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Friday, January 28, 2011

SIHH 2011: A. Lange & Sohne Part 2

More novelties from ALS in SIHH 2011

Lange also introduced some new entry level watches to complete the Saxonia line. The line is now quite complete with the Saxonia Automatic, the Saxonial Flat Handwound, and the Saxonia World Time.

First the Saxonia Automatic.

Lange Saxonia Automatic in rose gold

The movement is a new movement, with a full rotor instead of the traditional Langematic's micro rotor.

Lange Saxonia Automatic showing the rear of the watch and the magnificent movement

In platinum, the watch looks more austere and teutonic.

Lange Saxonia Automatic in rose gold

In the hand and on the wrist, I must say this is a truly beautiful watch. Subtle, effective, yet beautiful lines, as shown on the slim, elegant wrist of Sandra Herbst:

Next, one of my favourites of this year: The Saxonia Thin. A bit unusual for Lange as a German watch which is usually known for solid, robust engineering rather than genteel elegance, this juxtaposition intrigues.

Lange Saxonia Thin in rose gold

The movement, only 2.9mm height, this is no ultra thin, but thin enough for the teutonic Langes. As is typical of Langes, the movement is truly beautifully crafted. The movement shows off the 3/4 plate effectively, and allows the gold chatons with its blued steel screws to be nicely set in alignment with the hand engraved balance cock and swan neck fine adjustment.

Lange Saxonia Automatic in rose gold

And finally the Saxonia Dual Time...a two timezone watch, which is elegant...

Lange Saxonia Automatic in rose gold

One can argue that the design language employed for the Dual Time is not original, as similar examples can bee seen in the Patek Philippe line, but one can hardly argue with the excellence of the execution. The dial ratains a purity and rare beauty.

And the movement is pure Lange.

Lange Saxonia Automatic in rose gold

Taschenuhren: Von d. Halsuhr zum Tourbillon (German Edition)

Tuesday, January 25, 2011

SIHH2011: A. Lange & Sohne Zeitwerk Striking Time

Lange had a bumper crop this addition to the Richard Lange Pour le Merite Tourbillon announced last month...see this, they announced the Zeitwerk Striking Time, the new Saxonia Thin handwound, Saxonia World Time, and a refreshed Saxonia. And stay tuned for yet another big announcement slated for mid-year.

But let's go through the novelties...first the Zeitwerk Striking Time:

Lange Zeitwerk Striking Time

A closer look at the dial side, showing the hammers

Lange Zeitwerk Striking Time

Built as a quarter striker, the watch can be put on strike or silent mode by the small pusher at 4 o'clock. When engaged, it strikes the passing time low note strike for the top of each hour, and every quarter after, a high pitch strike.

Lange Zeitwerk Striking Time showing hammer detail and gong

The hammers and gong mechanism is a preview to what a minute repeater might be like. The hammer is constructed from steel, the hammers are tuned by hand to provide the right impulse with each strike. The speed, weight, and freedom of the gongs to ring are all part of the equation to make a pleasant sounding ting, loud enough to be heard. The Zeitwerk Striking's strikes record at 65dB, rather loud by wristwatch standards.

Lange Zeitwerk Striking Time

From the rear, it is no different from the regular Zeitwerk, announced in May 2009, as the striking works are hidden just below the dial. But the movement remains as magnificent as usual.

Available in platinum in a limited edition of 100 pieces with a rhodium dial, and in white gold as shown with a black dial (no limitation).

Stay tuned for the other announcements this Friday.

Friday, January 21, 2011

Chinese Opera Performers

Shriro, the majority shareholders of Victor Hasselblad AB and of course agents for Hasselblad cameras in Singapore. The Sales Manager - Denis Lim is a easy going fellow...friendly, and always helpful. He established a Hasselblad Users Group...where any Hasselblad user, current, past or future can participate in photography sharing events held approximately monthly.

These photographs were taken during the September meeting, where he invited two opera performers, in their gear to model. Shot with twin Profoto flashes, and the H4D-40 camera.

First at ISO1600, a speed which killed many a MFDBs. Medium format backs are notorious for poor high ISO performance. With 35mm type DSLRs upping the ante of old Canon 1dmk3 could produce grainy but usable photographs at ISO6400. But until the H4D, 800 was the upper limit of most MFDB. Phase One backs, with binding the pixels could be pushed to 800 easily, but at the cost of reduced resolution. I have shot at ISO800 with good results for properly exposed photographs on my H3D.

Below is a photograph at ISO1600, shot while the performers were doing their makeup before the main shoot. Shot handheld, no flash.

opera performer doing makeup

Reverting back to ISO 100, with the Profoto flash.

full body shot of male opera performer in pose

Closer up of the performer

head shot male opera performer in pose

Headshot of the female performer

head shot of female opera performer in pose

Half body shot of the male performer

half body shot of male opera performer in pose

And finally, both together in a pose

two chinese opera performers in pose

Tuesday, January 18, 2011

Not travelling with my LX3: Construction site

I am still experimenting with hand held panoramas with the LX3. This little camera is quite surprising...the quality of the images from it, when taken with proper exposure, and limited to iso400 is quite good. Especially if there is no need to print large. For the web, it is excellent.

My chief complaints for the LX3, and the excuse to buy another small camera...eyeing the new Fujifilm X100 which is touted to be available by 1Q2011, is that the autofocus is very slow, it misses the proverbial "moment" as first suggested by HCB (Henri-Cartier Besson for the uninitiated)

Just across the road from my home...a construction I decided to try another pano...stitched from 4 frames.

construction site singapore

And a playful experiment with the polar coordinates filter in CS4

Friday, January 14, 2011

Jaeger LeCoultre Grande Complication a Triptyque: Details

The watch, in White Gold. Limited to an edition of 20 pieces, this is No 1.

