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Thursday, November 30, 2006

NASCAR's Top 10 Get Rewarded


Tissot rewards top 10 with T-Touch timepieces

WEEHAWKEN, N.J. -- Swiss watch brand Tissot, the Official Timekeeper and Watch for NASCAR, brought its sponsorship of NASCAR's Victory Lap to life on Wednesday at New York's Times Square by rewarding the top 10 Nextel Cup Series drivers each with a new T-Touch NASCAR Special Edition watch.

Jimmie Johnson, the Cup Series champion, alsoed receive a limited edition Tissot Heritage 150th Anniversary watch. The presentation was held at ESPN Zone as one of the highlights of the morning.

"We are excited to be timing victories for NASCAR and its fans in New York City during Champions Week," said Olivier Cosandier, U.S. Brand Manager, Tissot Swiss Watches. "The top 10 NASCAR Nextel Cup Series drivers and their respective teams embody precision, performance and dependability, all characteristics that parallel Tissot's heritage and DNA. We congratulate and wish them all the best of luck for a successful 2007 season."

The newly launched T-Touch NASCAR Special Edition provides fans with a timepiece that boasts innovative and proprietary technology. In addition to time and date, the T-Touch offers six touch-screen (tactile) functions, including: compass, temperature, chronograph, alarm, altimeter and barometer (meteo). The Gents Special Edition comes with a Swiss quartz movement, polished titanium case, scratch-resistant sapphire crystal, carbon dial, yellow rubber strap and engraved NASCAR logo on the case back. The ladies version boasts a white mother-of-pearl dial, yellow leather strap and engraved NASCAR logo on the case back. Retail price is $795 each.

Other elements of Tissot's campaign included sponsorship of the NASCAR Victory Lap breakfast for media and VIP guests at ESPN Zone. Tissot also aired its NASCAR "Timing Your Victories" commercial on the ABC jumbo-tron throughout the day.

Branded timekeeping scoring clocks have been placed at high-traffic pit stop points around midtown Manhattan for all of Champions Week. Tissot also will unveil a large billboard in Times Square featuring the new T-Touch NASCAR watch and will support the new product with 200 NY Transit buses that will showcase the new T-Touch NASCAR watch as well as advertisements in the New York Post and RaceWatch magazine.

Tissot will run a three-week promotion in conjunction with the brand's exhibit at Tourneau TimeMachine in midtown Manhattan, known as "the world's largest watch store." The exhibit will feature a life-size Tissot stock car, Tissot start/finish line images from various race tracks that the brand has deals with, along with featuring new watches, and other NASCAR-sponsor items. Prizes available include: stickers, T-shirts, hats, 2007 race tickets and Tissot watches.

The promotion will run through Dec. 15 at Tourneau TimeMachine, 12 East 57th St. in Manhattan. Synergy Events, an Ocean, N.J.-based sports marketing and events agency, has been retained by Tissot for this project. Synergy also works with NASCAR on the Victory Lap and Champions Week activation.

Source

Say it ain't so!

Report: Congress could reinstate luxury tax
November 30, 2006
Washington, D.C.—The newly elected Democratic Congress may reinstate the luxury taxes of the early 1990s, according to a report on tax issues commissioned by the American Watch Association.

In 1990, Congress implemented a luxury tax on jewelry, watches, boats, planes, furs and expensive automobiles. Legislators repealed most of the luxury taxes three years later, although the automobile luxury tax remained for 13 years, according to the report, conducted by Roderick A. DeArment of legal/lobbying firm Covington and Burling.

"Even though Congress learned by 1993 that luxury taxes did not collect as much money as predicted, and that it had a devastating effect on employment in several industries, the turnover in Congress allows bad ideas to resurface so a new group of Congressmen can learn the same lessons again," the report states.

The report urges the watch industry to stay vigilant and educate its new members about the affects of a luxury tax.

File under: I told you so

Source

Watch Review Girard Perregaux

The Swiss are famous for the ingenuity and elegance they bring to watch making. For over two centuries now, GIRARD-PERREGAUX has won renown for its many remarkable creations. From the research and development stage right through to the final adjustments made by their master watchmakers, the maker continues to enrich its heritage through its Haute Horlogerie collection. Following SIHH, they will launch PVD version of RD-01 chronograph next week. The watch was originally developed in cooperation with Laurent Picciotto of Chronopassion, Paris (All pieces will come with "Pour L.P." engraved on the back). 43 mm dial features a steel case with black PVD-coating, anti-reflection sapphire crystal and a see-through Sapphire crystal case back fastened with 6 screws.

The movement is powered with GP 033C0 mechanical with automatic winding. With vulcanized natural rubber strap and a steel PVD folding buckle as well as a power reserve of 46 hours, this limited edition of 250 pieces is the quintessence of the art of watch making. Carrying an equally impressive price tag of $9,000 (10,980CHF), it is not going to be sold exclusively through the GP boutiques but will be available through out Girard-Perregaux dealers, world wide.

Source


Wednesday, November 29, 2006

Expensive timepieces to make debut during Monsoon Cup

Expensive timepieces to make debut during Monsoon Cup

KUALA TERENGGANU: Timepieces sought by kings and millionaires will made their debut for this year's premier sailing event here, the Monsoon Cup.

The Monsoon Cup edition, designed by prominent European watchmaker Richard Mille, was for the first time exhibited during a press briefing session here on Tuesday.

Twenty of the special editions to be sold at RM140,000 each have been bought by the rich and famous.

Richard Mille’s timepieces are high-performance creations made of strong yet light material, able to withstand all kinds of vibrations.

Richard Mille Watches will be the official timekeeper of this year's Monsoon Cup.

The race is offering RM1mil in prize money, the highest in the world for such an event, that is being held at Heritage Bay Club in Pulau Duyong here.

The event is expected to draw some 15,000 spectators from abroad and locally.

Prime Minister Datuk Seri Abdullah Ahmad Badawi will present the prize to the winner this Sunday.

Among the celebrities expected is sliver screen diva Datuk Michelle Yeoh.

Source

Dazzling Gifts...


The New Twist On Time

$4,700

The Cartier Pasha watch has a long and admirable history. But recently, the jewelry house updated the classic and introduced the Cartier Pasha Seatimer. This watch has similar characteristics to the Pasha, but has added details like a bezel around the face to give it a sportier look.
For more, see http://www.cartier.com/.


It's that time of year again, and we don't mean time for bonuses--although they could certainly come in handy.

The gift purchasing rat race is on. Think long lines, overworked salespeople, irritating holiday music. It's enough to force the most well-intentioned gift giver to buy something--well, anything--just to get the whole process over with.

To make the process less painful, we've compiled a guide to some of the season's most coveted items--specifically, watches and jewelry. And while buying these kinds of goods in person can be very enjoyable indeed, everything on our list can be purchased online, should you want to shop from work, in the airport or while suffering a bout of insomnia.

Dazzling Gifts Of Jewelry And Watches
While it may seem ludicrous to drop up to $250,000 on a gift without ever seeing it in person, online shopping for luxury goods has become more popular. In a study done by the New York-based research firm the Luxury Institute, in which 1,000 households earning $10 million or more annually were asked about the last time they bought something on the Internet, 93% of respondents said they had shopped online within the last year--and those numbers are expected to rise.

"Purchasing high-end goods online has come of age," says Milton Pedrasa, chief executive of the Luxury Institute. "Customers have a comfort zone with brands they trust--they know the product and what they want, and there isn't that hesitation that used to exist a couple of years ago."

In addition to the "usual suspect" e-commerce sites like Blue Nile (nasdaq: NILE - news - people ) or eLuxury, there are a crop of smaller, luxury e-tailers that specifically cater to the busy schedules of affluent purchasers and their desire for individual attention. Ankur Daga, chief executive of Angara, created the online jeweler after seeing fellow Harvard Business School classmates struggle to purchase engagement rings.

"Everyone would search online, but then would want to swap out the box when it came down to the presentation," says Daga. "I realized there was need for a jewelry site that customers could use to help guide them through purchases, used Tiffany and Co. (nyse: TIF - news - people ) as the standard in terms of quality and also had the luxury branding."

With items ranging from $120 for pearl earrings up to $495,000 for a diamond necklace, the site features a section that offers advice on ten traditional jewelry items for women, including a pair of diamond stud earrings and a strand of pearls.

A section called "The Strong Box" houses the site's most expensive pieces, including the $225,000, heirloom-quality double strand of cultivated South Sea pearls in a golden hue. Daga will let customers come by the showroom to see pieces, but generally only if the purchase is over $20,000.

Other companies have Strong Box-quality gems available online. LEIBER's vintage-style green tourmaline cuff is a special purchase and retails at $43,350. For men, there's the Patek Phillipe Calatrava watch for $12,950 or the Cartier Pasha Seatimer for $4,700.

And, you can find unusual pieces of very high quality online. ChicSHERLOCK, an e-tailer specializing in rare and beautiful accessories, was founded by Alia Ahmed-Yahia, former accessories editor at Vanity Fair and Vitals Magazine. Ahmed-Yahia has used her expertise to create an experiential site.

"I noticed free-standing retailers were stocking their stores with items driven by what a specific demographic would want to purchase, and I wanted to do something different," she says. "I wanted the site to look editorial-driven and be a place where people in other parts of the country could get edgy and cool pieces."

