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Archive for August 2010

New Admission Deadline for the Paul Picot Contest – Homage to Helmut Newton

 

Paul Picot’s international photo contest launched in June of this year, which united photography enthusiasts around the work of renowned artist Helmut Newton, has been a great success. Therefore the factory has decided to extend the deadlines of the contest “Homage to Helmut Newton” until November 10, 2010.

In addition to extending the deadline, the company has decided to increase the number of winning artworks. The top eight winning artists will be awarded a Paul Picot watch.

A major challenge
For participants, fans of photography, art and creation, the challenge is high. The aim is to reinterpret an artwork of the great photographer, but not to stray from his universe. Sometimes sensual, vulgar or provocative, the artist favored interiors and natural settings and did not hide his penchant for unattainable, opulence and power. This contest will require performance, audacity, inventiveness, but also attention to detail to meet the challenge of Paul Picot.

A philosophy of detail
This is the philosophy that Paul Picot has consistently cultivated over the years. In terms of design, aesthetic and art, Paul Picot performs brilliantly the philosophy of Noblesse du Detail in the utmost respect of watchmaking tradition. The manufacturer is delighted with the interest generated by this competition and the subtlety of received artworks.

For more information on registration, rules, prizes and more, you can visit the Paul Picot website (link below).

Paul Picot Website

Written by kevin

August 31, 2010 at 1:57 am

Piaget Possession

This year the Piaget “Possession” collection turns 20 and to celebrate, Piaget reinterprets its Possession watch. The 18-carat white gold watch is set with 37 brilliant-cut diamonds (approx 0.9 ct) and features an interchangeable satin strap.


Written by kevin

August 31, 2010 at 1:54 am

Posted in Fashion, Luxury Fashion, New Model

Tagged with ,

Jaeger-LeCoultre at the 67th Venice International Film Festival

In 2010 Jaeger-LeCoultre celebrates six consecutive years of partnership with the Venice International Film Festival, famously known as “Mostra”. During the public event from 1 September to 11 September, 2010, Jaeger-LeCoultre will unveil a dream cast of four creations – each Haute Joaillerie model sets the stage for a particular kind of handcrafted expertise.

This year’s Haute Joaillerie models tell the tale of an enchanting time in which watchmaking magic is expressed through the decorative arts: feathers, plumes, mother-of-pearl, precious metals, stones and ceramic are some of the unique materials used by the Manufacture.

 
Master Tourbillon Wild with peacock & guinea fowl plumes

Master Tourbillon Wild

The Art Deco lines of this exceptional model translate Jaeger-LeCoultre‘s innate boldness and its creative exuberance. The tourbillon springs to life at 6 o’clock against the fan-like backdrop composed of diamonds, mother-of-pearl, genuine peacock feathers and Nimida Méléagris (Helmeted guinea fowl). These noble and precious materials create a blend of textures and shades composing a splendid stylised marquetry-work motif composed of straight lines that make a striking contrast with the softly rounded case. Sculpted in white or pink gold, the latter has been given a facelift and exquisitely set with diamonds around its middle. The lugs adopt a feminine silhouette, the gem-set bezel a sloping profile and the crown a new design featuring a cabochon-cut diamond. The result is an artistic treasure in which every detail pays vibrant tribute to the talent of the artisans within the Manufacture. Like a stage director, Jaeger-LeCoultre Calibre 978 works in the background to drive its automatic tourbillon with the peerless degree of mechanical perfection that has shaped the finest hours of the Grande Maison. 

 
Reverso Squadra Art

Reverso Squadra Art

A firework display of diamonds and brightly coloured sapphires adorns the Reverso Squadra Art in sparkling radiance. The snow setting arranged in graded shades of colour verges on the sublime. This technique invented by Jaeger-LeCoultre calls upon the full measure of the jeweller’s dexterity in order to achieve the peerlessly voluptuous frosted effect. 