The Jaeger LeCoultre Triptyque Grand Complication - dial side

A closer look at the front dial

The Jaeger LeCoultre Triptyque Grand Complication

The rear of the watch...

The Jaeger LeCoultre Triptyque Grand Complication, showing the rear with limitation engraving

A Side view of the watch, showing the engraving with Singapore's lattitude:

The Jaeger LeCoultre Triptyque Grand Complication, showing the engraving with Singapore and its lattitude

A closeup of the tourbillon, showing the special design of the tourbillon cage

The Jaeger LeCoultre Triptyque Grand Complication, showing detail of the tourbillon

Slide open a lock at the crown side, and the case slides out, like any other Reversos, but as the Triptyque opens, it reveals the other dial with the celestial indications and the perpetual calendar:

The Jaeger LeCoultre Triptyque Grand Complication, showing the inner dial with instantaneous perpetual calendar

The movement is completely contained in the sliding case, so once a day, it transmits a signal via the pin located at the top of the case, to set the indicators of the perpetual calendar. The documentation indicates this occurs instantaneously, but there is no way to observe this as it occurs when the case is closed. A small indicator in red on the front main dial shows the hours where this pin is active, and with an interlock system, prevents the case from being slid open. Clever.

The Jaeger LeCoultre Triptyque Grand Complication, showing the pin for the main movement to set the otherwise static perpetual calendar display.

The Triptyque showing the inner dial:

The Jaeger LeCoultre Triptyque Grand Complication, showing the rear with inner dial

Detail of the celestial and zodiac indicators on the inner dial, also showing sunrise and sunset at the particular lattitude:

The Jaeger LeCoultre Triptyque Grand Complication, showing the inner dial with celestial and zodiac indicators and sunrise/sunset at lattitude

The watch wears rather well, though thick as it needs to contain the mechanism for the complications:

The Jaeger LeCoultre Triptyque Grand Complication, wrist shots

Tuesday, January 11, 2011

Jaeger LeCoultre Grande Complication a Triptyque Part 1

The JLC Triptyque Grand Complication...announced in SIHH 2007. This is a magnificent watch. I recently managed to have the opportunity to photograph this piece at a local dealer's where it was on its way to being delivered to its owner.

One of the more complicated watches made by JLC, the watch is based on the famous Reverso case...enlarged to contain the complications. The watch features a tourbillon and a perpetual calendar on the third face, and indications for a celestial star chart, a zodiac indicator as well as sunrise and sunset indicators. As these indicators are different depending on your location on earth, the watch is set at the factory for a particular lattitude, and this is engraved on the side of the case. This particular example is for Singapore, and on its side, "1 degree 05 minutes" are engraved, giving Singapore's Lattitude.

Part 1 of this presentation will show the watch in 3 different settings, and part 2 on Friday will zoom in on some details.

The Jaeger LeCoultre Triptyque Grand Complication
I have got the Triptyque on my mind

Perched on top of stable mate - the Marc Newson JLC Atmos

The Jaeger LeCoultre Triptyque Grand Complication on top of the JLC Atmos by Marc Newson

And on a Jacquet Droz music box, featuring a fluttering, singing bird:

The Jaeger LeCoultre Triptyque Grand Complication on music box with singing, fluttering bird

Friday, January 7, 2011

Rolex Sea Dweller

Am a bit tied up preparing for my book...more about this later...and for SIHH 2011, so am lagging a bit on watchscapes...a new word I coined for watch photographs...especially those with extreme macros, making the watch elememts look abstract and like landscapes.

To tie the watch fans, here is a photograph of the older Rolex Sea Dweller.

Tuesday, January 4, 2011

Hamburg Harbour

Hamburg. Harbour and city. Cultural center. Known for its high quality of living in Germany, this city of nearly 1.8 million is rather large and spread out. I was there one cold...make that very cold, winter's day in December. The snow was unrelentless in falling and dusting everything with a magical white powder. I made the following images by the river, just near the harbour.

The first is from the 20 up Bar at the Empire Riverside Hotel, which features a fantastic view of the harbour. We were told we could not photograph at the bar...but I discretely set up my tripod...leveled the Photoclam Multiflex head, and fired the H3D with the 28mm lens set in AE.

Exposure at f/5.6 was 32s at ISO100, and used the Hasselblad internal metering's AE. I merely set for f/5.6 because the nearest images were quite a distance away, and I set the lens for hyperfocal. And let the camera decide on the exposure. Almost all the time, the in camera AE mode turned out good for night cityscapes. I cropped the image from portrait to landscape and did some post processing on this file in CS4, but not a whole lot...just an autolevels, and very slight saturation increase. The lines you see which traverse across the photograph on the top right is an aeroplane's corn trail, and those on the river are made by barges moving in the water.

A bit further river and a couple of hours earlier, I also photographed these beautiful cantilevered office buildings, covered in snow.

Metering was done by the Zone system, placing the snow in the foreground in zone 8. A small levels adjustment in CS4 was necessary in post processing.

I passed by a small house on my way back to the car, and could not resist taking a photograph...though I wish the lights inside were on...I imagined it to be a warm glowing light coming from contrast the white, almost bitter cold outside.

And on the way back to the car, the park for dogs.