Instead of acting as a broker between jeweler and customer, Ahmed-Yahia showcases lesser-known designers like Hanut Singh, Kara Ross and Cynthia Wolff, and gives personalized advice to customers through her national trunk shows.

"I like to think of myself as the market editor for the people," she says. The piece she most covets is a one-of-a-kind, chunky iolite and pink sapphire ring by Gioia ($9,950). Other one-of-a-kind items include a Diamond in the Rough necklace (starting at $27,000) and the incredibly intricate (although not one-off) Milus Eridana watch ($13,700).

Sometimes accessories and watches shirk tradition and go directly for the conversation factor. That is certainly the case with Karen Krach, whose inner circle platinum and ruby earrings ($2,095) were the centerpiece for the new film Deja Vu. Being friendly with the movie's costume designer came in handy when directors Tony Scott and Jerry Bruckheimer were looking to cast the earring that triggers memories.

If that's a little too recognizable for your taste, look to Piaget's Miss Protocole's XL Seasons watch ($62,000). It comes in four versions, incorporates diamonds and fancy colored gems, and is designed to reflect different seasons (cherry blossoms for spring, bamboo leaves for summer). For something a little sportier, the Rado Sintra Jubilee watch ($5,800) combines scratch-resistant high-tech ceramic with rows of diamonds. Think "best friend."

Slideshow


Source

Tuesday, November 28, 2006

Photos inside your watch??

The newest HourPower® Watches include an easy-open back for adding or changing photos in seconds, allowing anyone to quickly personalize his or her holiday gift with a special picture or sentimental message for loved ones. Simply lifting the bezel tab on these quality wristwatches opens the secret compartment to display a photo or meaningful message like a locket or pocket watch.

(PRWEB) November 28, 2006 -- The newest HourPower® Watches include an easy-open back for adding or changing photos in seconds, allowing anyone to quickly personalize his or her holiday gift with a special picture or sentimental message for loved ones. Simply lifting the bezel tab on these quality wristwatches opens the secret compartment to display a photo or meaningful message like a locket or pocket watch.

HourPower® Watches (www.hourpowerwatches.com) are intended for those seeking a unique, personalized holiday gift that will become a sentimental favorite. The newest HourPower® Watches include an easy-open back for adding or changing photos in seconds, allowing anyone to quickly personalize his or her holiday gift with a special picture or sentimental message for loved ones. Simply lifting the bezel tab on these quality wristwatches opens the secret compartment to display a photo or meaningful message like a locket or pocket watch. Additionally, HourPower offers custom engraving services for further personalization.

Personalized gifts are among the most popular presents, requiring thought and demonstrating to the recipient how much you care. For most gifts, "personalization" is limited to adding someone's name or initials. But as a picture is said to be worth a thousand words, HourPower Watches allow more expressive personalization by combining special pictures with heartfelt messages.

"This is the best gift my husband ever gave me. Every day, I look at the time. Then, I look inside my watch to read his words of love and the special picture of us together" states Janie Marx.

Now anyone can add his or her favorite photo to the HourPower wrist watch in just seconds (www.hourpowerwatches.com/how.html). In fact, the photo can be changed so quickly and easily, that HourPower Watches can be personalized for every season and every reason. Add that favorite picture to celebrate each holiday, anniversary, graduation, or to remember loved ones.

About HourPower® Watches
HourPower Watches is a five-year old company that manufactures patented timepieces that open to reveal a hidden chamber. Their first generation watches provide a uniquely portable repository for pictures, messages or discrete medical information.

As a full service watch company, HourPower provides their customers with exactly what they need--whether it is a small order as a gift, or a large corporate account requiring an engraved message inside. Customized bronze discs, beautiful cloisonné logos on the lift tab, and unique watch styles are a specialty of this company.

'We believe we have developed a new category of watch design that offers many possibilities to the customer. The chance to connect people to their memories, their work place, or any other personal goal in a meaningful way is a privilege that we take seriously. The versatility of our watches allows us to satisfy any unique and unusual request that our customers present", says Dr. Brenda Ellner, Co-President of HourPower Watches. She adds, "Now, watches do so much more than tell time, they give us something we all need so much--a special moment of love and positive connection throughout our busy day."

Source

Time Watch sees return to profit in FY07

Watch movement maker Time Watch Investments expects that for the financial year to June 2007 it will return to profit and targets an increase in revenue of at least 10-20%, the firm's CFO told Reuters.

Time Watch -- which makes watch movements for more than 700 brands including Switzerland's Swatch and Japan's Citizen -- was formed early this month after Hong Kong-based watch movement maker Winning Metal Products Manufacturing Co Ltd injected its assets into debt-ridden builder Wee Poh Holdings in a reverse takeover.

In the financial year ended June 2006, the Singapore-listed firm reported revenue of HK$721.7 million (RM337.9 million) and a net loss of HK$48.3 million, due to a goodwill charge arising from the reverse acquisition.

Time Watch expects much of its future growth will come from selling watches in the Middle East and Europe, as it hopes to break free from a competitive watch movement market and increase profits.

Currently, Time Watch generates 78% of its revenues from the watch movement market, with the rest coming from the sales of its own-brand watches -- Swiss-made "Balco" and Chinese-made "Tian Wang" -- that are sold only in China.

"Once we move into other markets, depending on the kind of sales target we set, it'll definitely be quite overwhelming in terms of turnover growth," Winnie Mok, the firm's chief financial officer, told Reuters in an interview on Nov 28.

She added that margins are pretty low in the competitive watch movement industry.

Mok said that while retail sales of its own-brand watches make up just 22% of sales, they generate about 80% of the firm's net profit.

Time Watch hopes to broaden its portfolio of brands "within the next year" and tap into the Middle East and European markets.

"We need to move into distribution in different markets like the Middle East and Europe, which would further enhance the growth as well," she said.

Time Watch's recent acquisition of majority stakes in two watch manufacturing firms -- Hong Kong-based East Base Limited and Swiss-based Tick Tack AG -- will give the firm distribution rights for five other brands, including Swiss Military and Etienne Aigner, Mok said. - Reuters

Source

Monday, November 27, 2006

A Watch of a different species....

Does this watch remind you of anything? It's called the O-ring Digi. Now does it remind you of anything?
I'm not sure if Philipe Starck, the guy who designed this watch for Fossil, was trying to make some sort of statement or something, but despite the childlike giggles it evokes it's still a pretty innovative timepiece. The hours, as you can see, are displayed in easy-to-read number form. The minutes are represented in segments that fill up the outside of the ring. The design combines the simplicity of a digital watch with the circular nature of analogue watches to an interesting effect.
Also, it's called the O-ring, which is pretty funny, right? In any case, you can get this O-ring on your wrist for $110, if that's what you're into. — Adam Frucci


Source

A Watch to look at from both sides....



Here are this specs for this cool looking Jaeger-LeCoultre Reverso Squadra World Chronograph that flips over to reveal 24 time zones.

Movement: self-winding mechanical movement, caliber 753, 28,800 vibrations an hour, 65-hour power reserve, 366 parts, 39 jewels, 7.57 mm high.

Functions: front: hours, minutes, small seconds, large date (linked to the first timezone), day/night indicator, chronograph. Back: universal time (Worldtime).

Dial: front: black, guilloche center, (specific) transferred figures.

Back: black, with the transferred names of the cities representing the 24 timezones in the centre. Hands: front: steel, with superluminova. Back: steel, with a matt part to differentiate day/night.

Crown: 1 crown to rewind the watch, and to reset the hours, minutes, large date and universal time (Worldtime) indicator, 2 push-buttons for the chronograph. Case: reversible, Squadra Large size in titanium comprising more than 50 parts, sapphire crystal, water resistance to 50 meters.

Straps: alligator leather with folding buckle in titanium or new rubber strap with hinged links.



Source

Saturday, November 25, 2006

Xezo Architect Watch

The simply elegant watch shown here is the latest in the architect series from Xezo. The watch is done is a limited series of 500 pieces and takes its design inspiration from the ruins of Erechtheion Temple on the Acropolis in Greece. The reverse columns on both sides of the case indicate one of the shrine's façades. The nine rectangular see-troughs are mean to resemble the moldings of the temple's porch. The watch has a Swiss-made ETA 956.412 Quartz movement with hour, minute, center second and date calendar functions. The dial is silver guilloché with blued steel hands and a stainless steel case. It sells for $479.

Source

Scorpion Watch


We've seen lots of manly watches lately but perhaps the Scorpion watch is the most unabashed testosterone-laden of the bunch. The new watch company is based in Denver, Colorado and founded by Brent Fedrizzi and Robert "Conrad" Blank. Their model is the Reef Diver, a hefty Swiss-made diving watch with a 43mm x 14mm case with 22mm lugs. The watch has an elapsed time bezel, sapphire crystal and a screw-down case back with a big scorpion on the back. The dial has Super Luminova markers and hands and a black wheel date. The watch sells for $799 and comes in a tough black foam-padded case that adds to the dude appeal.

[via Time Zone]

Source

Swatch Group Introduces $6,300 Luxury Watch in `Record Year'

Swatch Group Introduces $6,300 Luxury Watch in `Record Year'

By Hugo Miller

Nov. 24 (Bloomberg) -- Swatch Group has introduced a 7,700 Swiss-franc ($6,300) version of its Swatch brand timepiece as Chairman Nicolas Hayek said the world's biggest watchmaker must innovate to stay ahead of smaller rivals.

