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Friday, December 28, 2012

Arnold & Son: Instrument watches.

Arnold & Son was once a venerable name in English watchmaking. Perhaps with these new watches, they are coming back? Read on to find out more.

Arnold & Son in London circa 1787-1790. An old firm indeed...very little is published about their early works. But the name is now owned by a Swiss based company, making the watches in Switzerland. They were lost a bit immediately after the founding making complicated and hard to read and understand watches aligned after the pursuit for longitude. But recently, they are refreshed, and now offer some interesting pieces.

Today, I pick two watches...actually 3, but more on this later, which piqued my interest.

First, the TBR, a the jumping seconds watch

Quite a beauty. I particularly like the dial layout. Clean, unfussy. As a jumping second watch, it features the seconds as pride of the dial, taking centre stage.

On the wrist, very handsome

The other watch that caught my interest is the Sidereal time. Featuring two movements with two balances. Called the DBS, this is quite a beautiful timepiece

One side runs the sidereal time. The balance on that side runs such that the hour hands takes 23 hours, 56 minutes, 4.091 seconds to make 2 revolutions, and the side that runs solar time takes exactly 24 hours to do the same. Giving us instantaneous sidereal and solar time.

This gives the movement a little trick up its sleeve. Adjusted so that both balances beat at 21,600 bph, both will run at the same rate, and the watch thus gives 2 timezones simultaneously. This watch is available in stainless steel as shown and rose gold, and is called the DBG.

Both movements are the same...beautifully laid out bridges

And on the wrist...handsome

Thanks to Arnold & Son (Dennis Martinet) and Kevin Tan for arranging the showing and wonderful dinner.

Tuesday, December 25, 2012

Blessed Christmas

Wishing all readers, friends, and clients a Blessed Christmas

Friday, December 21, 2012

Rolex GMT: Coke Bezel

Rolex GMT: many dials...which one to choose...Pepsi? Coke? Black?

For me, the GMT which calls out to me is the Coke...a nicely patinaed, evenly faded Pepsi may do the trick too...

But for today, I feature the Coke...

Quite a beauty.

All photographs in today's post was taken at the Presidential Suite of the Raffles Hotel, Singapore. Those above, not fully colour balanced to neutral, to leave a bit of the warm lighting in the suite. But the one below is balanced for daylight, showing perhaps less warm hues, but more accurate.

Tuesday, December 18, 2012

Premises of A. Lange & Sohne in Glashutte, and a Dresden Neustadt panorama

Not a true photography post today...but some assorted photographs on the A. Lange & Sohne premises in Glashutte, and an unusual panorama of Dresden.

I have been welcomed at the Lange premises many, many times over the last 16 or so years. This place is more or less a second are some snapshots one rather chilly December morning

The Lange 2 building, which houses the main reception, and showroom

View of the side of the building...when I first started coming to Glashutte, this was one of the main factory buildings...the original Lange 1 building is just across the courtyard and still houses the manufacturing facilities.

Inside the reception area, a short walk up the stairs to the showroom

That's the lovely Kirsten Meusinger from the PR department, standing over the portrait of F.A. Lange made up of thousands of little photographs of events over the years...I am in a few of them too...

And the main showroom...with silhouttes of some colleagues

And a view of Dresden, some 30km away...the nearest major city...a view of the Neustadt. The Dresden skyline is made famous by Canaletto. But this is the view of the new city...actually not so was roughly 1732 when it was founded...

Friday, December 14, 2012

Girard Perregaux chronograph

Girard Perregaux makes beautiful timepieces...always have. Somehow, they manage to get the balance right to my eyes. Beautiful proportions.

Today's feature is on a chronograph - the GP Vintage Chronograph, owned by a good friend, who wanted to dress down the watch a bit, by using a NATO style strap on an otherwise dressy watch...making it suitable to wear for everyday casual jeans and a t-shirt.

Nice proportions, legible dial. Nice movement, but in this one, not visible as it has a solid caseback. I always loved the proportions and design of GP watches...maybe its my soft first high end watch is a GP Chronograph.

On the wrist, quite lovely. Dial with central minute counter for the chronograph.

Get a wallpaper sized image by clicking on the image below.

Tuesday, December 11, 2012

Lange 1 Lumen: The high resolution photograph series

More first person photographs, this time in high resolution, and in better lighting to show the magnificent Lange 1 Lumen.

Again, I won't repeat the technical specifications or show you press photographs. Here you will find my photography at work. A mix of photographs from the Hasselblad H3D-39 with 120mm macro and Panasonic Lumix GH-2 with Panasonic-Leica 45mm macro.

First a comparison between the regular Grande Lange 1 and the new Grande Lange 1 Lumen

And the back.

I offer two explainations why the colour differences between the two movements...first is the way the light fell on the movement, and second, the left movement is the earlier Grande Lange 1, probably made in 2011, and the right is the newest Grande Lange 1 Lumen, fresh from the oven. Untreated German silver has a tendency to age to a beautiful golden patina over time.

And some high resolution photographs. These can be made available for licensing or be made into prints up to 600mm on the short side, suitable for framing and display.

Please contact me for details. Also click on the photographs for larger 1920pixel wide wallpapers.

