While 2015 also sees new watches with tourbillons or multiple tourbillons from Roger Dubuis, the most exciting news, in my opinion, is the release of the brand new Roger Dubuis produced caliber RD820SQ automatic movement. Produced in the canton of Geneva, it bears the Geneva Seal, and is fully modern yet minimalist and cool looking automatic mechanism. Operating at 4Hz (28,000 bph), the single barrel offers about 60 hours of power reserve and features a self-winding automatic micro-rotor. The rotor also happens to have its own semi-skeletonization design. This is the first time Roger Dubuis has produced an automatic version of their distinctive skeletonized movements.
Artur Akmaev’s timepieces will run you around 00, however, since these are custom, one-of-a-kind pieces, prices will vary depending on complexity and desired amount of detail. This includes a Swiss ETA movement with plating, steel case, sapphire crystal, leather strap, and of course hand engraving work by Artur Akmaev. For those with inquiries or interest in a custom piece of their own, feel free to contact him directly via his email.
Three new ladies watches, one in blue, one in red, and one in black/gray felt are defined by their smaller size – the cases measure 32.7mm at their widest point. The quartz calibre J643-29 has a date display and luminous dial markings and hands. The gents version of this watch uses the slightly larger calibre J645.33 so it fits more snugly in the 38mm case. The male edition is effectively identical in design but for its engorgement, and more muted and traditional colorway of white dial and beige strap.
So what’s so special about the TAG Heuer Monaco V4 Phantom? We are glad you asked. You see, the carbon fiber used in the TAG Heuer Monaco V4 Phantom is a special kind called Carbon Matrix Composite (CMC), and not only is the case made out of this new material, but the seven bridges of its movement are made using CMC too. CMC is formed using a special technique where carbon fibers are placed in a certain direction in the mould and micro-blasted to give it an orderly elegant look that TAG Heuer calls “matte black vertical brushed.” This is obvious if one looks closely at the movement bridges that form the dial. The choice of material is not just for looks; by using carbon fiber for all the main components, the TAG Heuer Monaco V4 Phantom is also light. Furthermore, the extensive use of carbon fiber also encapsulates the essence of this watch very nicely as it was inspired by motor-racing and engines.
With the tremendous number of new timepieces we are presented with at our annual pilgrimage to SIHH, it is inevitable that we will miss getting information on some of them to our readers in a timely manner. In this case, over a year has passed since we were first introduced to the Van Cleef & Arpels Heure d’Ici & Heure d’Ailleurs, a fact we were reminded of when we saw it again while visiting with VC&A in Geneva.
Keep up with our pre-, post-, and live Baselworld 2015 coverage here.
ABTW: What drew you to these particular watches?
Baselworld 2015 sees the release of the De Bethune DBS Tourbillon, a futuristic homage to the brand's recent past. The De Bethune DBS Tourbillon's raison d’etre is to celebrate the 10-year anniversary of the De Bethune DBS, and to simultaneously showcase how far this ambitious company has come in the last decade. Founded in 2002, the manufacture has created a recognizable brand aesthetic that counts distinctive size, astute visual consistency, and surprisingly unusual color schemes amongst its most eye-catching traits. By adding a tourbillon to the De Bethune DBS model, De Bethune is updating one of its more iconic pieces for their avid fans.
ABTW: That is a great family tie-in to watches, especially for someone who is not a watch maker. Did your grandfather have any hand in what became your first grail?
Just three more days to enter for a chance to win a Traser Classic Automatic Master Watch this month on aBlogtoWatch. For your chance to win, please visit the Traser Classic Automatic Master watch giveaway page here.
As the strategic head of the watch division of LVMH, Mr. Biver enjoyed a pretty interesting job having no official office or even title – which actually meant he still spent a lot of time doing Hublot things. Part of his mandate was to help TAG Heuer - which was originally purchased for its heritage and rapport with younger consumers. TAG Heuer, however, for a series of reasons, started to abandon its strong position as an entry-level Swiss luxury brand and kept creeping up in price. That turned out to be pretty bad for business in the long term, and it was decided that TAG Heuer needed to “return to its roots.”