"This will be a record year but we have to keep managing this like a small business," Hayek, founder of Swatch Group, said last night in an appearance at the opening of a store in Geneva where the new Turning Gold model was unveiled.

Under the Swatch brand, better known for its $50 plastic watches, the company has begun selling a limited number of the new luxury model, which has a pink gold case and a tourbillon mechanism that helps defy the effects of gravity on a watch. The Biel, Switzerland-based company has introduced the gold watch as it looks for ways to lift profitability at the Swatch brand, where competition from low-cost producers in China is most intense.

Swiss watch exports rose 16 percent in October to a record as retailers stockpiled timepieces made by Swatch and rivals Cie. Financiere Richemont and Rolex in anticipation of Christmas spending by bankers and other wealthy clients in Asia and the U.S.

Goldman Sachs Group Inc., Morgan Stanley, Merrill Lynch & Co., Lehman Brothers Holdings Inc. and Bear Stearns Cos. are likely to reward employees with $36 billion of bonuses, an increase of 30 percent from last year, Bloomberg calculations show.

To contact the reporter on this story: Hugo Miller in Geneva on hugomiller@bloomberg.net .

Last Updated: November 24, 2006 03:47 EST

Source

Friday, November 24, 2006

Changing cases with the Parenthèses by Tellus

The new Parenthèses line by Tellus features a unique exchangeable watchcase made of five pieces. A sapphire glass on top, a cylindrical case body, two ‘brackets’ in stainless steel, and a full glass caseback. Wear it in stainless steel, change it to black chrome, solid gold, or simply add diamonds for a touch of elegance.


Parenthèses, meaning ‘brackets’ in French, is patented for its closing system: the water resistance of the watch is secured through pressure, which is applied by adjusting the brackets to the case body. This lateral pressure is converted to vertical pressure through the 45° angle at the edge of the lenses and inside the brackets.

The collection is available in 42 and 46 mm diameters, in stainless steel, black chrome plated and in gold. Straps are available in sand, navy blue, black, soil, bark pattern, galuchat and rubber. More designs, including materials such as ceramic and carbon fibre, will be coming out soon.

Tellus was established in 1942, in La Chaux De Fonds, Switzerland, by Albert Juillard. Historically, Tellus manufactured pocket and technical watches. The distribution of Tellus flourished to become a leading brand in the 1960’s in European countries such as Russia, Hungary and Romania as well as in Central America and the Caribbean. By the early 80’s, as the world’s watch market was turning towards Japanese brands, Tellus manufacturing gradually levelled off.

In 2005, Tellus made a ‘comeback’, launching a completely new collection of creative timepieces designed by Hovell Chenorhokian.

Source: Tellus

www.tellus-watches.com

Contact: info@tellus-watches.com
(Please credit europastar.com)

Keep your Watches safe!

Döttling Luxury Safes and Buben&Zörweg create a luxury watch safe

Döttling Luxury Safes has teamed up with the famous winding box and clock manufacturer, Buben&Zörweg, to create luxury watch safes with winding equipment for several automatic timepieces. Not only are the safes a practical and secure place to store a collection of watches, but they are also an antique piece of furniture. With safes from the art nouveau period to the Napoleon III and Wilhelminian style, there is something to suit most apartments and castles.


Döttling, established in 1919 and based in the town of Sindelfingen, Germany, restores and fortifies historical safes and gives them a new identity. The company has transformed old safes into handcrafted humidors, cocktail bars, jewellery cases and gun cabinets, to name but a few of the projects it has created for its clients. Döttling has outlets all over the world so if you are lucky enough to have a collection, or an old safe, find out more below.

Source: Europa Star

www.doettling-safes.com

Contact: markus.doettling@doettling-safes.com
(Please credit europastar.com)

Does Your Watch Keep Time with Fashion or Function?

Author: M J Plaster

If you haven't lived under a rock for the past few decades, then you surely know that Rolex stands for luxurious precision timekeeping, and you know that Timex is the premier name in inexpensive, reliable timekeeping. The vast area between the two, however, offers the widest selection of watches-in terms of function, fashion and price.

We're all creatures of habit, and if one watch has served us well for years, it's natural that we gravitate toward the same brand and design each time we purchase a new watch. If you'd like to adorn your wrist with a different type of watch, perhaps a Swiss-quartz or high-fashion watch, we offer you a cheat sheet below, to help you get up to speed quickly with the many offerings available today.

If you've always thought of a watch as a functional necessity, you might add a few fashionable watches to your collection of watches and bracelets. If you've always worn high-fashion watches, consider adding an elegant watch to your collection, perhaps one with a golden mesh band. Whatever your requirements for timekeeping and your sense of fashion, you'll find a watch to suit your needs.

Impress Your Colleagues Watches

In the exclusive $5000-$2,000,000 range, you'll find a variety of luxury watches with names that escape the average man or woman on the street, and you won't find any of these online. Does Vacheron Constantin or Blancpain ring a bell?

Perception is everything, and a genuine Rolex brands you a person of discerning taste. If you live in New York City, you might be surprised to learn that you can buy a Rolex from a bona fide jeweler, most likely in the 10021 zip code. Forget all the hype about Rolex watches: people buy them for one reason. They are the most recognized status symbols in watches-everyone has heard of a Rolex, and a diamond and gold Rolex remains out of most everyone's price range.

Rolex watches are the most popular, and ownership is not a requirement for popularity. It might surprise you to learn that Rolex watches are not THE most accurate. It is unlikely that they take a year to make, and their resale value is of little importance to their buyers. Ah, Madison Avenue strikes again. Still, a Rolex watch is a fine watch and an investment in time.
Give me status; give me a Rolex.

Other fine high-end watches include Cartier and Omega.

Affordable Treats

If you're a mere mortal with a penchant for arriving at your destination in style at the prescribed time (perhaps your job depends upon it), your idea of a good watch probably resides in the $100-500 range, and maybe even toward the lower end of that scale. You know the names Seiko, Swiss Army, Pulsar, and Citizen-just to name a few. The brands available in this price range offer a wide selection of choices ranging from simple and elegant leather bands, to mesh and link bands. You'll find analog and digital displays, timers, calendar displays, water-resistance, etc. in this price range. In fact, this price range offers the widest variety in terms of elegance, precision time keeping, and fashion choices. You can select from a number
of watches using Swiss-quartz movements in this price range.

For the Fun of it

You'll find everything from designer-of-the-moment watches to household names such as Swatch and Fossil in the below-$100 range. The Fossil collections feature casual and dress watches in a dizzying array of choices, and provide dependable service as well. Fossil offers a lot of bang for the buck-fashion, dependability, variety.

Starting at $40, Swatch offers the most in up-to-the-minute throwaway watch fashion. The company began late in the 20th century as a consortium of Swiss watchmakers and worldwide graphical designers with one goal: to resurrect the analog watch. Swatch has come a long way since those days, and one of their newer creations, the Skin Diamond watch, can set you back a cool $2000. Of course, you won't run into yourself coming and going if you sport this new status symbol. The rest of us can settle with wearing our moods on our wrists.

And, last but certainly not least-depending on your current age-this category satisfies the Abercrombie-and-Fitch, Top 40 crowd with an assortment of watches from the king of the teen designers, Tommy Hilfiger himself.

Whatever your pleasure in marking time, find it, get it, own it, wear it. Mere mortals like us can browse and purchase the watches of our choice right here-online.

About the author:
M J Plaster is a successful author who provides information on shopping online for http://www.watches-4-u.net/, http://www.watches-4-u.net/mens-watches.htm, and
http://www.watches-4-u.net/womens-watches.htm.
M J Plaster has been a commercial freelance writer for almost two decades, most recently specializing in home and garden, the low-carb lifestyle, investing, and anything that defines la dolce vita.

Jewelry & Watches - A look at History

Jewelry--All That Glitters Can Be Gold (A Brief History of
Jewelry)

Author: Larry Denton

Jewelry has been around nearly as long as human beings. The ability to trace the history of jewelry is due primarily to the custom, beginning with the earliest peoples, of burying the dead with their most valuable possessions. As far back as the Old Stone Age, people made and wore jewelry. Using their primitive tools, they fashioned necklaces of bones, animal teeth, pebbles, feathers, shells and leather. Although some were probably worn as adornments, others may have been worn to ward off dangers, evil spirits or sickness. Jewelry made of gold and silver is believed to have made its first appearance with the ancient Egyptians. Gold was used because of its warm, glowing color and its ease to work, being relatively soft and pliable.

The Egyptians were among the first to use precious stones in their jewelry using turquoise and lapis lazuli. Many tomb paintings show Egyptians wearing bracelets, brooches, headdresses, pendants and rings made of gold, silver and precious gemstones. Ancient Greek jewelry is noted for its elegance and grace. Many designs were used, but their specialty were adornments made from gold filigree of wire openwork in the naturalistic shapes of flowers, leaves and animals. Likewise, the Romans loved jewelry. As a means to show social status and wealth, rings made of gold, jet, and other materials were worn by both sexes. Sometimes many rings were worn on the same finger just as many people do today.

During the Middle Ages, styles and income levels rather discouraged the wearing of most jewelry. Brooches, however, became an important part of the wardrobe since they were practical in holding up tunics and cloaks. During this period rings were commonly worn by every social class. Rings were made of iron, copper, silver or gold with the metal often denoting the wearer's social standing.