 
Reverso Squadra Art, reverse

Using a broad palette of individually cut and adjusted precious stones, the artisan nestles them against each other, playing with colours and diameters as he patiently sees his work entirely conceal the white gold of the case and dial. The complexity of the task is further accentuated by the extreme quest for harmony in the gem-setting, whatever the position of the watch – whether front or back. Finally, this extraordinary setting is matched by an equally exceptional mechanism, since beneath the shimmering gemstone carpet beats Jaeger-LeCoultre Calibre 822. 

 
Reverso Grande Neva

Reverso Grande Neva

The majestic Reverso Grande Neva weaves a glittering path lit up by diamonds. The alternating metal and gemstone pattern instils a sense of movement that takes hold of time and serves as an eloquent reminder of its infinitely precious nature. The waves of gem-set motifs wind their way over the reversible watch: on the front, tiny diamond droplets are sprinkled across the mirror-polished dial; while snow-setting pours over the dial and sketches out a river meandering between the white gold lines. 

 
Reverso Grande Neva, reverse

The pristine gems in diameters ranging from 0.5 mm to 1.6 mm coil gently around the case, epitomising the fine art of miniaturisation. The diamond-pavé crown set with a cabochon-cut diamond leads to the mechanical heart of this creation, Jaeger-LeCoultre Calibre 822, a movement entirely crafted and decorated by hand.

Master Compressor Diving Tourbillon Céramique [photo not yet unveiled]

The clarity of diamonds meets the intensity of black ceramics; a feminine silhouette rubs shoulders with a resolutely sporty appearance; and a sophisticated horological complication partners a refined jewellery design. Jaeger-leCoultre reinvents the ladies’ diving watch by daring to play on paradoxes. This stunning timepiece counts off the hours with equal measures of strength, elegance and femininity. The case opts for the high-tech look of black ceramics, sublimated by hand polishing and nobly underscoring its generous proportions and its contemporary contours. Meanwhile, the white gold bezel is enhanced by the classic refinement of baguette-cut diamonds. The black guilloché dial also creates contrasts with its centre entirely paved with brilliant-cut diamonds lighting up the most moving of all horological complications. The throbbing heart of this creation is the Jaeger- LeCoultre Calibre 978 automatic tourbillon movement dancing in perfect time with the to- and-fro motion of its gold oscillating weight.

Written by kevin

August 31, 2010 at 1:51 am

The “Spiralists” – Hairspring Production at A. Lange & Söhne

 

Tiny. Vital. The Balance Spring 

 

It weights slightly more than two milligrams. It is smaller than a thumbtack head and thinner than a human hair. And it is the pulsating heart of every wristwatch: the balance spring, or hairspring as it is also called. Perhaps only half a dozen watch companies in the whole world make them in-house. And A. Lange & Söhne is one of these chosen few.

Since 2003, the venerable Saxon manufactory has endowed a growing number of movements with its proprietary balance springs. Meanwhile, they oscillate in one out of two Lange movements.

Since the DOUBLE SPLIT, a spectacular double-rattrapante chronograph, was launched seven years ago, Lange has steadily increased the number of manufacture calibres with its proprietary hairsprings. At this year’s SIHH alone, the Saxons presented five new models with springs developed and manufactured in-house. So now, half of the 24 current Lange calibres are equipped with them. 

 

Lange’s balance spring manufacturing capability is based on an ingenious and elaborate system that Günter Blümlein began to develop in the 1990s. After all, hairsprings are part of the Lange heritage: the metal alloy still ubiquitously used today dates back to 1930 and to Richard Lange, Ferdinand A. Lange’s eldest son. The scientist in the family was the first to discover that the admixture of beryllium in steel-nickel alloys decisively improved their elasticity and thermal resistance.

Even today, the development and production of reliable balance springs is associated with nearly insurmountable technical obstacles. The slightest deviations from specified manufacturing tolerances or sequences in the multi-stage production process would have serious consequences with respect to the rate accuracy of the watch. This is why most watchmaking companies don’t even consider getting involved in such an intricate undertaking. 

