Sunday, December 31, 2006

Mido watches in the test of time

What do good wine and watches have in common? Nothing. Unless the timepiece is a Mido.

Franz Hugo Linder, president of watchmaker Mido G. Schaeren & Co SA, explained: “Mido invented the unique Aquadura cork crown sealing system, which ensures complete water resistance with a specially treated piece of natural cork, which is nestled around the crown shaft.

CELEBRITY TOUCH: Roger Kwok and Sonija Kwok modelling Mido watches at the celebrations in Hong Kong. — Pictures by PHILIP CHOO
“Unlike a good bottle of wine which is tilted to ensure that the cork is kept moist, a secret treatment keeps the cork in our watches moist and preserves its elasticity for years. Even if the crown is not fully pushed in, it still makes the watch water resistant.”

Linder, who was in Hong Kong recently to celebrate Mido’s 88th anniversary, said the Aquadura system was designed for frequent contact with water although its watches were not made for deep-water diving.

“Thanks to Aquadura, Mido is known as the ‘king of waterproof watches’,” he said.

Linder said unlike other famous brands which produced several new “faces” every year, Mido was focused on giving special attention to quality finishing.

“To us, a watch is a man’s best friend. He should look at it with a smile and always appreciate it. He should feel good with it. This is what Mido hopes to achieve,” said the 39-year-old Swiss, who was sales manager for six years before he became president last year.

Linder: ‘To us a watch is a man’s best friend’
Mido joined the Swatch Group, the biggest watch producer and distributor in the world, in 1985. The group currently owns 18 major watch brands and employs more than 20,000 workers in over 50 countries, including Malaysia.

Linder said Mido had a strong presence in Asia, especially China, and that was the reason why it chose Hong Kong to be the venue of its anniversary celebration.

“We believe in good luck, and 88 is a good number to the Chinese,” he said, adding that Asia recorded the strongest growth in sales among all the continents in 2005.

The Mido event was attended by hundreds of guests from all over the world including China, Hong Kong, Taiwan, Switzerland, Malaysia, Indonesia, Thailand and the Philippines.

Hong Kong actor Roger Kwok and former Miss Hong Kong Sonija Kwok added sparkle to the evening by modelling some of the new watches.

Mido also officially announced its brand launch in Hong Kong and unveiled two limited timepiece models to commemorate the special occasion – the Multifort Centerchronograph and Baroncelli Automatic Chronometer.

“Mido aims to be the leader in the automatic watch market by crafting watches of supreme quality and strong functionality at competitive prices.

“With the combination of the ideals of aestheticism and technical advancement, Mido has five classic collections with unique features, offering a diverse selection of timepieces that are always well received by watch connoisseurs,” Linder said.

The collections include the All Dial Collection, inspired by enduring architectures; the Commander Collection as the retro classics; the Multifort Collection that combined durability and reliability; the Baroncelli Collection, which stood for timelessness and elegance; and the Ocean Star Collection, designed for all kinds of sports.

Linder said Mido’s motto “Reflecting on Time” also played a vital role in the development of its latest collection, the All Dial Collection.

“Through innovative design and rigorous quality control, Mido creates watches that not only measure time in astonishing accuracy but can stand the test of time,” Linder explained.

“In retrospect, eminent empires and mighty men vanished over time, only their history remained, but everlasting architectures remain unfading. The All Dial Collection conveys the brand concept by integrating world-class architecture in its designs.

“In 2002, Mido used Australia’s Sydney Opera House as the blueprint to develop an amazing timepiece, which has since become a popular collection.

“This year, we adopted the architectural concept of the Coliseum in Rome in the design of our timepieces, to exemplify Mido’s persistence in technical excellence.”

With such a history and attention to detail and quality, will Mido carve a mark in the Malaysian market?

Only time will tell.


Men's jewellery market grows 15%

NEW DELHI: Who says jewellery is only for women? With the rise of the metrosexual man and more products hitting the shelves, the men’s jewellery market is rocking to register a digit growth. According to industry figures, domestic men’s jewellery market is currently growing at 15%.

Besides the more conventional chains, rings, bracelets, cufflinks and kurta buttons, precious metals have entered into new categories such as diamond studded wallet clips, collar corner, wrist chains, belts and buckles to name a few.