During the Renaissance period more skin was shown with the new fashions and consequently more jewelry was worn. It was during this period that jewelry making truly became an art. Many Italian sculptors trained as goldsmiths and created stunning ornaments. Necklaces began to appear in large numbers and were worn by both sexes. Men's necklaces tended to be more like chains, while women's were more complicated with twists and beads added. It was the Elizabethan era where pearls became the rage. Earrings made their first appearance in Europe, where the most common were single pearl drops worn with a simple matching pearl choker.

The Georgian period of jewelry production began during the years when Great Britain was ruled by the four Georges, thus the name.
The Georgian period encompassed most of the eighteenth century and into the first part of the nineteenth, through the American and French revolutions, and the development of a distinctive British identity after the Napoleonic Wars. Jewelry of the period was entirely handmade and consequently quite individualistic. Both men and women wore heavy, richly-jeweled chains, rings, shoe buckles, and hair ornaments, buttons and brooches. Gemstones were sewn onto clothing in an ostentatious display of wealth. Jewelry settings were designed to display the color and sparkle of the gemstones, particularly diamonds. The primary theme of the period was inspired by nature, including flowers, leafs, insects, birds and feathers.

The art of jewelry-making was refined during the Victorian period in Europe, and exquisite pieces such as lockets and cameos made their first appearance. Jewelry was being worn by nearly everyone by the middle of the nineteenth century. But, instead of being individually crafted, quality pieces could be stamped out and molded. Rather than unique pieces, jewelry could be created to a standard that was able to be duplicated. The new affordability brought quality jewelry to the middle-class consumer for the first time. Platinum came onto the jewelry scene at the end of the 20th century. During the early 20th century, industrialization, increasing job opportunities and rising family incomes brought jewelry within reach of the middle
class. Large scale firms, created by jewelers such as Carl Faberge and Louis Tiffany achieved great success and amassed great wealth by making fine pieces for the newly wealthy.

The Roaring Twenties has been portrayed as a decadent era: the time of prohibition, gangsters, speakeasies and the Charleston. Women won the right to vote in 1920, and they asserted their new equality with radical fashion changes. Long dangling earrings, long strands of pearls or beads, diamond watches cocktail rings, and multiple bracelets on both upper and lower arms became rage. Platinum and precious stones, particularly diamonds, were wildly popular during this Art Deco period.

The Thirties were a decade of economic depression, both in the U.S. and Europe, and the Forties brought World War II. It was in the 1940's that flamboyant curves and bows in large pieces of jewelry became known as Retro Modern. Yellow gold regained prominence during these years, since wartime restrictions made platinum unavailable to the industry. Semi-precious stones and man-made rubies and sapphires became more popular due to the high wartime luxury taxes. Cocktail rings, bracelets, watches and necklaces were massive. Many of today's consumers would consider this style to be quite gaudy and flashy.

Platinum made an enormous comeback in the early 1990's and such pieces as the tennis bracelet and the diamond solitaire pendant made their first appearance at this time. Men began to wear bracelets, necklaces and even earrings in larger numbers as the Twentieth century drew to a close.

Today, jewelry is increasingly worn by both men and women. From bracelets and toe rings, to necklaces and tongue studs, jewelry continues to be a popular adornment for the human race and most body parts have been pierced to allow for the wearing of such.

About the author:
Larry Denton is a retired history teacher having taught 33 years at Hobson High in Hobson, Montana. He is currently Vice President of Elfin Enterprises, Inc., an Internet business dedicated to providing valuable and accurate information and resources on a variety of topics. For a treasure chest full of additional information about jewelry please visit http://www.JewelryJaunt.com

Wednesday, November 22, 2006

The Casino Royale Omega Watches

In the 2006 Casino Royale, I saw Bond started out with the Omega Planet Ocean on rubber



(Click on the pic for high-res version. Bond sneaked into M's place with the Planet Ocean...)



(Shooting with the Planet Ocean...)


(Once again with the Planet O)

Omega is so stupid to offer this for the masses to purchase:

Details of the watch:

I don't know who is dumb enough to buy this Casino Royale version, which is a "limited edition" of 5007 pieces... This watch is so cheesy, it's amazing that Omega actually produced it!

Another one of Omega's 007 watch:

Cheesy again? YES!!!


I'd get this over the dumb Casino Royale version anytime:



Seamaster Planet Ocean Big Size

Steel on Rubber straps
Reference: 2900.50.91

MOVEMENT
Caliber: Omega 2500
Self-winding chronometer, Co-Axial Escapement movement with rhodium-plated finish
Power Reserve: 44 hours

CRYSTAL
Domed scratch-resistant sapphire crystal


CASE & DIAL
Stainless steel case
Black dial

WATER RESISTANCE
Down to: 600 meters
2000 feet

List is U$3300. It is huge, at 45mm... I have to have this!!!

Omega, IMHO, made major mistakes by making the 007 versions of their otherwise, perfect watches. Does Bond wear an Omega that says 007 on the second hand? I don't think Bond wants everyone to know he is 007! Does he have a death-wish??? OF COURSE NOT! So, if Bond wears the normal version that's perfectly beautiful, why the heck does Omega spoil things by adding cheesy 007 markings all over the watch???

Enough with the madness, OMEGA!

Source

Top 10 Tips for Telling a Real Rolex from a Fake


Used Rolex watches are easy preyrolex


for unsavory sellers. Buyers want to know: What’s real and what’s fake? “The devil is in the details,” warns Avi Dayan, an international expert on pre-owned Rolex watches. He offers 10 tips for telling a real one from a fake.Used Rolex watches are big business for unsavory sellers. What’s real and what’s fake? That’s what buyers need to know. “The question is simple but the answer is seldom easy,” says Avi Dayan, an international expert on used Rolex watches. “Trickery and deceit is the hallmark of those who peddle phony Rolex watches.”

“When the pros inspect a watch their attention is always focused on the little things most people would never notice.” Dayan offers 10 tips for telling a real Rolex from a fake.

10 TIPS THAT TELL A REAL ROLEX FROM A FAKE

1.Rolex has never manufactured a watch with a see-through case. If you see a glass-back case on a watch, move on. You’re not looking at a Rolex.

2.Rolex has never fabricated a case or a band with even the smallest amount of rubber. You know it’s a fake if you feel rubber.

3.Skeleton dials display the moving parts of a timepiece. Rolex has never made a skeleton dial.

4.Oyster Perpetual Rolex watches always have a screwed-back case – never a pop-up.

5.Rolex Oysters are fabricated of stainless steel, gold or platinum. Chrome or chrome-plate is never used.

6.Only men’s full-size Rolex watches have day and date features.

7.The case of a Rolex President is platinum, 18-karat yellow or white gold – never stainless steel or two-tone stainless and gold.

8.Rolex watches are not gold-plated – ever. When it comes to gold, a Rolex is either 14 or 18-karat gold.

9.Surprise, surprise. Rolex does indeed, make a quartz movement watch — the perpetual Oyster. But, be careful before you buy. Quartz movement Rolexes comprise fewer than 10% of all Perpetual Oysters. The other 90% are conventional automatic Rolex movements.

10.Rolex is a Swiss company that has in years past manufactured watches in various other countries including the U.S, Mexico, Italy and Venezuela – but never China. A “Chinese-made Rolex” is a genuine fake.


ROLEX ‘LAWS TO LIVE BY’ Rolex pros have ‘laws’ they live by, they are:

Rolex pros have ‘laws’ they live by, they are:
•Never buy a watch on the street.

•Never buy from an Internet dealer – unless the dealer also operates a brick and mortar store situated in a secure, respectable location, preferably in the United States. A customer should always have the option to visit the proprietor’s store to personally inspect a watch. And, a used Rolex, like a new one, should always come with a warranty.

•Never buy Rolex watches in the Far East or Turkey, even if the dealer has a storefront presence.

•Always pay with a credit card – not cash or check. A credit card purchase provides flexibility in case you need to return the watch.

•Never buy a watch on Craig’s List.

Source

Tuesday, November 21, 2006

No fakes here please

A burgeoning dinner party culture in the growth cities of China is good news for purveyors of luxury goods – not least is Richemont


Growth in Richemont’s Chinese sales was up 64% for the six months ended September 30, 2006, compared with overall growth of 16%, which Executive Chairman of the group, Johann Rupert says has the makings of a perfect market.

Rupert told Moneyweb Radio that China today consists of, “people with growing expenditure, who are cultured, and with more men than women – that would to us be a perfect market.”

He said Africa should play the US and Europe off against China because of the west’s suspicion of China’s involvement in the continent. “If we play our cards right as a continent, and if we play Europe, the United States and China off against one another, even a little bit, we could benefit from increasing generosity from the European Union and the United States”.

Richemont saw operating profit up 31% with profits for the group as a whole up 22%, after an inflow from their investment in British American Tobacco.

Rupert said that higher prices of precious metals and stones, as well as lower volumes, was affecting the business but added that Richemont made its margins on what it did with the commodities. He said the real effect was in the supply of finished goods, where a dearth of sufficiently qualified jewellery artisans and the capacity to find good stones, could restrict sales in the high jewellery sector.

Commenting on the watch industry, Rupert said Richemont was working with other watchmakers to increase the capacity of the sector because of the growth seen in mechanical watches, particularly in Switzerland. “We’re all training, and it depends from watch brand to watch brand, but some watch brands could actually have capacity constraints by the end of next year.”

