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Only Watch USA Previews Just Days Away

Only Watch 2011

The U.S. previews of the unique pieces to be auctioned at Only Watch in Monaco later this month will take place from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. on Friday, September 9 at Westime Beverly Hills in Los Angeles, and during the same hours on Monday, September 12 at Antiquorum Auctioneers at 595 Madison Ave. in New York City. Find helpful links inside.

The Only Watch auction will take place on Friday, September 23 at 4 p.m. in the Salle Belle Epoque of the Hermitage Hotel. Attending will be H.S.H. Prince Albert II of Monaco, who has supported the event since its creation.

Forty of the world’s leading luxury wristwatch manufacturers are donating unique and one-of-a-kind timepieces for the event, and 100% of the proceeds will be donated to combat Duchenne Muscular Dystrophy. The auction will be conducted by Antiquorum. Here are some helpful links:

View the virtual catalog (requires Flash)

View the online catalog

Register to bid online

Learn more about Only Watch

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Alpina and Cessna Hold Collaboration Event

Alpina-Cessna Event

To celebrate their collaboration, Alpina and Cessna recently held an event at Cessna Aircraft’s headquarters in Wichita, Kansas. Selected VIP customers attended a presentation and viewed over 30 airplanes in different stages of production. Following the presentation, several Cessna planes were inspected in the main showroom, including a brand new Cessna Citation Mustang.

Alpina joined forces with Cessna Aircraft and PrivatAir to support the introduction of Alpina’s Startimer Pilot collection. Featured at the event was the Alpina Startimer Automatic with in-house developed and produced automatic caliber AL-710 with minute and hour indication and off-center date hand, combining historic pilot watch design features with a modern layout.

“We both rely on precision, hand-crafted products to please our customers,” said Alpina Managing Director Peter Stas. “Since Cessna and Alpina are essentially talking to the same people, cooperating through events like this benefit both companies.”

These images from the event may be enlarged with a click.

Alpina-Cessna Event

Alpina-Cessna Event

Alpina-Cessna Event

Alpina-Cessna Startimer Set

Alpina-Cessna Event

Alpina-Cessna Event

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Frédérique Constant Manufacture Tourbillon Grand Feu

Frédérique Constant Tourbillon

Frédérique Constant has long been known for producing quality timepieces at reasonable prices. Now the brand is stepping into the big leagues with a limited edition tourbillon with a technically-advanced manufacture movement and a grand feu enamel dial in a rose gold case, priced at less than you might think. Find complete specs, wallpaper and pricing inside.

Enameling is an ancient technique where finely powdered colored glass is applied to a metal plate. The metal plate with the glass powder is then baked in an oven hot enough to melt the glass. This enameling process produces a beautiful deep, shiny surface. Only few of the plates will survive the 900+ degree Celsius fire and produce an even surface. The slightest imperfection in the mixed powder or the supporting metal plate, or even a speck of dust will ruin the dial. That’s why today, genuine enamel dials are made by only a handful of companies.

Beneath the finely-crafted dial lies the Caliber FC-980 one-minute tourbillon. Based on its Heart Beat manufacture caliber, Frédérique Constant developed its tourbillon in-house with some unique features:

- Silicium (or Silicon) escape wheel and lever
- Smart Weight Balancing system
- Fast oscillation – 28’800 vph

Silicium (or Silicon) Escape Wheel

The Silicium escape wheel and lever have the following three main advantages:

1. The escapement runs without need for lubrication, avoiding problems caused by age-related thinning and drying of oil, and there is no risk of lubrication spreading to other parts of the movement.
2. The escape wheel is very light, and so offers low inertia. As it is accelerated and stopped at each tick and tock of the watch, it runs with greater efficiency.
3. Lower friction reduces loss of energy, so the caliber’s energy requirements are lower.

Given these advantages, the Frédérique Constant escape wheel has an amplitude of over 300 degrees in dial-up and dial-down positions. Even in the crown-down position, the amplitude is over 275 degrees, which is excellent performance.

Smart Weight Balancing

The Frédérique Constant tourbillon cage consists of 80 individual parts. Each part is produced to a tolerance of 1-2 micron, or .001 to .002 mm. Many of the parts are produced on Frédérique Constant’s ultra-precise CNC machines in Plan-les-Ouates. These custom-made CNC machines have a tolerance of 1 micron on the X and Y axes and 2 microns on the Z axis. Even with this level of precision, it is impossible to achieve perfectly equal distribution of weight in the individual parts, yet for a tourbillon to run accurately, an equal distribution of weight is essential. Frédérique Constant solved this problem with its patented “Smart Screw” system on the outer edge of the tourbillon cage. At first, the cage is constructed with a slight over-weight opposite the Smart Screw system on the main cage wheel. Thereafter, a skilled watchmaker balances the weight into the center of the tourbillon cage by adding or exchanging tiny metal rings under the two screws on the main cage wheel. Typically, 8 hours are required for a watchmaker to adjust the tiny rings and balance the weight perfectly for the entire tourbillon cage.