 

The first difficulties are already encountered at the first stage during which the wire, made of a steel-nickel alloy, is drawn. Several times in succession, it is pulled through progressively smaller diamond dies until it has attained its final diameter of down to 0.05 millimetres. Then, between two extremely hard metal cylinders, it is rolled to a strip with a cross section measuring 0.018 by 0.09 millimetres. Uncompromising precision is absolutely crucial. This is because in the assembled watch, a deviation of just one ten-thousandth of a millimetre can cause a rate difference of about three minutes. The special rollers used by Lange are ground in the in-house toolmaking department. No outside supplier would be capable of delivering rolls to the required tolerances.

The next step involves measuring the strip after it has been rolled. A laser inside the roll mill measures the width, but it still lacks the precision to dependably measure the thickness of the strip. For this purpose, a defined section of strip has to be weighed. Then, using a special formula, the thickness can be determined with sufficient accuracy.

The rolled strip is now precisely cut into pieces of identical length. Three, four, or five of these pieces are pedantically coiled around each other by hand. This is how the hairsprings are ultimately formed. Up to 40 of these coiled packs are stacked in a metal ring. In a vacuum furnace, they are subject to a stabilising heat treatment at a temperature of several hundred degrees Celsius. The permissible temperature deviation during this phase is less than one degree. After the hairsprings are separated, collets are laser-welded to their inner ends. Finally, the hairsprings are cut to the desired number of windings. Now, they are ready to be connected to the balance.

But first, they have to be classified to assure that the balance spring and the balance truly constitute a harmonious pair. This is done with a method that accurately measures the moment of elasticity of the hairspring and assigns it to one of 20 classes. Then, the hairspring can be paired with a balance that has precisely the right moment of inertia. This eliminates pairings that would cause excessive rate deviations.

The process of bending the terminal curve calls for extreme sensitivity. It is decisive for the regularity of the hairspring’s oscillation behaviour. This applies in particular to the so-called “Breguet overcoil” for which the outer end of the spring is bent upwards and then folded inward on a second plane above the spring. For this critical procedure, which allows only one try, an experienced watchmaker spends about two to three hours. But if he succeeds, the balance spring will “breathe” about 200 million times a year with impeccable uniformity.

Lange’s technological know-how and in-depth experience in the domain of oscillation systems is in no way limited to the production of balance springs, by the way. Special springs like those that re-tension the constant-force escapements of the LANGE 31 and the LANGE ZEITWERK are also crafted in-house. And the balance wheels with eccentric poising weights, perfectly matched in their characteristics to Lange hairsprings, are produced on-site as well. Meanwhile, this lightweight and precisely adjustable system has been deployed in seven calibres. Thanks to the interaction of these two components, Lange watches are adjustable to a rate accuracy that is second to none. This achievement reflects a horological understanding with an ultimate goal that can be expressed in one word: precision.

Written by kevin

August 31, 2010 at 1:45 am

Kobold Phantom Black Ops Chronograph

 

American Stealth

Almost ten years after introducing the original Phantom Tactical Chronograph, Kobold is releasing the Phantom Black Ops.

The watch was designed with the help of U.S. Navy SEALs. It is assembled and tested in Kobold’s facilities in Pittsburgh. It features a stainless steel case entirely made in the USA (hence the display of the city and state of origin on its dial). The surgical-grade stainless steel case is DLC-coated and matte black in appearance (as is the bracelet). 

 

On the dial, the subdials and day/date display stand in reduced contrast to the main time display, making the Phantom black Ops the most legible chronograph Kobold has produced in its 12 year history.

Movement is the Swiss automatic ETA caliber Valjoux 7750 with 25 jewels, 28,800 vph and a power reserve of 40 hours. It is adjusted to five positions.

Written by kevin

August 31, 2010 at 1:38 am

Jaeger-LeCoultre Devotes Book to Extreme Watches

“Everything always begins with an adventure. The desire to discover, to overcome, to attain. How about setting off for a far-distant destination?… Wouldn’t it be great to climb right to the top of that mountain?… Why not descend to the very depths of the ocean?… But adventure is not only about geography or sportsmanship. It can also be about inventing something truly novel, about creating, imagining, innovating. This book is dedicated to all adventurers, explorers and other conquerors of the impossible. It tells the story of challenges, efforts and triumphs. It also tells of a key element in many such feats: time.”