Rupert’s commentary of the current results has a more bullish undertone to his traditionally conservative reputation. He is often referred to as “Rupert the Bear”, a phrase he said was coined by the Financial Times. Rupert said that, to describe the results as “excellent” was providing comment on the books. He attributes his normally conservative comment as not providing upward or downward guidance that is sentiment based, but that originates from financial performance.

Source

Do you know?


Why some aspects may only have a small influence the resale price:

NOT SO LIMITED "LIMITED EDITIONS"-- Releases of limited editions of a model are not very limited when quantities reach 5,000 to 10,000 or more. These numbers may sound fairly small, but are not that far from how many of a specific model variation the company would sell in a year or more anyway. When a company releases too many of a supposedly 'limited' release, the resale values drop to close to what a regular edition of the watch would sell for.

MECHANICAL VERSUS QUARTZ VERSIONS OF THE SAME WATCH-- Some watchmakers release identical or similar models in quartz and mechanical movement versions. The finer brands usually add a moderate 'exclusivity' premium to the prices of their mechanical watches. At resale, the mechanical versions still command a premium over quartz counterparts. But the differential is often reduced enough to make the quartz versions have a slightly better resale value compared to their original price.

ORIGINAL BOX AND PAPERS-- While many people like receiving the original boxes with their purchase, few people do anything with them but store them in a closet. So the original packaging may improve the salability of a watch, especially if the watch is to be a gift. But the boxes and papers do not add much to the selling price unless the watch is close to new.

INTERESTING SERIAL NUMBERS-- On rare occasions, a watch will surface with an interesting serial number. Examples include: even numbers; numbers with interesting patterns; numbers that relate to beginning, end or year changeover in production; or hidden meanings like an Omega Speedmaster Moonwatch with the date of the moon landing appearing in the serial number or a James Bond Rolex Submariner or Omega Seamaster Pro with serial number ending in 007. While these add a novelty interest to the watch, the influence on resale value is usually trivial.

Aspects that lose value on resale:

GOLD, PLATINUM or other PREMIUM METALS-- While precious metal watches do sell well on the used market, they do not command the same premium that they did when new. Such watches carry very inflated 'exclusivity' prices when new--often 10 to 20 times the value of the metals used. Upon resale, the values better reflect the market value--not the exclusivity premium.

DIAMONDS-- Diamonds on dials, bezels and other parts of a watch are an expensive addition on new watches. But like with precious metal on watches, these bear a significant 'exclusivity' premium in the new watch pricing that is several times the value of the diamonds themselves.

BOTTOM OF THE LINE MODELS-- A few premium brands have a clearly bottom of the line model that lacks the features and status of their main product lines. Rolex in particular does this with their "Air-King" series and other models where the least expensive version lacks the date or COSC certification. Buyers of new watches are sometimes attracted to these models as the least expensive way to get close to the watch they want for less money. But these step-down versions almost always lack the better values and desirability on the resale market, so are often a poor choice when resale is of concern.

Aspects that notably hurt resale values:

WATCHES WHERE SERIAL NUMBERS HAVE BEEN REMOVED-- An unacceptable but somewhat frequent practice of gray-market dealers is to remove serial numbers from discounted watches. For some brands, the manufacturer may refuse to service the watch at any authorized service center or supply certain replacement parts to independent watch repairers for that watch. That risk reduces resale the value, especially for brands that have publicly declared they will not service such watches.

CUSTOMIZED WATCHES-- Watches, like automobiles, sometimes get customized by their owners. Often this is done by inscribing names, dates or memento information on the back, or by using aftermarket parts or parts from different models to make a unique piece. While these modifications cost the owner more money, they usually devalue the watch and reduce the chances of finding someone else that would want one customized in that manner.

BRANDS WITH POOR DURABILITY-- Not all expensive brands are made equal. Some mid range brands sacrifice long term durability in their products.

BRANDS WITH HEAVY RETAIL DISCOUNTS-- Resale prices are usually based on the retail selling price, even when some discounts are customarily available. But brands sold officially through cut rate stores or places where they are often marked down heavily usually have poorer resale as they are readily available cheaply. Note that this does not effect premium brands that sometimes found--quite unofficially--through warehouse stores like Costco and Sam's Club and other clearly non-authorized dealers.

Which watches are collectable?

The whole concept of specific watches--or anything else--being "collectible" is a falsehood. People become mindless lemmings because of some mystic significance to items being called "collectible." They hear things called that and go out and spend money because they blindly think it is a good thing to buy them. There is a broad public perception that things that are labeled "collectible" are good investments--when in most cases, they are far from it.

Beanie babies are a good example. Trivial little toys that ought to cost well under $1, yet people pay outrageous prices in the tens to hundreds of dollars to get them to complete the collections they feel compelled to build. If you ever wish to get your money back out of this 'investment,' you have to find someone even more driven by the collectibility craze than you to sell it to.

The latest form of this collectibility craze began back in the 1970's or so when people started discovering that some items they or their relatives had gathered over the years were suddenly in demand by buyers of memorabilia. This created a 'gold-rush' mentality as everyone started hoping that some of the old items in their basements or attics would be worth huge sums of money. The $1 million find: a first edition comic book, a one of a kind early work of a later famous artist, or some other rare, special or in-demand item from the past.

Once people rummaged through all their current family possessions looking for hidden treasure, they were still unsatisfied--because most of it really was worthless junk. So to continue the gold-rush of trying to get rich off items that collectors desired, people then started buying up things they hoped would magically become valuable. This has led to a society of people who spend tremendous amounts of money buying items old and new, hoping some of it will become like a lottery ticket, magically paying off in the future.

You should NEVER buy something just because anyone tells you it is collectible. Instead, buy what really appeals to you without regard to whether anyone else is collecting them. The term "collectible" has become a cheap label that sellers will slap onto anything--knowing that it causes people to mindlessly associate greater value--usually without even questioning the validity of the claim.
However, keep in mind that "rare" and "hard to find" (if truthfully applied to an item) are positive attributes that make things interesting additions to your collection. But anything being automatically or inherently "collectible" itself is a completely meaningless concept. You should be listening only to your own counsel on what is meaningful or interesting to you to own.
The truth is that anything is collectible if someone wants to collect it. Some of the most valuable collections were items that people had no idea would be valuable in the future. And if your objective really is to try to make money, you would likely be much more successful putting your money in traditional financial investments rather than betting on 'rare finds.'

Monday, November 20, 2006

Clocking The Time

Author: Anil Gupta


The Clock Museum of Vienna was opened in 1921 in one of Vienna's
oldest houses and can boast an interesting collection including
early chronometers, sundials and the "Braters" or "roaster"
clocks, resembling a spit, of the Middle Ages. From the
sixteenth century clocks gradually made an appearance on public
and municipal buildings. The collection includes astronomical
clocks showing phases of the moon and the paths of planets. The
famous Viennese lantern clocks of the Biedermeier period are
also on view. The modern wristwatch has its place in the museum
as well as the Black Forest cuckoo clock. The star of the museum
is undoubtedly an astronomical cum astrological clock created by
the Augustinian friar David a Sancto Cajetano who in the 1760s
made a world clock with over 30 readings and dials showing solar
and lunar eclipses, complete with a calendar and calculations up
to the year 9999.

The bohemian clockmaker Franz Zajicek not only had 24 children,
he also found time to work on complex astronomical clocks for
the 1873 exhibition. These showed the path of the sun, sunrise
and sunset and precisely calculated the date of Easter for
centuries to come. He developed a special temperature sensitive
pendulum.

Kurrentgasse leads south from the east end of Judenplatz; the
beautifully restored 18th-century houses on its east side make
this one of the most unpretentiously appealing streets in the
city. And at the far end of the street is one of Vienna's most
appealing museums-the Uhrenmuseum, or Clock Museum. The museum's
three floors of blankly modern rooms display a splendid parade
of clocks and watches - more than 3,000 timepieces - dating from
the 15th century to the present. The ruckus of bells and chimes
pealing forth on any hour is impressive, but for the full
cacophony try to be here at noon.

A wide-ranging group of timepieces ancient as well as modern
are on view here. Housed in what was once the Obizzi town house,
the museum dates from 1917 and attracts clock collectors from
all over Europe and North America.

The Vienna Clock Museum, under the expert guidance of Franz
Sharinger The museum is based on the private collections of
Rudolf Kaftan and writer Marie Ebner von Eschenbach. It contains
approx 3000 timepieces in a huge variety of clocks and watches
spanning more than five centuries of horological development.
Among the highlights is the highly complex 18th C astronomical
clock by Augustine Brother David Cajetano containing more than
250 parts.

The last weekend in October marks the end of summertime and the
clocks go back an hour giving everyone an extra hour sleep. It
also means, in theory, a lot of work for the staff in the Vienna
Clock Museum in the historic city centre. Here there are around
1,000 precious clocks on view spanning some six centuries. Many
of the modern clocks are reset automatically by the Physical
Technical Federal Office in Braunschweig, Germany. It sends out
a signal that adjusts electronic watches and clocks on many
public buildings, railway stations and airports.

Visitors are amazed by the ingenuity of the picture clocks with
hidden dials. Table clocks on stands with rich figural ornaments
manifest the clock's function as a social status symbol. There
are exquisite examples of Viennese Biedermeier and belle époque
models. A visit to the Clock Museum has the visitor positively
dancing to the rhythm of time through a kaleidoscopic history of
culture and technology.

About the author:
Anil Gupta recommends that you visit Vienna for more information.