Says Swarovski country manager (consumer goods business) Shiv Kumar: “The contrast of women becoming bolder and men getting sensitive is the key factor for the revolution in the jewellery market. Women have started experimenting with chunky jewellery and bold coloured stones, whereas men are going more for charms, crystal studs and lighter neckpieces.”

“Deficiency in innovative design, merchandise selection and product promotion has kept this category underdeveloped. But the time is now ripe to push this huge untapped market,” says Gold Souk director G S Pillai.

Adds Tanishq vice-president (marketing) V Govind Raj: “Though the market for these products is still very niche, the entry of more designers and jewellery makers is giving men’s jewellery the attention it deserves, helping to stimulate interest and demand.”

The most popular category among men is the simple heavy-weight gold chains and bracelets. The range for both the items start from Rs 10,000 and go up in lakhs depending upon the weight. To add the sparkling effect, consumers are also complementing the chains with pendants and lockets.

These days pendants with initials are in fashion. The bracelets for men are anything but feminine, incorporating materials such as brushed steel and rubber for a refined yet rugged style. The range of diamond studded bracelets starts from Rs 25,000.

Cufflinks and tie pins, whose market is picking up slowly, can cost about Rs 5,000 if in gold and could burn a hole four times more than if replaced by a few diamond studs. Crystal studded cufflinks and tie-pins are priced between Rs 3,000 and 6,000.

Says Surat Diamond Jewellery director Rajiv Mehta: “Rings based on astrological signs are also very popular these days. Diamond studded watches can also be an option. But for a more sober look, one can go for gold and steel watches.”


Thursday, December 28, 2006

Jewelry, watches see fastest online growth this holiday

Study: Jewelry, watches see fastest online growth this holiday
December 28, 2006

Reston, Va.—During the first 50 days of the holiday season (Nov. 1-Dec. 20), online non-travel retail spending reached $21.68 billion, a 26 percent increase over the same period in 2005, and jewelry and watches represented the fasting growing online product category, ComScore Networks reports.

From Nov. 1-Dec. 17, online retail spending totaled $20.13 billion, a 25 percent increase over the same period in 2005, and from Dec. 18-Dec. 20, online retail spending totaled $1.55 billion, a 35 percent increase over the same period in 2005.

"Late-season online shoppers spent more than $1.5 billion in the first three days of the final work week before Christmas (Dec. 18-Dec. 20), up 35 percent versus the corresponding days last year," said ComScore Networks Chairman Gian Fulgoni in a statement. "In past years, online spending slowed significantly well before Christmas, but this year, spending has accelerated up until the final days of the holiday season. The surge in late season online buying appears to be the result of retailers' shipping guarantees, coupled with consumers' willingness to pay for expedited shipping and their confidence that their purchases will arrive on time."

High-ticket items such as jewelry and watches (up 66 percent), video-game consoles (up 54 percent) and consumer electronics (up 33 percent) fueled online retail growth this holiday season, as did popular gift categories such as video games (up 65 percent), event tickets (up 54 percent), toys (up 36 percent), sport and fitness (up 34 percent) and apparel and accessories (up 31 percent).

From January-October, online retail spending totaled $77.5 billion, a 24 percent increase over the same period in 2005.


