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Tuesday, March 27, 2012

Ladoire Black Widow

Ladoire's Black Widow

Photographed on location in the Geneva Time Exhibition.

I had some time to photograph the interesting Ladoire Black Widow. Known various as Mr. Green, Mr. Black according to the colour treatment of the bridges, the watch is quite interesting in the way it tells time...openworked dial, multilayered three regualtor off set hours, minutes and seconds and a large central GMT.

This version is known as Mr. Grey....with a cold grey treatment.

With racy red numerals, they call Mr Race.

Also available in green as Mr Green and white as Mr Ice.

Tuesday, March 20, 2012

Feature in Heuer Suisse

My portfolio featured in Heure Suisse

I was greatly honoured to be given several pages of the permier industry magazine Heure Suisse. This is the leading Swiss magazine read by almost everyone in the industry. The magazine is published in both French and German editions

So instead of the regular blog post, please allow me some gloating time.

My spread covers 9 full pages, including a double page spread of the Parmigiani Tourbillon. And a full page with my bio and book.

Here is the extracted pages from the magazine issue 116, in both French and German.

Interestingly, the photographs chosen were taken with diverse trusty Hasselblad H3D, the on-test Leica S2, and even with my Panasonic GH-2. Have fun guessing which is which.

Thanks Marco for being a great agent!

Friday, March 16, 2012

Singapore CBD Ultra wide panorama

Wide panoramas of the Singapore CBD.

Not long after I wrote about the dilemma of what to do with very wide panoramas, I received a commission to do one!

The commission was not a result of the blog post on the dilemma which is found here, but based on a photograph I took when I was in Hamburg harbour in 2010. Interesting, how things turn out.

I will not show the commissioned photographs, but I did take this set after I finished with work, which I find quite appealing. This is the view of the entire Singapore Central Business District, about 8pm from the 50th floor of a residential building.

Click on the image for a 1920 wide image.

This is a 10 panel vertical stitch, using the HC55-110 at 110mm. Stitching done on Photoshop CS4.

Tuesday, March 13, 2012

Hublot Key of Time

Faster or slower by flicking a switch...the Hublot Key of Time

Known variously as Hublot MP-02 and Key of Time, the concept of willfully being able to make your watch go faster or slower is an interesting, and conversational subject.

Initially conceived by Mathias Butlet at BNB Concept (now owned by Hublot), I was not quite prepared when I saw the watch for the first time.

While the case was made of DLC titanium, it is fitted with a curved, moulded rubber strap, reminded me of a Casio G-Shock or similar. The graphics in luminous green, red and white on black help support this illusion.

But Casio this is not. The watch features a vertically mounted tourbillon, in between the lower case lugs, and visible to the owner with his hands on the steering wheel.

The movement is visible from the case back, but precious little is visible, though what is, seems to be nicely finished. The spider bridge which support the back.

The BNB calling card of the vertical tourbillon.

The 3 o'clock crown does the regular function of winding and setting the time. The crown at 9 o'clock does the switching to fast mode or slow mode.

When in fast or slow mode, the watch keeps the regular time, so when you switch back from either fast or slow to correct time, the hands move to indicate the correct time.

Interesting conversational timepiece...but one which does not come at a low price...

Friday, March 9, 2012

The Grand Seiko Spring Drive Chronograph

A closer look at the magnificent Grand Seiko Spring Drive Chronograph.

One of my favourite watch making house is the often overlooked Seiko. They have a long history and tradition of making fine timepieces as well as of innovation. But most collectors focus too much on Swiss timepieces. But yes, Virginia, excellent watches do come from outside Switzerland. Germany, and increasingly England, and of course Japan.

I visited the Seiko manufactures at Shiojiri some years ago. In addition to their factories which make millions (yes millions) of low end, quartz watches scattered all over Asia, they maintain two high end facilities. One in Morioka and another in Shiojiri. And today, being the start of the BaselWorld 2012, I thought I'd feature my own personal wristwatch - the Grand Seiko Spring Drive Chronograph.