How Much Do You Lose When You Buy a New Omega

Author: Desmond Guilfoyle

Will I Remember My Omega Coaxial in a Future life?

As a collector of vintage watches, particularly Omega
Constellations, I have become accustomed to values increasing
over time. It isn't guaranteed of course, but I may well see the
bottom fall out of my pants before I see the bottom fall out of
the quality vintage watch market. There have been a couple of
blips in the past, but the market has always bounced back.

Naturally, when buying vintage watches the usual caveats apply:
buy the seller as much as the watch; buy a watch that's been
looked after and not one that's been to hell and back; avoid
mutton that's been dressed up as lamb (particularly
over-polished, over-restored watches); know what the market is
paying and pay no more than its worth. And last but not least,
never view watches as an investment proposition unless you have
the expertise to buy pieces that you can restore to their former
glory. So far so good.

But what about the vintages of tomorrow? As a horological
petrol-head, I have been drawn towards Omega's coaxial
escapement watches designed by English guru George Daniels.
Omega claims that the new coaxial escapement, in tandem with a
recently developed free sprung balance, goes a long way towards
eliminating the barriers to ultra high accuracy in mechanical
timepieces. This new invention has three components: a coaxial
wheel, an escape wheel, and a lever with three pallet stones,
which varies significantly from the run-of-the-mill pallet lever
and escape wheel of the lever escapement. Even if, in the long
run, it proves no more accurate than your average 18000 beats a
minute workhorse, it's quite sufficient to give this aficionado
an eyegasm because it sure is a pretty engine......but enough
already!

I've been asking around various watch forums about how much I
will ‘lose' if I buy a new Omega with a Coaxial
escapement. Lose???? Well, yes. The reason why I've taken this
tack is to work out how much of my dwindling reservoirs of
delight, captivation and pure pleasure I will have to invest in
order to cancel out the inevitable depreciation that occurs when
one buys a new watch from an authorised dealer.

Here's what I discovered about the financial side of the
equation. If I pay around $3000.00 for one of the cheaper
Coaxials, I lose roughly 40 percent of its value as soon as I
walk out of the door. This represents most of the dealer margin.
Unless I can on-sell to a passionate Coaxialist with very little
market savvy for a price higher than that, the depreciation is
mine to wear, along with the watch of course.

However, the consensus is that the value of the watch will
stabilise for a while after that, and, if I have cared for it
well, I may still be able to realise about 50% of its value five
years down the track. Averaging out inflation rates over five
years, it means I need to invest around $2050.00 of today's
dollars worth of delight, captivation and pure pleasure of
ownership over the period, or around $410.00 each year, without
adding the cost of maintenance. Hmmm, that's the price of four
Calibre 564 stainless steel C case Constellations, if you buy
well.

And there's another consideration. I still recall with great
clarity paying a week's average national earnings for a
particularly seductive Omega Seamaster in the 1970s. After
30-odd years, allowing for all of the economic adjustments
necessary to convert the purchase to today's money, the market
would still not offer me than 35 to 40 percent of what I paid
for it. Hell, it may take several lifetimes of delight,
captivation and pleasure of ownership before I recover the
financial side of things!

I have a very strong recollection of owning a Rolex Prince in a
past life. Will the Seamaster leave a similar imprint on a
future one, and will I have invested enough delight, captivation
and pure pleasure of ownership to be assured that I'll remember
my Coaxial with great fondness when I come back as a grasshopper
in 2090?

(c) Desmond Guilfoyle 2006

About the author:
Desmond Guilfoyle in an award winning commentator on influence,
persuasion and charisma. He has written three books on those
subjects and his book 'The Charisma Effect' has been published
in seven languages around the globe. He can be contacted at
mondodec@tpg.com.au For further articles, tips and information
visit his blog at http://charismacom.blogspot.com/ He also
collects vintage Omega Constellation watches to remain sane and
his comprehe

Saturday, November 18, 2006

Panerai: A brand with military heritage

Susanna Tjokro, s_tjokro@yahoo.com, Contributor, Jakarta

Once worn exclusively by the Italian Navy, Panerai watches are now worn by both men and women who love big, no-frills yet stylish timepieces.

Panerai watches are large, with simple and luminous dial markings -- and they produce extraordinary diver's watches, including the ones that are water resistant up to 2,500 meters. Fabien Levrion, general manager of Panerai for Malaysia, Singapore and Indonesia, aptly describes the brand as a pioneer in the field of big watches.

"In the past, when large timepieces were not in vogue, we were already producing big watches. However, we feel fully justified in doing large watches, as after all diver watches have to be big and luminescent," says Levrion.

A luminous substance called Radiomir, patented in 1910 and made from zinc sulfide and radium bromide, enables those watches to be used even in complete darkness, which is very useful for divers, as the underwater visibility is low or even almost zero in some places. In addition, in 1949, Panerai received a patent for luminor material, a tritium-based compound that replaced Radiomir.

Among the divers' watches are Panerai Luminor 1950, which is water resistant to 1,000 meters and sold at S$12,450 or around Rp 67 million, and Luminor Submersible, water resistant to 2,500 meters. Carrying a price tag of S$15,950, Luminor Submersible won the Sports Watch of the year prize at the 2004 Grand Prixat Geneva.

Giovanni Panerai opened his watch shop in Florence, Italy in 1860. The company produced its first watch in 1938. That year, Guido Panerai & Figlio, which later became Officine Panerai, created the first prototype of a watch which was fitted with a Rolex movement and intended for a special, secret naval unit in the process of being formed in Italy. The company itself had already become a supplier to the Royal Italian Navy in the second half of the 19th century, making advanced technological instruments of remarkable accuracy for the time.

The brand produced luminous mechanical calculators for torpedo launchers, aiming devices, depth gauges, compasses and timers for mines as well as underwater charges. Panerai's specialist underwater watch for military purposes was actually the first water-resistant military diver's watch.

"Today, we have nothing to do with the Italian Navy anymore. However, the Italian roots are crucial to the brand," says Levrion.

Panerai's headquarters is in Milan, Italy -- it is an Italian brand, yet today its watches are made in Switzerland. The brand has been a part of Richemont, a Swiss luxury goods group, since 1997. Panerai was launched on the international market in 1998.

Panerai only produces about 30,000 timepieces per year. The brand understands that scarcity encourages people to buy. "We want to remain an exclusive brand," says Levrion. Besides the quality of the watches, rarity and exclusivity also play a key role in the success of Panerai.

The watches are priced from S$5,970 to S$75,500 (which is the most expensive watch in their current collection). However, more expensive timepieces were produced in the past, such as Panerai watches with tourbillon movement that cost more than S$100,000. The brand also has a range of timepieces for those who are left-handed, such as Luminor Base Left-Handed priced at S$7,990.

This year is the debut of Panerai caliber P.2002, the first in-house movement to be designed and produced 100 percent by Panerai. Calibre P.2002 made its debut in Luminor 1950 8 Days GMT model (S$19,750), with a diameter of 44 mm and leather strap, is water resistant to 100 meters and supplied with steel screwdriver as well as spare strap in rubber. This watch also contains a second time zone indication.

To achieve accurate setting of the hands and synchronization with the reference time signal, the seconds hand jumps to zero as a result of the "zero reset" device, a sophisticated zeroing system which at the same time instantly stops the balance wheel. This is hand-wound and consist of 245 components, with a free spring balance and no conventional regulator, hence very precise regulation can be carried out by adjusting the screw directly on the balance wheel itself.

Panerai Radiomir Chrono One-Eight Second (S$25,300) comes into the market this November. Limited to only 300 watches, it has an automatic movement with a balance frequency of 28,800 vibrations per hour, a power reserve of 42 hours and a twin column-wheel system for operating the chronograph functions. This watch, with a diameter of 45 mm, is water resistant to 100 meters.

While the brand does not have any brand ambassadors, Sylvester Stallone has been associated with Panerai for several years now. Stallone, a big fan of Panerai, discovered Panerai watches when on a holiday in Italy in 1995, before Richemont Group acquired the brand.

"His interest in Panerai watches plays a very important part in raising awareness of the brand," says Levrion. Some series are named "Slytech", after the actor, who cooperated in the design phase of those watches.

The most recent one is Luminor Submersible Chrono, which is water resistant up to 1,000 meters (S$18,650), with a titanium case and 47 mm dial. For this edition, limited to 500 pieces for the black dial and 300 for the white dial versions, Stallone has renounced all payment, deciding to give the whole proceeds to The Heart of a Child Foundation.

Although diamond-studded watches are always stylish -- no matter what the trend is --Panerai does not produce them anymore. Three years ago, the brand offered diamond watches too, but then decided that diamonds were not in line with their timepieces.

There are only five Panerai boutique outlets in the world: Hong Kong, Shanghai, Los Angeles and two in Italy: Florence and Portofino. On top of that, it has 343 authorized retailers worldwide.

Apparently, a blend of history, high quality products and exclusivity is Panerai's recipe for success. It is surely beneficial to Panerai that big timepieces are in vogue and men as well as women like wearing large or even over-sized watches these days.

Source

Strength & Beauty - The New TAG Heuer Sparkling Collections for Avant-Garde Women

NewswireToday - /newswire/ - Marin, Switzerland, 11/18/2006 - TAG Heuer launches a dazzling array of high-fashion timepieces that embody the core values of the TAG Heuer brand: prestige, elegance and daring, cutting-edge design. Strength and Beauty... that is what the TAG Heuer woman is made of!

