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Tuesday, October 29, 2013

The Complications Atelier of Parmigiani Fleurier

More from my articles published in the Parmigiani blog. In this article, I examine the interesting, innovative and exceptional high complications atelier.

Click here for my article on the Complications Atelier in the Parmigiani blog

Friday, October 25, 2013

Ulysse Nardin Gengis Khan

Quick shot Friday focusses on the ultra high end Ulysse Nardin Gengis Khan Jacquetmart Minute Repeater Tourbillon with diamonds.

I had the opportunity to see this piece at L'Atelier by The Hour Glass recently. A cool S$1.17 million on the wrist.

Nicely finished...the Jacquetmart automata moves in sync with each strike. The watch strikes the Westminister chime.

Strikes are quite nice, in tone. I suspect the movement is made by Christophe Claret, but no confirmation from either them or UN.

Movement is quite decently finished, nothing really to criticize, but nothing to really be amazed at either, especially considering the price.

Tuesday, October 22, 2013

The HYT2

The HYT watches have been making waves...yes, pun intended...with their hydro mechanical watches since they were first revealed to the horological world.

I covered the first in the series, the HYT1 in these pages before. See here, and here.

It was a pleasant afternoon with Vincent Perriard, CEO of HYT.

These are quite rare timepieces, so an assembly of 5 in one location is even more rare...

And a new case material for the HYT1

But on to the HYT2.

The watch is rather large at 48mm, but feels great on the wrist. The design of the way the straps attach to the case makes this comfortable to wear.

Now built by Gulio Papi of Renaud et Papi...the HYT1 was the work of Jean-Fran├žois Mojon of Chronode. The 2 features the bellows tilted at an angle, suggesting the V engine

The characteristic HNM indicators which are a tell tale of the R&P origins.

A closer look at the dial. Now a temp sensor tells the wearer if the liquid is within temperatures which allow it to expand and contract to show the time accurately. This is only needed when the watch is off the wrist, as when worn, the wrist keeps it at a fairly constant temperature, well within the operating parameters.

From the rear, the V is obvious

And Vincent...

Friday, October 18, 2013

Jaeger LeCoultre Hybris Mechanica Grande Sonnerie

The JLC Gyrotourbillon 2 is an amazing watch, but for me, the Hybris Mechanical Grande Sonnerie is even more amazing.

As usual, specifications can easily be googled, so readers are encouraged to do so, but I try and show the watch in its beauty, from a collector's eye, hopefully with photographs which will stir the emotion.

Forget the US$2.5million price tag...but luxurate in the magnificence of the dial, with a cutout revealing the tines of the gong.

Then flip the watch over...and the beauty of the wonderfully finished movement, the layout of the movement...just mesmerises. Wonderful. Bravo Jaeger LeCoultre!

So beautiful, deserves an on image for a 1920 pixel wide wallpaper.

Tuesday, October 15, 2013

JLC Gyrotourbillon 2

The Jaeger LeCoultre Gyrotourbillon series is now nearing the completion...with the release of the Gyro3 this year. But the piece which still keeps its special place in my mind is the Gyro2.

Round like a circle in a spiral

Like a wheel within a wheel

Never ending on beginning

On an ever-spinning reel

Not only is it housed in the classical albeit enlarged case of the legendary Reverso series, but the movement is simply amazing. The gyrotourbillon is truly a marvel. The dial side...

Flip the case over, and one is greeted by this beautiful movement.

Watching the tourbillon, turning on its axes is simply mesmerising...wonderful.

Another view of the tourbillon...magnificent.

I leave you with an image of a beautiful hand, holding the beautiful watch.

Note this watch is a prototype, with the attendent scratches, and dust particles. The watch was photographed during the JLC Hybris Mechanical show, and the photographs were made on a watchmaker stand, with existing lighting.

Friday, October 11, 2013

Philippe Dufour Grande Sonnerie

The super grail watch, perhaps of all time. The Dufour Grande Sonnerie, in white gold, with a sapphire crystal dial.

In this configuration, a piece unique. Beyond words, which become superflous. But allow me to try and express my joy of being sble to photograph and handle this legendary piece. The sound of the repeating mechanism is also supremely beautiful.

The sapphire dial allows the striking mechanism to be viewed from the dial side. The finish is ne plus ultra, the best of the best.

Truly classical Valee de Joux style. Beautiful. Breathtaking.

Only 9 Grande Sonneries were ever made, and only one in white gold with the sapphire dial. The watch has now found its home in a private collection in Singapore.

Tuesday, October 8, 2013

Grandmasters of watchmaking: Roger Smith

Then comes the modest Englishman. A devout follower of the late great George Daniels, Roger Smith is committed to make the entire watch, by hand, just as they did a hundred or more years ago.

Rather elusive, as he is domicile in Isle of Man, but an effable gentleman.

As he knew I had a cycling habit, he told me that he too recently bought a bicycle...a Brompton with 6 speeds, to just tool around the island. I asked if he knew one of the world's most famous sprinters Mark Cavendish, and he quietly remarked that he has seen the Manz Missile riding in the island a couple of times.

A wrist shot with the Roger Smith Series II

But all the Series II watches were for clients, so Roger himself did not have one...what did he wear? An old Omega Chronograph...quite beautiful too, I must say.

A little cheeky, but I cannot resist this juxtaposition...

Friday, October 4, 2013

Grandmasters of Watchmaking: Portrait of Kari Voutilainen

Continuing on the series on Watchmaking Grandmasters, today I feature the enigmatic Kari Voutilainen.

Kari has a keen eye and a wicked, wry sense of humour. In other words, a barrel of fun. Seen here enjoying a joke with Philippe Dufour.

Seconds later...posing for the camera

A formal portrait pose...

For Tues, I will feature portraits of Roger Smith. Once the apprentice extraordinaire to George Daniels, now a Grandmaster in his own right.

Tuesday, October 1, 2013

C3H5N3O9: Nitro Glycerine - The Watch

C3H5N3O9: what a curious name for a watch brand. The chemist amongst us will recognise this as formula fo Tri Nitro Glycerine...or dynamite. A horological experiment born out of the wickedly curious minds of Max Bussier, Felix Baumgartner and Martin Frei, this playful, whimsical and immensely interesting watch is based on the principle of the Wenkel engine.

I won't provide any technical information as Nitro's own website describes it very well.

I took the opportunity to photograph the special and final delivery of the watch...a Hour Glass special, in black. Limited edition of only 12 pieces, exclusive to The Hour Glass.

Rather comfortable, on my wrist. The watch is an interpretation of the Urwerk satelite system.

The dial is rather special, with the Wenkel engine's curved triangle taking pride of place and used as a pointer to the time. Called, Reuleaux polygons, the red tip of the larger, lower triangle points to the hour indicater. Minutes are indicated by the upper and smaller triangle.

Beautiful and magnificent. The raw engineering look and feel of the watch really reminds one of the engine.