Fast Oscillation

The Frédérique Constant tourbillon runs at 4 Hertz or 28,800 vph. Most competing tourbillons run at 3 Hertz. The higher rate enables higher timekeeping accuracy. The higher oscillation also makes the caliber less susceptible to gyration effects.

The Frédérique Constant Manufacture Tourbillon Grand Feu will be produced in a limited edition of 188 pieces, priced at $46,500 in the U.S. The edition number of each piece is engraved on both the tourbillon top plate and the case.

The images below may be enlarged with a click.

Frédérique Constant Tourbillon

Frédérique Constant Tourbillon

Frédérique Constant Tourbillon

Frédérique Constant Tourbillon

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Ulysse Nardin Aquires Dial Enameler Donzé Cadrans

Ulysse Nardin Aquires Donzé Cadrans

After many years at the helm of Donzé Cadrans, Francine and Michel Vermot have decided to retire, selling their 100 percent stake to Ulysse Nardin. UN says this move will secure the long-term future of the business and its know-how, placing it in the hands of the company which renewed interest in the art of enameling in the eighties and has played a major role in the growth of Donzé Cadrans.

Perhaps no other luxury watch brand creates as many varied enamel dials as Ulysse Nardin. Mention enamel dials, and many collectors will think first of San Marco Chronometers with deep blue dials, or with dials honoring great sailing ships.

Ulysse Nardin Chief Executive Officer Patrik Hoffmann noted: “The acquisition of Donzé Cadrans maintains our strategy of continuity and vertical production, while reflecting our heritage and tradition of our Manufacture.”

The acquisition will provide Ulysse Nardin with additional cloisonné and grand-feu enamel expertise. Click here to learn more about Ulysse Nardin and enamel.

Ulysse Nardin Enamel

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Carl F. Bucherer Manero BigDate Power

Manero BigDate Power

Carl F. Bucherer’s new three-hand Manero BigDate Power is driven by the CFB 1964 automatic movement and has has two functions. At 6 o’clock is a power reserve indication that extends in a gentle curve between the 5 o’clock and 8 o’clock indexes. The big date is displayed in a frame at 12 o’clock. Find pricing inside.

The 40mm round case is available in stainless steel or 18k rose gold, on bracelet or strap, and with or without diamonds. The Dauphine hands are a first for a Manero timepiece.

The stainless steel ranges from $5,800 on strap to $6,400 on a bracelet. Rose gold ranges from $16,600 on strap to $33,800 on a bracelet. The diamond versions are $23,600 in rose gold on a strap and $40,700 in rose gold on a bracelet.

Manero BigDate Power

Manero BigDate Power

Manero BigDate Power

Manero BigDate Power

Manero BigDate Power

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Geneva Time Exhibition Moves to New Venue for 2012

GTE 2012

Under its new banner “The Art of Making Time”, the 2012 Geneva Time Exhibition will offer a new visual identity and a new concept from its new home at Geneva’s Espace Hippomène. The show runs Sunday January 15 through Friday January 20, 2012, the same week as the SIHH. Find images and a map for the new location inside.

Images of the GTE’s new home at Espace Hippomène.
GTE 2012

GTE 2012

GTE 2012

GTE 2012

How to get there…
GTE 2012 Map

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Jaeger-LeCoultre Grande Reverso Email

Reverso Email

In this Year of the Reverso, Jaeger-LeCoultre’s cult model is being produced with a brilliant blue enamel dial in a limited series of 50 pieces. The instantly-recognizable Grand Reverso case houses a manually-wound Jaeger-LeCoultre Calibre 822. The time is displayed on one side, with the second left free for personalization.

Additional information appears below the image, which may be enlarged with a click.

Reverso Email

Movement

- Mechanical manually-wound movement, Jaeger-LeCoultre Calibre 822, crafted, assembled and decorated by hand.
- “1000 Hours Control”
- 21,600 vibrations per hour
- 21 jewels
- thickness: 2.94 mm
- 134 parts
- 45-hour power reserve

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