Innovative and Audacious Embodiment of the Avant-Garde

In June 2005, TAG Heuer “rocked” the fashion and watch making worlds by launching, in collaboration with its fascinating ambassador Uma Thurman, a diamond-rich line of high-luxury timepieces for women. The Haute-Couture and Prêt-à-Porter pieces in Uma’s Diamond collection are amongst the most audaciously avant-garde luxury watches ever conceived. The trendsetting centrepiece of the collection, the Haute Couture DIAMOND FICTION, was awarded the prestigious Ladies Watch Prize at the 5th annual Grand Prix d’Horlogerie in Geneva, in November 2005.

In 2006, TAG Heuer raise the bar by launching for each collection new editions of daring and glamorous timepieces for avant-garde women as embodied by Uma Thurman and Maria Sharapova. Not only are the Hollywood star and Wimbledon Champion, two of the most glamorous and iconic ambassadors of the brand, they are perfect representatives of today's TAG Heuer woman. Self-confident and poised, seductive and determined, fashion-focused yet independent-minded, cultured yet glamorous, they don’t follow trends, they set them!

Strength and Beauty... that is what the TAG Heuer woman is made of!

Contemporary and Elegant Watches for Today’s TAG Heuer Woman

The most elegant TAG Heuer timepieces ever, designed for sophisticated, fashion-forward professional women, the new TAG Heuer for Women Collection builds on the success of the line by offering a wider range of steel and gold, diamond dial and diamond bezel watches.

1) Mini Link 24mm Diamond Dial and Diamond Dial Diamond Bezel

The success story of the iconic Link line is legendary amongst watch connoisseurs. Launched in 1987 under the name S/el (“Sports and Elegance”) and entirely redesigned in 2003/2004, the unique ergonomics of its famous S-shape link bracelet remains a benchmark of stylish, sophisticated design. Uma Thurman is the perfect representative of the Link philosophy: the iconic fusion of Strength and Beauty, contemporary Elegance and Prestige. A watch which is a bracelet and a bracelet which is a watch!
The three new lady size Link timepieces in the new TAG Heuer Collection of fine jewellery watches for women offer unprecedented comfort and elegance. These slim, feminine and precious watches are what Uma chooses to wear for special occasions by day or night: an awards luncheon, or an evening premiere...
The elegant new Mini Link line is available in:

Three prestigious Diamond Dial watches based on their best-selling predecessors, with mother-of-pearl dials in pink, blue or white. The dials are decorated with 11 Top Wesselton diamonds (total 0.081 carats);
Two Diamond Dial/Diamond Bezel watches with white or blue dials decorated with 11 Top Wesselton diamonds (total 0.081 carats), and a very precious polished bezel set with 52 Top Wesselton diamonds (total 0.385 carats).

2) Aquaracer Diamonds: Prestigious Editions of a TAG Heuer Classic

A timeless and successful design since 1982 when it was launched under the “2000” series name, the new Aquaracer, entirely redesigned and rejuvenated, is now resplendently decorated with precious diamonds.
Aquaracer Lady Diamond Dial & Diamond Bezel Steel & Gold
Aquaracer Lady with mother-of-pearl diamond dial and diamond turning bezel, this highly successful feminine design is now available in steel and gold for even more elegance and prestige. The elegant white mother-of-pearl dial is decorated with 10 Top Wesselton diamonds (total 0.07 carats), and the 18K massive gold bezel is set with 35 Top Wesselton diamonds ( total 0.48 carats).

Aquaracer Lady Diamond Dial & Diamond Studs
A glamorous and accessible timepiece with mother-of-pearl diamond dial and diamond studs on the turning bezel. The elegant white or pink mother-of-pearl dial is decorated with 10 Top Wesselton diamonds (total 0.07 carats). The unidirectional polished bezel is set with 13 Top Wesselton diamonds (total 0.15 carats) on bezel studs.

TAG Heuer Icons Revisited: Masculine Watches for Ultra-Feminine Women

It’s no longer a man’s world. Watch trends reflect this, as avant-garde, fashion-conscious women around the world choose to wear oversized masculine style watches. TAG Heuer’s new collection offers the best ever selection of trendsetting masculine-feminine watches with audacious larger sizes, daring design and unique and fashion-active animations. Uma Thurman and Maria Sharapova are, here again, the perfect representatives for these superlative watches: sporty, sexy, strong and profoundly feminine...


1) THF1 Lady Glamour Diamonds

After the huge success of its 2005 editions in white, pink or black with a fixed bezel adorned with 120 diamonds (total 0.75 carats), the THF1 Lady Glamour Diamonds is now available in the three trendy colours of this season’s fashion catwalks: chocolate brown, anthracite grey, and maroon burgundy. For these three new references, the original satin strap has been replaced by Nizza, a new material that blends the elegance of satin with the resistance and durability of technical fabrics. Metal bracelet with a mix of polished and fine-brushed steel is offered, as well as a sporty TAG Heuer rubber strap for black or white dial. Embodied by the provocative and glamorous Maria Sharapova, this new edition will seduce all F1 Glamour Diamonds lovers.

2) Carrera Watch Lady

Carrera, the iconic series first launched in 1964 and worn by racing legend Juan Manuel Fangio, typifies TAG Heuer’s unique link with the world of motor sports. Today, an ultra-feminine collection of the Carrera have been conceived for the strong and sporty TAG Heuer woman, seeking a piece of the motor racing legend.
True to Carrera’s iconic design aesthetics, the made-for-women Carrera Watch Lady reworks the Carrera magic in a more petite diameter (36mm), gentler case profile and finely-worked dial details that create superb feminine appeal. Equipped with precision TAG Heuer Calibre 5 automatic movement, this elegantly-crafted timepiece is available with a black or silver dial with “clous de Paris” central zone, and hand-applied numerals, indexes, and TAG Heuer logo, all encased in the sleek polished steel case.
Or, dazzle with the steel and gold version with a massive gold bezel, an alternated steel and massive gold bracelet, and an option of silver or champagne dial.

3) Monaco Watch Lady

The iconic Monaco, the original square-cased chronograph, first seen on Steve McQueen’s wrist in the 1970 car-racing classic “Le Mans”, is the ultimate representation of TAG Heuer’s innovative and daring spirit. Its retro-chic design is now regarded as an iconic horological accessory for fashion-forward women.
A feminine and modern interpretation of the Monaco original, the Monaco Watch Lady features the TAG Heuer Calibre 6 automatic movement, with a slightly downsized and sleeker case profile. True to its daring tradition, TAG Heuer created 3 exotic themes to adorn the Monaco Watch Lady collection: cream alligator, black python, or brown python. In addition, 3 levels of jewellery decorations are available to seduce even the most demanding avant-garde women:

Standard dial
Dial with 13 Top Wesselton diamonds (total 0.081 carats)
Dial with 13 Top Wesselton diamonds (total 0.081 carats) and diamond case with 26 Top Wesselton diamonds (total 0.78 carats)

4) Carrera and Monaco Denim

To showcase the TAG Heuer woman, TAG Heuer called upon Paris couturier Vincent Dupontreue´ to design a very sexy, feminine and trendy jean collection. Vincent Dupontreue´, whose exquisitely hand-distressed jeans are among today’s most coveted collectibles, focused his attentions on the before mentioned iconic lines: Carrera and Monaco.
Available as a Carrera Watch, Carrera Chronograph or Monaco Chronograph, this trendy collection features distinctive denim straps by Vincent Dupontreue´ and very feminine white mother-of-pearl dials.

Source

LED Calculator Watches: A Brief History

Calchronad Hp01 Proto Sinclairwristcalc

Before the Hamilton Pulsar (once thought to be the first calculator watch), a gift giving advertisement in the June 1975 issue of Playboy magazine included the Calcron LED Wrist Calculator (pictured left). One of the most collectible, only 50,000 of Hewlett Packard's 1977 HP-100 (pictured center) were made, of which about half were purchased by a Saudi prince. That same year, Sinclair introduced their DIY kit that didn't include a watch function (pictured right) and between 1976-78 Hughes Aircraft Company produced a similarly bulky piece that made appearances on Battlestar Gallactica. Since then, the 80's brought LCDs and every imaginable company produced LCD calculator watches. Go here for more details and images.

by Watchismo.

The Seiko Power Design Project

2002 3Dcloth Main-1 2005 Ivory Main.0-1 2004 Dish Main.0-1

The Seiko Power Design Project is a horological laboratory for concept watches headed by famed product designer Naoto Fukasawa. Every year since 2002, his lab has introduced ideas pushing innovation in form and function inspired by a theme. Pictured left, the "3D Cloth" (2002, theme: "The new ordinary") replaces standard materials with felt in modern shapes and colors. "Ivory" (2005, theme: "Fascination," pictured center)—reminiscent of Moss' Internal Rolex—is encased in a material that looks like ivory, but here (unlike the Internal Rolex), the wristband has a small digital watch embedded in it. Inspired by satellite dishes, the face of 2004's "Dish" (theme: "Radio wave control watch," pictured right) rotates to case the wearer or for other uses. For more of our fave images from Seiko's Power Design Project go here.

by Watchismo

James Bond Gadget Watch History


Though Bond's typically a Rolex or Omega man—and Q-Branch won't be supplying any gadgety watches in Casino Royalehere's a look back at the wristwear 007 has worn over the years. The props featured every gadget from Geiger counters to circular saws (pictured left) and a James Bond Spy Watch produced in 1965 for kids included secret sliding lenses.

by Watchismo

Time Pieces: Keeping Time

I remember hearing the words, "Keep It Simple Stupid" more times than I care to count during Basic Training and MP School. It seems they kept coming back to haunt me in the Infantry and in my Combat Engineers unit. Why then, I have to ask myself, do we keep inventing new and better toys to take into the field? Not that they aren't invaluable…

Knowing what time it is - accurately - is essential. Virtually all operational planning is done around some time frame: whether we're attaching during pre-dawn hours, or coordinating movement with other units, knowing what time it is - sometimes within seconds - is vitally important.