The Morioka factory specializes in the mechanical Seikos. Which are utterly traditional in their manufacture. Looking, and feeling like any well made, in-house Swiss watch. Everything is made in-house, as Seiko does not import parts from the usual suspects. The dials, hands, cases, movements, balance springs are all Made in Japan. I featured one such watch: The SGBM003, GMT watch in an earlier post here.

But in the Shiojiri plant, which also houses the Epson printer factory. This vast complex also makes everything they need under their roof. From quartz ocillators to jewel setting. Casemaking, dialmaking, hands, everything needed for the movement is made on premises. Within here they also manufacture the innovative Spring Drive watches.

I earlier featured one of the watches manufactured in Shiojiri: the Grand Seiko SBGE001 - GMT Spring Drive here.

I guess because it is part of a much larger electronics manufacture (Epson printers), the entire assembly area for the Spring Drives are in a Class 100 Clean Room. I haven't seen many factories where the entire assembly takes place in a clean room. Lange's facilities in Glashutte uses clean room technology only in the areas where they assemble the hands to the dials and encase the movement.

Each watch is assembled atelier style. I managed to find the two ladies who made my watch. One assembled the movement and the other assembled the bracelet and case. Brilliant!

These are photographs of my own watch, well worn and used over several years. Photography was taken in La Chaux du Fonds, Switzerland.

The watch is a large chronograph, with the mesmerising sweep, silent seconds hands. Attention to detail in every single aspect of this watch is amazing.

The dial is clear, legible. Case measures 44mm in diameter, and sits well on my wrist. The bracelet is beautifully finished...links are massive stainless steel and well polished.

Traditional finishing techniques are abound. Cote Geneve...or perhaps in this case Nagano stripes..are beautifully done.

Polished column wheel. Beautiful finish.

Beautifully done anglage. Well set jewels.

Some complained the chrono pushers are too large...but for me they are perfect. The chrono pushers are smooth, and glides. In comparison, the Datograph pushers are yet smoother, but the illustrious Lange is a different kettle of fish...competing several price classes higher than the Seiko.

Click on the image below for a 1920 wide desktop background image.

p.s. The Shiojiri plant also houses the Micro Artisan Studio...where 10 qualified watchmakers focus on making perhaps 10 watches per annum....from this amazing studio comes the Credor Sonnerie and the Credor Eichi. Magnificent products to rival the highest end watches made in Switzerland. I featured the Credor Eichi in an earlier post here.

Tuesday, March 6, 2012

DeBethune DB25T

Beauty of the DeBethune DB25T

I had the opportunity to view and photograph the magnificent DB25T again...

Truly a magnificent piece, beautifully conceived, finished. Jaw drapping beautiful.

Debethune DB25T

The dial, hand flamed titanium to achieve the deep blue...nothign short of amazing. And the second morte complication is nicely emphasized with the large sweep seconds making its precise jumps each second.

The movement is even more amazing. I love the blued steel titanium bridge which holds the jumping seconds mechanism. And the tourbillon spinning quietly below:

DeBethune DB25T
And a side view, to show the depth of the movement. The movement and the rest of the watch is magnificently finished.

DeBethune 25T

This series of photographs were prepared for a Leica S2 camera review. And was photographed with the excellent Summarit 120mm macro lens. The final image is cropped because the lens only focusses down to 1/2 magnification, and hence not a true macro lens.

Friday, March 2, 2012

Ultra wide panos...a dilemma

Ultra wide panos...what to do with them?

Making wide panoramas can be fun...but once we finish the photograph, and stitched it up to be an ultra wide...what do we do with them? Display on the internet boders on being rediculous, as you get a sliver of the picture at say 1024 pixels wide. Printing of course the best way to display them.

Take this image below...a 9 panel stitch of the Marina Bay area, taken from the roof of the Esplanade.

Click on the image for a 1920 wide image...even at that size, too large for typical web pages, the height of the image is a miniscule 260 pixels high.

Printed out so that the height is 610mm would yield a print which is 4.5m long...quite large, for most homes or offices.

What do you do with your ultra wide panoramas?