the white-gold lunar disc is the result of a patented coating process. Interference effects function like a filter that hides all non-blue colour spectra of the incident daylight. The crisply contoured stars are cut out of the coating with a laser beam.

 

Moonphase Disc

 

Tourbograph Perpetual “Pour le Mérite” is a watch that unites the aesthetic and functional aspects of classical watchmaking, leading to a timeless classic.

August 13, 2017 0 comment
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A strong and unmistakable signature, the Heure H, created in 1996 under the creative impetus of the designer Philippe Mouquet, is more than just a watch: it is a symbol that has succeeded in retaining its energy, dynamism and freshness. Notably thanks to a unique idea: that of capturing time inside a letter. A strong concept and a playful and con dent way in which to shape the passing of time.

Above all else, the Heure H is a style that does not follow convention. Its case epitomises a bold and joyful sense of companionship. And now, its capital H is filled with black or white lacquer. Its dial, varnished in black or white, has also been treated with lacquer, in this instance translucent so as to better reveal the pigments it protects. Immediately identifiable, the Heure H offers an interplay of rigorous stylistic and technical discipline, and creative spontaneity. The beauty of paradox.

The strap colours – eight in all – alternate the depth of black or white with the vibrancy of red, orange, yellow, blue… An interchangeable strap to suit the wearer’s mood, wish or desire, and available in two versions: the Simple Tour (once- round) and the Double Tour (twice-round) – a Hermes emblem invented by Martin Margiela.

The lacquered Heure H is available in two sizes: medium and small. Cases, dials and straps are finely crafted down to their finest details in the Hermes watchmaking workshops in Switzerland. Objects shaped by artisans to make them true companions for those who wear them. Stemming from uncompromising expertise, they radiate the lightness of the unexpected. They make everyday life their playground, and each instant a uniquely special moment.

For Hermes, time is also an object. Rather than measuring, ordering, and seeking to control it, Hermes dares to explore another time, designed to arouse emotions, open up interludes and create spaces for recreation. Daring to capture time, to play with it. This is what is made possible by the Heure H, whose earnest reliability and creative charm multiply endlessly to construct an intensely personal time.

August 11, 2017 0 comment
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The new Monete Regal Festa ‘secret’ watch by Bvlgari combines the Roman jeweller’s parallel worlds of watchmaking and high jewellery. Secret Watches have been in vogue ever since the early 1930s. Simply put, they refer to watches that have a cover on the dial. The cover, which is generally ornamental and highly decorated is lifted to tell the time.

Monete Regal Festa, the pendant watch by Bvlgari also hides a beautiful secret. The pendant, innovative and recognisable, assumes an octagonal shape; again a signature design code of the brand. It is crafted in pink gold and set with brilliant-cut diamonds and rubies.

The ornamental depictions on the cover is nothing like you’ve ever seen before. A silver tetradrachm (Macedonia Alexander III, 336-326 B.C.) is on the front of the cover and the back depicts a divinity holding a sceptre and an eagle.

 

 

The BVL Calibre 208, mechanical hand-wound Manufacture skeleton – worked tourbillon movement in 18 carat pink gold serves as a dial. An 18 carat pink gold chain set with 1270 brilliant-cut diamonds holds the entire piece together.

The world of haute joaillerie and horology merge in the creation of secret watches. Precious stones, noble metals and artistic decorative elements combine to form heirlooms that always remain timeless. The Monete Regal Festa definitively fits in this mould.

August 11, 2017 0 comment
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This marriage of past and present, of time-honored hand craftsmanship and modern elegance, requires the utmost technical expertise to achieve its micro mechanism. Struck on demand by a slide piece on a thin, 42 mm white gold case, the Minute Repeater features three distinct sounds for the hours, quarter- hours, and minutes. The hand-wound RL 888 movement, with its 100-hour power reserve, is equipped with an additional complication that offers needed protection between the caliber and the activating lever at the side of the case, ensuring the timepiece’s 30-meter water resistance.

Created on an antique rose engine by a master engraver, hand-guilloché designs complement the sophisticated complication with an intricate barleycorn pattern of 80 waves spiraling from the center of the watch and adorning the bezel. A small seconds subdial at the 6 o’clock position further emphasizes the Art Deco- inspired geometry of the dial, highlighted against a black alligator leather strap.

While the refined materials and guilloché decorations of the timepiece demonstrate a respect for tradition, the cutting-edge calibers of the Minute Repeater complication exemplify Ralph Lauren’s eye for innovation in the world of haute horology.

August 7, 2017 0 comment
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The Salon International de la Haute Horlogerie continues to attract the leading names in luxury watchmaking as well as the talented independents. Much ahead of the SIHH 2018, the fair is already embracing change and momentum in the watch industry. The Salon International de la Haute Horlogerie has shown that it can transform with time. In 2017, it welcomed the creation of “Carré des Horlogers” – an area dedicated to artisan-creators and independent workshops. There was the addition of Girard-Perregaux and Ulysse Nardin, as well as five artisan-creators and independent workshops, who joined “Carré des Horlogers” bringing the total number of exhibitors to 30 – a record for the SIHH.