Tuesday, December 26, 2006

Watches have evolved over the centuries and become almost a necessity. There are many types of watches all with different functions. If you are looking for a watch there are a few things to keep in mind. Your budget is important here. The amount you can spend on a watch will dictate what type of watch and what features or functions you will be able to have. Watches can range in price from $2.00 or $3.00 all the way up to thousands of dollars and more.
An analog watch is a watch that has hands. There may be a second hand or not. The second hand moves in continuous sweeping motion. Some second hands will move in two second intervals to indicate the batteries need to be replaced. Digital watches have the time displayed in numerals. Digital watches are very popular.
An LCD watch uses liquid crystal display to show the time. The numbers are usually gray or black on a lighter background. An LED watch uses a diode that emanates light. There is usually a button to push to display the time. The numbers in the display are red in color.
A quartz watch is very popular in the market place today as well and it runs on batteries. A tiny quartz crystal in the watch vibrates at a very stable frequency. This keeps the time instead of the traditional mechanical movement.
Other watches include a mechanical watch. It operates with the movement of a set of gears. A spring inside the watch is wound to power the gears. A jewel watch uses gems such as rubies at points of friction inside the movement.
A diving watch is water resistant through a depth of between fifty to one hundred meters and it is marked on the dial. Instead of the usual push/pull crown, a diving watch has a screw down crown. This creates a better water tight seal. The band is made of rubber or similar material because the salt water won’t cause deterioration.
Functions on watches include calendars, time zones, stop watches, and alarms. Many have the option of being set to standard or military time. Still others have indigo lights that when a button is pressed will light up and make the numbers more visible. This is especially good in a hospital or nursing home setting where you need the light to read the second hand while checking pulses. There are some watches that have removable face plates so that you can have your watch match what you are wearing. The shape of a watch can be almost any shape as well such a round or rectangular. There are ring watches and pendant watches. Pocket watches are making a come back as well.
The bands on watches are as varied in material and design as the watches themselves. There are metal bands that stretch, there are bands made of material similar to the straps on backpacks and that fasten with Velcro. There are bands of cloth, hemp, metal links and bands that come in one or two pieces.
About the Author
Martin Smith is a freelance writer providing advice and information on a variety of products. His numerous articles provide a wonderfully researched resource. Drop by the site for more information if you have time !


Watch Technology and Improvements

Without a watch faithfully telling people the exact time, many men and women feel naked. While walking down any street, count how many people are wearing watches compared to those without. A watch is the one thing that guarantees you are always on time for any meeting, appointment, or other event.
Technology is forever changing. With the advancements in technology, you will discover that watches also come with many interesting new features. While you can select your watch on appearance alone, it might be nice to select a watch that also offers a unique function that can help you with your daily routine. Despite the advancements in technology, you may be surprised to learn the history of watches. Battery operated watches are not as current as one might think.
In the fourteenth century, watches involved winding the motorized mechanism every day. Batteries were not used. Forgetting to wind the clock meant you would have to reset the time. Watches in the fourteenth century worked off a spring, oscillator, dial, watch hands, and gears.
The watch battery was not used until the 1960s. The popular watchmaker, Bulova, came up with a transistor oscillator that ran off the juice of a battery. Many found this new design to be easier to use, though it still posed many troublesome issues.
To run off battery power, the timing element on a watch had to be redesigned in order to fit in the necessary battery. Quartz crystals had been used in computers and radio equipment for years, so they were tested in watches and found to be excellent at keeping accurate time. With this troublesome issue resolved, manufacturers could produce watches with quartz timing.
When heated, quartz produces an electric charge. This charge creates the movement needed to turn the mechanisms that help keep proper time.
The quartz is carved into the shape of a tuning fork. The fork shaped crystal gives off a mild frequency that vibrates the other components causing them to move. One problem with quartz tuning is that no dust, dirt, or oils from hands can get on the crystal or it will fail to work effectively. It is essential that you not touch the inner mechanisms of your watch to keep it running efficiently.
The frequency emitted by the crystal can also power the circuits on a digital watch. Digital watches are increasingly popular due to their range of styles and colors. The watches appeal to young and old alike.
With ever changing advancements in watch technology, who knows what may be powering watches in years to come. Water, solar, even air could become potential power options for your wrist timepiece. The limits are endless. Therefore, be on the look out for new forms of time keeping in the near future!


Monday, December 25, 2006

Watch dials unit plans investment in Switzerland

NEW DELHI: Kamla Dials and Devices Limited (KDDL), manufacturer of watch dials, is planning to either take over a running unit or invest in a greenfield project in Switzerland. With this strategy, the company seeks to raise its existing seven per cent market share in Switzerland to 30-40 per cent.

KDDL Chairman, Yashovardhan Saboo, told The Hindu that his company, which has units in Uttaranchal and Himachal Pradesh, was at present meeting 80 per cent of the Indian watch market's requirements. A supplier to major manufacturers like Titan, Timex and Maxima, the company's next step was to opt for setting up a unit abroad to enable easier access to the large European market, he said.

With this road map, he plans to raise the company's existing turnover of Rs. 60 crore to Rs. 250 crore over the next five years. As for exporting dials to Switzerland, he said it was extremely difficult to get a foothold in this market owing to stringent quality conditions. Besides, stiff competition has to be faced from Chinese suppliers of watch components. However, after having established quality products, it was time to capitalise on the past export efforts, he said.