There was a time (get it?) when a watch did nothing but keep track of time. Keep It Simple Stupid. A face with numbers, an hour hand, a minute hand and a second hand. A case that was capable of taking a fair amount of abuse and a crystal you could clearly see through but that wouldn't scratch. A band that held it on your wrist and hopefully wouldn't break too easily (more often than not, the pins themselves are the issue and not the band. More on that in a bit).

Today, thanks to ever-improving technology and miniaturization, watches are no longer JUST watches. "Wrist top computers" are not uncommon. Those "watches" provide us great capabilities as far as information tracking and feedback is concerned, but every advantage comes with a potential disadvantage. Let's look at some examples:

My first true dream watch was the Chronosport UDT: Made by Breitling, it was one of the first watches to incorporate both analog and digital displays. It included an alarm, backlight for the digital display, a digital stopwatch and was pressure rated to twenty atmospheres - 660 feet give or take a few inches. It also featured a unidirectional rotating bezel, used for tracking bottom time if you were scuba diving - or tracking time passage for any other activity. On the downside (depending on your point of view), the hands were thin and the luminous qualities of the number markers / marks on the bezel didn't glow so well. Combined, those features didn't make it the easiest watch to read underwater, or in low light conditions, but they were added bonuses on an already feature-packed watch for that era: the late seventies and early eighties.

Before we move on to look at some more contemporary watches, let's talk for a minute about the luminous features, backlights, hand sizes, etc. A couple years back I attended a low-light operations course and learned a hard lesson about those luminous features: if I could see them easily in the dark, so could my opponent. Big easy-to-read hands covered with luminous material are great. But they also add to the amount of light your wrist is giving off. Big number markers and bezel marks add even more to how much your watch glows. In true dark conditions, any light can be seen literally for miles. If it can be seen for miles, how hard is it to use as a locator beacon in distances we consider close quarter combat? The answer is that it is not only easy to see, but just as easy to shoot: my bright glow-in-the-dark watch took quite a few paintball rounds during the course of that training program - until I learned to cover it up with my gloves or at least to turn it around on my wrist.

Backlights can work much the same way. If you think about it, when you look down at your watch, your watch is "looking up" at you. You push that button to activate the light so you can read the watch, and the light projected is reflecting off your face. This effect is amplified by goggles, glasses or anything else that might be reflective on your face. Now I ask you: how much of a target do you want to be?

So, we see that luminous watches and backlights for reading displays are necessary to gain the information we need from such a simple tool, but we have to be mindful of the conditions we use them in. Hmm - sounds like every other tool we use. Use it right and be aware of the downfalls of using it "wrong".

With that in mind, let's take a look at some contemporary watches that do much more than just keep time. First on the list is the new HRT Watch from 5.11 Tactical. Last year 5.11 exploded out of the clothing industry to provide much more. One of the biggest surprises was their HRT Watch - not only because it was such a different product from their norm, but also because of the features that were designed into it.

With a titanium case incorporating a unidirectional bezel, the HRT starts out strong - but light (and that matters). 5.11 made sure that the watch would survive the environment it was expected to serve in - wet, harsh, hard conditions - by making the watch water resistant to 100 meters (330 feet) and sufficiently shock resistant to accept normal bumps and bruises. To secure the HRT on your wrist, 5.11 thoughtfully provides two watchbands: one is the typical diver's rubber strap, but the other is a classy black leather band. 5.11 answered the old problem of weak pins by using solid pins that require an Allan-key / wrench to remove. This is a MUCH stronger attachment system than has ever been used in traditional watches.

5.11 combined analog and digital displays in this watch, but what info you can get out of the digital display is radically different from what has been available before. Thanks to a partnership with Horus Vision LLC, 5.11 provides shooting software in the watch. The software requires you to put in some basic data such as ammo type, environmental conditions, etc. and the watch will give you back your scope adjustments. Further, it does so for MILDOT, TMOA and SMOA scopes. Because of the size of the watch and buttons, inputting the requisite data is easy, even with gloves on.

In addition to that unique capability, the watch also gives you digital readouts for:

- Day, date and month
- A second time zone
- An alarm
- A stopwatch
- A countdown timer with an alarm

That is an example of a watch/wrist top computer that provides much needed info for a specific activity: precision shooting. Other such watches provide info for differing specific needs.

The other example I want to look at is the X9 Wrist Navigator from Suunto. Be warned going into this: it is possible to get so much information out of a wrist top computer that you have a hard time understanding it all - at least until you get used to processing what you see. The Suunto X9 is a fantastic tool to have if you do a lot that requires navigation. Since Land Navigation is a primary course in virtually every military leadership school (at the operations level anyway), it's safe to assume that having such a tool would be valuable for operators.

However, there is a down side: with all of the capabilities that are built into these "watches", the battery life can be drastically shortened. Using the GPS features shortens the battery life even further. As with all survival skills/tools, two is one, one is none. Redundancy is good. Back up tools such as the X9 with maps and a compass.

That said, let's take a look at everything this tool can do:

First, it can tell time. Duh… Day, Month and Date are shown at the top of the display where the hours, minutes and seconds are easily viewable in BIG numbers. Additional information that is available from the main display include:

- GPS signal strength
- Mode indicator (more on that in a second)
- Altitude alarm
- Weather alarm
- Navigation method
- Battery strength level
- Time alarm (on or off)
- Activity status

Now that looks like a lot of info, and it is. As I said, until you learn how to view it and assimilate it, it can be overwhelming - or some pieces of information simply get ignored.

For the outdoor operator, the two greatest strengths of the X9 are its weather measurement/reporting capability and its navigation functions. Looking briefly at the weather functions first, the X9 gathers information about altitude, humidity, and temperature on an on-going basis, and based on those readings can give you a warning if changes indicate dangerous weather conditions. That might be nice to know if you're on a boat, in an open field, or simply out for a weekend hike.

The navigation tools are even better. The Compass function is simple but valuable. Lots of wrist-worn devices will give you an eight or sixteen reading compass. What I mean by that is: an eight reading digital compass will give you North, North East, East, South East, South, South West, West, and North West. Sixteen reading compasses give you the "North North East, or East North East" additions so that you add eight more general compass headings. Sometimes that's all you need. But if you're in the midst of an operation with a specific objective, or you're just taking those ever-loved land navigation classes and you have to follow heading 117 for 400 meters to find a Pepsi can, then the eight or sixteen reading compasses aren't much good. Bring on the X9. In addition to the eight digital compass headings it displays the exact heading in 360 degree increments. Like every other compass made, you have to hold it level to use it in this manner, but it's awfully easy to see and read - and it's comfortable enough to wear for weeks of outdoor activity.

The Activity and Navigation functions depend on the GPS system built into the X9. First, I've never seen such a small GPS system. No, it doesn't provide you map overlays in the display screen, but it doesn't need to. The Navigation function works in several different ways - and should really come with a book called "Navigation for Dummies" because even someone unfamiliar with land nav would have a hard time getting lost with this tool.

As a stand-alone Navigation tool, the X9 provides you a couple ways of tracking your path. Using the GPS functions, the X9 can "Mark Home" for you. It locks into its memory the latitude and longitude of your location when you activate this function. Everything else you do in relation to "home" is dependent on you marking the right place as "home" (duh). It is imperative that you understand that "home" is a relative term that refers to where you're standing when you activate the "Mark Home" function. (If anyone ever invents a watch that can find my house by pushing a button, I'm going to worry).

With "Home" marked in your X9, you can then begin a hike, outing, whatever - and wherever you end up find your way back by using the "Find Home" feature. From wherever you ended up, the X9 will direct you back to the location you were in when you "Marked Home". That's one way to not get lost.

The X9 also has something called "Active Track" as one of its navigation features. Using the time-interval GPS fix captures, the X9 can track your hike over time and distance, recording into memory which direction you went in for what period of time. Just like "Find home" directs you back to whatever location you used to "Mark home," "Track Back" will direct you back along the path you took as the X9 recorded your "Active Track". In other words, it gives you opposite directions than those you would have followed going out, so that you are lead back along the same path you used to travel out. Again, makes it hard to get lost. But it gets even better.

The X9 has a "Routes" feature. By preloading waypoints into the X9, you can create a planned route of travel that takes you from waypoint to waypoint. As you travel your route, the X9 will tell you which direction to go in to get to the next waypoint. Because you preload the waypoints in by latitude and longitude, the X9 can even tell you how to get from waypoint to waypoint even if you want to get to them out of order from your original route plan.

As I said at the beginning, the capabilities being built into today's "watches" far exceed what was available as little as twenty years ago. To make proper use of the tools, you have to learn how to use them in the manner that best suits your operation plan.

Source

SARO Gem US, Inc