 

 

Next year at the SIHH 2018 (January 15th to 19th 2018), important new developments will continue to be part of the 28th edition. We’re all looking forward to the arrival of Hermès. There’s also a bigger Carré des Horlogers with DeWitt, Chronométrie Ferdinand Berthoud and Romain Gauthier all set to take their watch game a notch higher.

One of the most important things about the fair is that it is highly selective and very exclusive. This ethos continues even as the number of participants continue to rise.

“There is no intention of extending SIHH indefinitely. It will grow within carefully measured limits so as to preserve the values of excellence that have forged its reputation. It must also meet the expectations of its exhibitors and clients, both now and in the future”, commented SIHH Managing Director, Fabienne Lupo.

Each January, exhibitors unveil their finest creations in Geneva setting the latest trends in technical and precious watchmaking.  Professionals, journalists and influencers, experienced and aspiring collectors all converge on this unique and eagerly anticipated event. New players, new clients, new markets… the luxury business is extending its boundaries and engaging in a genuine dialogue with its fans. In keeping with this spirit, SIHH opened its doors to the public for one day last year, and will be doing the same again in 2018.

Exhibiting Maisons include A.Lange & Söhne, Audemars Piguet, Baume & Mercier, Cartier, Girard-Perregaux, Greubel Forsey, Hermès, IWC, Jaeger-LeCoultre, Montblanc, Panerai, Parmigiani, Piaget, Richard Mille, Roger Dubuis, Ulysse Nardin, Van Cleef & Arpels and Vacheron Constantin.

Carré des Horlogers brands: Christophe Claret, Chronométrie Ferdinand Berthoud , DeWitt, Grönefeld, H. Moser & Cie, Hautlence, HYT, Kari Voutilainen, Laurent Ferrier, MB&F, MCT Manufacture Contemporaine du Temps, Ressence, Romain Gauthier, RJ- Romain Jerome, Speake Marin, Urwerk.

The Salon International de la Haute Horlogerie will take place at Palexpo, Geneva from 15-19 January 2018. SIHH 2018 does hold exciting promises…

August 3, 2017 0 comment
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Less is more… You’ve probably heard this time and again. Sometimes all you want to do is just stick to the basics and we get that. You don’t necessarily have to spend a fortune on a timepiece. Of course, a high-end timepiece has its own unique aura designed with the rarest of materials and technology, but that doesn’t mean affordable watches aren’t crafted with absolute attention to detail. A good classic will always be timeless. These watches don’t scream for attention but stay true to their goal of time telling in the simplest way possible. Perhaps this in itself makes a statement? Let’s take a look at some minimalistic pieces…

Frederique Constant Classics Index

The Frederique Constant Classics Index is a classical timepiece with a vintage touch. But, don’t be fooled by its apparent simplicity. Every timepiece within the Classics Collection has been engineered to the most exacting standards. Housed in its stainless steel case is a mechanical movement that is 100% Swiss. The watch is available in a variety of versions.

 

Maurice Lacroix Les Classiques Tradition

What we have here is a more sober design and a compelling appearance that reflects the centuries-old tradition of craftsmanship. The restrained elegance is highlighted in particular by the slim case and simple beauty of the dial. Les Classiques Tradition is available in a stainless steel case with a choice of two different dial sizes; a 38 mm men’s version and a somewhat smaller one, of 28 mm, for ladies. The delicate hours, minutes and seconds hands is plated with rhodium or pink gold. The only additional feature is the date display at 6 o clock.

 

Raymond Weil Tango

This is a great choice for a night out without looking too gaudy or overbearing. Of course, for daily wear, they blend in seamlessly. The two tone bracelet is striking yet simple. The dial is punctuated with elegant roman numerals and a date display at 3 o clock. In terms of price and value, you simply can’t go wrong. Housed inside the 41mm stainless steel case is a quartz movement. The watch also carries the Raymond Weil logo on the crown.

 

 

These watches have their own allure. While we also love our ornate pieces, sometimes minimalism comes as a breath of fresh air, choosing to focus on what’s really important.

August 2, 2017 0 comment
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Rolex celebrated their 40th year as the Official Timekeeper of The Championships, Wimbledon, marking an enduring alliance shaped by excellence at the summit of tennis.

This association between two prestigious classics – the leading Swiss luxury watch brand, and the pre-eminent grass court tournament in the tennis calendar, came about on a shared quest for precision and top performance in 1978. According to Rolex Testimonee, Roger Federer, “It’s wonderful that Rolex and Wimbledon have been partners for so long. They are both the perfect embodiment of prestige and top performance.”

Rolex clocks keep the official time inside the arena, on court and throughout the grounds. The Wimbledon media centre – an international hub – shows Rolex time in Wimbledon, Johannesburg, New York, Rio de Janeiro, San Francisco, Shanghai, Tokyo and Melbourne, just a few of the major cities where the tournament is broadcasted live.

Today, Wimbledon is the world’s oldest tennis championship, steeped in a rich heritage that stretches back to 1877, when 22 tennis players competed in front of 200 spectators at the All England Club’s courts for the first-ever Gentlemen’s Singles Championship.