Jérôme Lambert, CEO, Jaeger-LeCoultre

Jaeger-LeCoultre has decided to bring together all these adventures, these heroes and these exceptional watches within a book based on an original concept. Page after page, readers are immersed into the heart of the various feats depicted and described, as well as into the core of the revolutionary mechanisms that have been making their mark on watchmaking history for over 170 years.

When the Nautilus submarine was first commissioned to slip under the ice pack in order to be the first to reach the North Pole in submerged mode, Jaeger-LeCoultre developed the Geophysic chronometer, equipped with a case impervious to magnetic fields.

When scuba diving became a leisure sport, Jaeger-LeCoultre invented the Memovox Deep Sea, the world’s first diver’s watch equipped with an alarm.

When Emannuel Coindre set out to row solo across the North Pacific, he was wearing a Jaeger-LeCoultre Master Compressor Extreme World Chronograph.

When Valentino Rossi, the most gifted motorcycle racer of all time, hits the track, he does it with a Master Compressor Extreme W-Alarm on his wrist.

When Jaeger-LeCoultre checks the water resistance of the Master Compressor Diving GMT, the test takes place in real-life conditions at a depth of 1,000 meters.

When Aston Martin racing drivers take part in the Le Mans 24 Hours endurance race, they choose the AMVOX2 watch, the first pushpiece-free chronograph.

When three mountaineers wished to pay tribute to the most extreme watch ever developed and produced by Jaeger-LeCoultre, they took the Master Compressor Extreme LAB2 Tribute to Geophysic to the top of the world, in the Himalayas.

Jaeger-LeCoultre has chosen to present these feats, these adventures and these watches by providing a fascinating account of each in words and pictures. In this book infused with genuine passion, produced in cooperation with Stephan Ciejka, editor-in-chief of the Revue des Montres, watchmaking technology remains discreetly in the background in order to give pride of place to human beings, to dreams and to emotions.

Jaeger-LeCoultre, Extreme Watches for an Extreme World, is an exclusive book dedicated to all lovers of fine watchmaking.

Written by kevin

August 27, 2010 at 12:33 pm

Watch and Jewelry Auction For National Multiple Sclerosis Society

New York, NY- The National Multiple Sclerosis Society is thrilled to announce that they will be hosting an upcoming watch and jewelry auction to be held this coming October by Antiquorum Auctioneers. This first of a planned annual event will offer watch enthusiasts the unique opportunity to bid on magnificent timepieces while supporting the National Multiple Sclerosis Society in their movement towards a world free of multiple sclerosis (MS).

The Mission: MS Auction will take place on October 20th
at Antiquorum in New York City from 6pm to 8pm.

The auction will be an invitation only event which will take place on October 20th at Antiquorum Auctioneers, the world’s premier watch auctioneer, located at Madison Avenue in New York City. Antiquorum will be conducting the charity auction as well as donating their auction space for the MissionMS event.

Registration for bidding as well as the auction catalogue will be available at www.antiquorum.com as of October 1st, 2010. The auction will be conducted live at Antiquorum with real-time bidding on the internet at www.antiquorum.com. Exclusive watch and jewelry manufacturers such as Audemars Piguet, Cartier, Carrera Y Carrera and Hublot are just some of the many prestigious brands that have donated timepieces to this exceptional event.

“Antiquorum is extremely honored to conduct this unique charity auction benefitting The Multiple Sclerosis Society,” says Evan Zimmermann, President & CEO, Antiquorum. “This is an exceptional opportunity for people around the globe to acquire extraordinary timepieces from the world’s leading watch brands and simultaneously help to spread awareness and eliminate this debilitating disease. We are pleased to continue our efforts to contribute to charities and worthy causes worldwide.”

Hublot will be donating a piece unique Aerobang just for MissionMS “The 21st Century will be the Century of sharing,” notes Jean-Claude Biver, CEO of Hublot. “We will have to start sharing wealth, energy, the climate and finally will have to share planet earth. Therefore I believe that every company and every brand has to include and develop a policy or concept of sharing. We are proud today to donate this special watch for a very noble and valuable cause.”