An example I often give is how a product's quality tends to go up as the price goes up, but as you get closer and closer to "perfection," each graduation of quality costs more. The difference in quality from a 0 to 0 watch should be appreciable in most instances. The difference in quality from a 0 to ,000 should be similarly appreciable, but comes at a greater cost. To go higher up in quality, you might then need to go to ,000 and then to ,000 and then to ,000. As the price of items goes up, it takes more and more investment to get to the next step.
At 50mm wide and 25mm thick, the Jacob & Co. Astronomia Tourbillon case is produced from 18k rose gold with very nicely AR-coated sapphire crystal all over it. While not everyone might “get” the Jacob & Co. Astronomia, you can tell that the design was well curated. To operate the watch or wind it, there are two fold out “keys” on the caseback. And as big as the Jacob & Co. Astronomia Tourbillon is on the wrist, it is surprisingly comfortable to wear. That is, until you accidentally hit it against a wall or table.
In 1983, Jim Genone created Jewelry Atelier in world famous Carmel-By-The Sea, California. In the ensuing years, the location, name, and ownership have changed, but this remains a family owned and operated business which has been in its current incarnation since 2010. However, they have been selling watches for over 10 years and have a special affection for interesting smaller brands. We spoke with co-owner Ryan Genone whose father was the founder of Jewelry Atelier.
Speaking of watch design awards, the Red Dot organization apparently has created a new category (# 16) exclusively for watches. The Red Dot award is no stranger to the watch industry as it has awarded a lot of timepieces awards in the past - but it looks like watches finally get their own category in the area of Red Dot product design awards. What else is a winner in the Red Dot watch design awards this year? I'll just list off a few starting with the only other smartwatch watch, the Sony SmartWatch3. Maurice Lacroix got one for both the Pontos Date and Pontos S Supercharged watches. Armin Strom's beautiful Skeleton Pure Water received an award, and MB&F actually received another one for their HM5 CarbonMacrolon.
I am not going to claim that the Urwerk UR-1001 Titan strap is particularly elegant or pretty. It does what it is meant to do and keeps the Urwerk Zeit Device as safe and comfortable as possible on your wrist, but it doesn't match the curated modern elegance of most Urwerk timepieces. The thick "double" strap attaches to the metal clamp which tightly holds the pocket watch in place and further prevents it from sliding down your wrist to bother your hand.
Inside the Arnold & Son CTB Chronograph is the in-house made caliber A&S7103 automatic movement. The automatic rotor spins on ceramic ball bearings and it has a power reserve of about 50 hours, operating at 4Hz (28,800). The movement is further slightly dark gray in its finishing, which is attractive. Arnold & Son still lacks some of the extremely fine hand-finished look of some of its competitors, instead offering movements that are a bit more machine-decorated in look. But there is still a lot of hand finishing and, of course, assembly.
If you are interested in the Breitling B55 Connected, I strongly encourage you to read my previous article (linked to above) on the Cockpit B50 to understand more about the watch, such as how you can tilt your wrist to activate the backlight. Not a new function in the scheme of watches, but we do all applaud when the Swiss catch up (and often do it better... and for more money). I more-or-less see the Breitling B55 Connected as the ultimate G-Shock, and in a sense, it is.
The ROCS is a mechanical system that converts the the capabilities of a traditional watch movement into what we see on the dial of the Ressence Type 3, all without a physical connection to the movement itself. As a whole, the new Ressence Type 3 uses the ROCS3.2, a 4 Hertz automatic movement with 36 hours of power reserve, 77 jewels, 44 gears and 347 components.
An important thing to note is that no matter how the base caliber is modified, the mounting points remain the same, meaning that the brands need not redesign their cases (being designed to be thick enough for the different complications) when fitting a different movement: the hand-wound, the automatic, the chronograph, and all other versions are secured to the case at the same mounting points, which can be a major cost saver, given that a larger quantity of the same case can be manufactured, as opposed to different ones to house the variations of movements.