I find the dial, with the peek-a-boo dark glass to be quite mesmerising...raising the stakes of an already very beautiful watch into the strastophere...magnificent timepiece.

It is interesting also that the sapphire glass dial catches light from different angles and turn out to be a beautiful steely blue or just a deep dark grey. Both quite beautiful.

The customary wrist shot...this time on my wrist...which for reference is approximately 7.5 inches in circumference.

The superluminova glowing in the dark

Friday, December 7, 2012

New Announcement: Lange 1 Lumen

Exclusive live photographs of the just announced, literally 6 hours ago...of the new Lange 1 Lumen.

Literally just returned from the launch event. Very tired, and have a full day schedule shooting the watch in more ideal conditions look out for those photographs. In the meantime, on site photographs...I think possibly the first on the net...of the new watch.

Head of development Tony de Haas holding the watch. Grande Lange 1 with see through dial, and superluminova date display...a la Zietwerk Luminous, aka "Phantom".

More technical information available here.

A closer look at the dial side, with the glass dial showing the outsized date mechanism.

A wrist shot, on a somewhat larger wrist. This wrist measures some 9" circumference, I guess. But the watch is rather friendly on the smaller wrist too, being only 40.9mm diameter.

The movement is the new as of last year's Lange 1 handwound movement: the L095.2...with 72 hour power reserve (reduced from the original's 96 hours, but with the diameter of the movement enlarged with a larger, inhouse escapement).

Apoligies for the quality of the photographs, but these are taken in-situ, jostling for space with perhaps 10 other photographers. Lighting is harsh halogen used in the launch venue.

Tuesday, December 4, 2012

The MB&F HM5: hands on photographs and impressions

The long awaited HM5 by MB&F is now revealed! These are one of the first photographs and commentary to reach the world...Max presented this watch to Singapore collectors on Dec 4, about 8pm, while the same is being presented across the world in the form of a press release about the same time. I managed to sneak in a photography session on Dec 3, and you are now reading and viewing these photographs. Embargo time is 2000hrs Singapore.

The base concept of the HM5 is try and capture the futurist view of a wristwatch, from the point of view of someone in the 1970s. The concept of the HM5, also known as On The Road Again, is to use the design cues from the 1970s and project a future view.

This was an era when quartz was king. This was an era where the Lotus Esprit was iconic. When Star Wars was being introduced to the world. Presenting the HM5:

The hour and minute displays are digital...with bidirectional jumping hours and continuous moving digital displayed minutes. These are reflected through a prism purpose design and built for HM5, and magnifies the display 20%.

It draws inspiration from two historical pieces in the 1970s

The Girard Perregaux

Interesting piece. GP being the innovator of quartz, built this curiously 1970s designed piece. With red led lights showing the time. Interestingly, the HM5, like all MB&F are based on the current GP caliber as its base movement, draws a link to this design as well as physical link.

And the Amida, also in the 1970s

This was a mechanical watch, and now very rare. The company who made it was defunct within months of its introduction...remember this was the height of the quartz era, and mechanical watch companies in Switzerland were falling like flies. This timepiece did not survive to tell its tale, but on the wrist, it was just as well, as the time display was difficult to read, and was very small and very deep inside the hooded display.

The HM5 was to solve this. The movement is made flat, with large discs

And the display reflected 90deg, using a sapphire glass prism, like those used in high end cameras. The prism has a slight curvature, providing some 20% magnification. And because the image now seems to come from the surface of the crystal, it is easier to read.

The top of the case features some design features which look like slats on the rear windscreen of the Lotus Espirit.

And two of the front slats, actually open to allow light into the movement to charge the superluminova of the indicators. Max told me the actual discs are glass, and they put about 1mm of superluminova to get as much as possible to provide the lume.

Arrow shows the slats open, via a small lever just by the arrow.

The case of the watch is not water resistant, but the entire movement is built into a water resistant chassis, making this the first HM watch to be water resistant. Hence delivered with a styised rubber strap. Industrial design of the watch is made by Eric Giroud.

The movement is quite beautifully laid out

With the characteristic MB&F rotor, showing the GP sourced base movement.

The movement was created also with the work of Mojon, who also collaborated with Max (and in that case Kari Voultilainen) to bulid the Legacy Machine 1.

From the side, the HM5 is reminiscent of the curves of the HM4

On my wrist

On another, albeit smaller wrist

And Max, obviously proud of his latest baby

Friday, November 30, 2012

Urwerk UR210: black or white?

Presenting the latest Urwerk...the UR210.

Last week, I wrote about how cool Urwerk watches were, and featured the progression of cool from the early years to the UR210. Today's post will provide some additional high resolution photographs of the UR201.

I find the visual impact of the watch to be quite amazing. It looks like a mechanical sclupture which looks macho aggressive with the exposed machine parts, and at the same time elegant.


A closer look at the UR210 in stainless steel case. Note the activity indicator at 10 o'clock. This tells the wearer how active he has been in the last 2 hours....interesting new feedback to the wearer from a watch.

And black anodized...they look like different watches. I prefer the black case...which one do you prefer?

The attention to detail and finishing is outstanding...see the following closeup, click on the image for a large 1920 wide wallpaper.

And on the wrist

And looks even better on the wrist of a lovely lady