The National MS Society‘s mission is to create a world free of MS, a chronic disease of the central nervous system characterized by changes in sensation, visual problems, weakness, depression, difficulties with coordination, balance and speech, impaired mobility and disability. This year’s event will impact and benefit all those living with multiple sclerosis. “We are so grateful to Mr. Duffell, MissionMS and Antiquorum for their enthusiasm, dedication and support for this event and our movement toward a world free of MS,” says Gina Murdoch, VP of Development for the National MS Society. “Funds raised through this auction will be used to support cutting-edge research conducted by the National MS Society as well as fund critical programs.”

“I greatly appreciate the support I have received from Antiquorum and the watch and jewelry companies in making donations for this event,” says Philip Duffell, Founder of Mission: MS. “With their help, I am sure it will be a great success.”

For more information on how to participate in this unique charity auction, please contact Michelle Halpern at 212-750-1103 or email mhalpern@antiquorum.com

ABOUT ANTIQUORUM
Established in Geneva in 1974, with the addition of its New York affiliate Antiquorum USA in 1994, Antiquorum, the world’s leading watch auctioneer, has carved its own unparalleled niche in the auction world by cultivating a thriving collector’s market for timepieces worldwide. An impressive 51 of the 85 watches sold publicly by major auction houses for over SFr. 1,000,000 were sold by Antiquorum. In 2002, Antiquorum set the all-time world record for a wristwatch at auction, selling a unique 1939 platinum Patek Philippe World Time Ref. 1415 for US$ 4,026,524 (SFr. 6,603,500) – more than double the previous world record. Another record price for a modern watch was achieved in 2004, the unique white gold Calibre 89, also by Patek Philippe, was sold for SFr. 6,603,500 (US$ 5,002,652). Among the world records in 2005, the “Tour de l’Ile”, at US$ 1,564,000 (SFr. 1,876,250), set a world record for a contemporary wristwatch and the “King Fouad I”, at US$ 2,755,000 (SFr. 3,306,250) achieved the highest price ever paid for a Vacheron Constantin. Another record was achieved in 2009, when Gandhi’s pocket watch, sandals, glasses, bowl and thali, sold for an astounding $2,096,000. In addition, in December 2009, a Patek Philippe Ref. 3974 sold for a world record price of $1,200,000. Antiquorum holds approximately ten auctions a year, in Geneva, New York, and Hong Kong, with previews held in major cities worldwide. In addition to its auction centers in Geneva, New York, and Hong Kong, Antiquorum maintains offices and agents in Paris, Milan, London, Munich, Shanghai, Tokyo, and Moscow.

ABOUT MISSION: MS
Mr. Phillip Duffell, who developed this event, is a 25 year veteran of the jewelry industry and manages an exclusive watch and jewelry store in midtown Manhattan. Philip was diagnosed with multiple sclerosis in 2007 and saw this event as a way to raise money and awareness for others affected by MS. He has created the MISSIONMS.org website and event to educate the public about multiple sclerosis.

ABOUT NATIONAL MULTIPLE SCLEROSIS SOCIETY
The National MS Society is a collective of passionate individuals who want to do something about MS now—to move together toward a world free of multiple sclerosis. MS stops people from moving. We exist to make sure it doesn’t. We help each person address the challenges of living with MS through our 50-state network of chapters. The Society helps people affected by MS by funding cutting-edge research, driving change through advocacy, facilitating professional education, and providing programs and services that help people with MS and their families move their lives forward. Early and ongoing treatment with an FDA-approved therapy can make a difference for people with multiple sclerosis. Learn about your options by talking to your health care professional and contacting the National MS Society at www.nationalMSsociety.org or 1-800-(344-4867). For more information, please call Gina Murdoch (732) 660-1005 x44316 or via e-mail at gina.murdoch@nmss.org.

Written by kevin

August 27, 2010 at 1:44 am