Roger Federer’s victory at Wimbledon 2017 brought a record eighth men’s singles title from 11 finals at the All England Club. His record-breaking triumph in the finals, earned him his second Grand Slam singles title in the 2017 season.  Having said that,  Roger Federer wasn’t the only Rolex Testimonee who shone bright at the Wimbledon. Garbiñe Muguruza, earned her place among the sport’s greatest players winning her second grand slam and her first at The Champions Wimbledon 2017 after defeating Venus Williams 7-5, 6-0 in the finals.

 

Rolex Testimonee Roger Federer, winner of the men’s singles at The Championships, Wimbledon 2017

Rolex Testimonee Garbine Muguruza, winner of the womens singles at The Championships, Wimbledon 2017

 

Every woman who wears a Rolex has a story. One of passion and adventure. A story of a pioneering spirit who has pushed back the limits of performance. These women epitomize the essence of Rolex since its very beginnings and what the Swiss luxury watchmaker stands for.

Rolex is a leading supporter of tennis, with a commitment that extends across the men’s and women’s game to high-quality events and exciting talent.  Each year, new champions emerge at The Championships, Wimbledon, and sporting history is made as the game soars to new heights of excellence.

July 31, 2017 0 comment
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Earlier this year, we saw Oris unveil the next generation of the much loved Aquis line in a series of time and date models. There’s seriously nothing to not like, when you have a solid combination of good looks, quality, performance and value. Now, Oris is adding a small seconds date version to the collection.

You’re probably thinking what’s the logic? The small seconds or running seconds is placed at 9 o’ clock on the dial and isolates the watch’s minutes hand, the most important hand to divers as they time their dives. During a dive, divers align the minutes hand with the minute scale on the watch’s uni-directional rotating bezel, enabling them to keep track of remaining dive time safely and securely. Oris worked closely with the diving community and developed the movement with small second at 9 o’clock in-house in response to its feedback.

With regards to the actual profile, this new version benefits from the same stylish design introduced to the Aquis line earlier this year. The reshaped horns, thinner bracelet and highly detailed crown gives the watch a more slender profile. The case itself measures 45.5mm in diameter in comparison to the date-only version which is 43.5mm. Slightly larger.

The hands and indices are bolder and the word ‘Aquis’ is proudly printed on the dial. Oris designers have re-engineered the bezel by creating a small gap between the case and the bezel to make it easier to grip and adjust. The Aquis Small Second, Date has a uni-directional rotating bezel with a scratch and fade-resistant ceramic insert and is water resistant to 500 metres.

The watch is offered in two versions, one with a blue dial on a blue or black rubber strap or a stainless steel bracelet with the Oris-developed safety anchor and quick-adjust, sliding-sledge folding clasp; and the other in a black and orange version with a black rubber strap and orange Super- LumiNova® luminescent detailing on the hands and hour markers.

 

 

Price in Australian Dollars: AUD $3,400 on Metal Bracelet and AUD $3,200 on Rubber Strap.

July 28, 2017 0 comment
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The Zeitwerk Decimal Strike makes time audible in a new way: its striking mechanism sounds every ten minutes.

The Zeitwerk Decimal Strike belongs to the illustrious Zeitwerk family, first introduced in 2009. It gave time a new face with a mechanical jumping numerals display. Given its mechanical architecture, the ZEITWERK calibre offers ideal prerequisites for the integration of a striking mechanism. Building on that strength, this watch features an acoustic time indication.

Where the music sounds

Two tuned gongs indicate the full hours as well as the ten-minute intervals between the start of one hour and the next. The two hammers that are visible on the dial side consist of polished steel and, like the hammer bridge, are decorated with a tremblage engraving. The hammer on the left strikes the low-pitched gong once every full hour. The right-hand hammer sounds a higher-pitched tone every ten minutes, or in other words, every time a new ten-minute interval begins.

Exceptional legibility

With its large, precisely jumping numerals display, the Zeitwerk Decimal Strike assures excellent legibility. In one-minute intervals, the units disc instantly advances by exactly one increment. The patented constant-force escapement between the mainspring barrel and the balance delivers the power. It makes sure that the balance has a constant amount of energy across the entire power reserve period. The high-pitched tone sounds every time the tens disc advances; at the start of the hour, when the low-pitched tone is struck, all three numeral discs jump synchronously by one increment. The striking mechanism can be switched off. When the button at 4 o’clock is pressed, the hammers are deflected away from the gongs. This also happens when the crown is pulled to set the time.

The Zeitwerk Decimal Strike is presented in a 44.2 mm case. The lavishly finished, manually wound calibre L043.7 has a maximum power reserve of 36 hours. Lange-typical quality hallmarks include the three-quarter plate made of untreated German silver and decorated with Glashütte ribbing, the hand-engraved balance cock, and a cam poised balance with a free-sprung hairspring crafted in-house.

The watch is presented in a honey gold case, as used exclusively by A. Lange & Söhne and is limited to 100 pieces globally.

Price in Australian Dollars – RRP AUD $161,100

*A. Lange & Söhne timepieces are exclusively sold by Watches Of Switzerland in Australia

 

July 24, 2017 0 comment
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