Mr. Saboo said that capturing 30-40 per cent market share in the Swiss watch industry would be made possible through taking over a functioning watch dials unit or buying out a closed plant or setting up a greenfield plant that could cost about $3-7 million.


Saturday, December 23, 2006

Making Time

Making Time with the Watchmakers

To combat a shortage of skilled horologists, Rolex is underwriting a free school in Pennsylvania to teach the craft to a new generation

It's just six months until graduation, and in a bright, clinical classroom, 12 students in crisp white lab coats with round loupes attached to their foreheads and glasses pressed to their noses are sitting on low stools at their work benches. In front of them, under Plexiglas lids that look like miniature cake holders, are tiny disassembled parts, some the size of a grain of salt, others no wider than a human hair. Under the tutelage of a master horologist, the intensely focused individuals are being given a lecture on the Lemania caliber 1873 chronograph, a mechanical timepiece with a 30-minute counter and a small second-hand dial.

It's one of five types of chronographs that by graduation, each of the 12 pupils will be able to take apart, diagnose, handcraft a part for, and repair. The individuals, all second-year students at the Lititz Watch Technicum, are in the final phase of studying what until only recently was considered the dying art of watchmaking.

Launched in 2001 by Rolex USA, the U.S. arm of the venerable 101-year-old Geneva watchmaker, the Lititz Watch Technicum was started in an effort to shore up the shortage of skilled watchmakers in the U.S., which had for decades been on the wane due to the popularity of digital and electronic watches. However, a strong resurgence in mechanical watches in recent years, particularly luxury models, has catapulted demand for horologists, a profession that was not so long ago thought to be going the way of blacksmiths and corset makers.

The End of an Era?

A not-for-profit foundation, the Technicum is fully subsidized by Rolex, which underwrites the $10,000-a-year tuition for all students and helps subsidize the cost of tools, which run about $5,000 per student. "We were facing a situation today where we needed to foster a new generation of watchmakers," says Charles Berthiaume, the senior vice-president for technical operations at Rolex and the Technicum's president "Thirty to 40 years ago, there was a watchmaker at every jewelry store. That's not the case today," he notes. Since opening, the school, which is partnered with the Watchmakers of Switzerland Training and Education Program, has graduated 40 students.

Following World War II, the watch-manufacturing industry in the U.S. had all but disappeared, as dominant Swiss and Japanese manufacturers took over. Then in 1969, Seiko introduced the first battery powered quartz watch, nearly sounding the death knell for mechanical watches. Four years later, the Tokyo-based company began selling liquid-crystal display digital watches.

The precipitous decline of mechanical watches had begun, as more and more cheap battery-powered and digital watches hit the U.S. market and gained popularity. "Personally, for me, the introduction of quartz watches was a dark day for our industry," says Herman Mayer, the German-born principal of the Lititz Watch Technicum.

A Disappearing Breed

Unlike electronic watches, which need little more than battery or strap replacement, mechanical timepieces still require intricate micromechanics for maintenance and service. A typical self-winding watch can have as many 300 parts, and they're all packed into a space the size of quarter and less than half an inch thick.

Despite the advances of technology, the basic proficiencies of watchmaking haven't changed much in over 300 years. As the need for trained horologists dropped sharply, so too did the number of schools and programs teaching watchmaking. According to Berthiaume, in 1976 there were 43 watchmaking programs in the U.S. Today, that number has fallen to 12.

However, something of a renaissance in mechanical watches began in the 1990s. Traditional handcrafted timepieces with price tags starting at $1,000 and increasing exponentially have become highly desired. According to the Federation of the Swiss Watch Industry, exports from Switzerland—where most of the top-name timepieces originate—spiked 11% last year, to more than $9.5 billion. While mechanical watches make up only 10% of production in the watch industry, they make up more than 50% of revenue (see BusinessWeek. com, 3/29/06, "High Times for Luxury Watchmakers").

"Owning a Complication"

Indeed, lately, the more complicated a timepiece, the more in demand it is. The tourbillion (French for whirlwind), originally invented in 1795, uses the Earth's gravity to keep ultra-precise time. It can start at $100,000 and is a prized complication. Perpetual calendars—which need some 100 parts, can calculate leap years, and don't require adjustment until the year 2100—are also popular. And the chronograph, once considered quite rare, has become something of a statement in recent years for its ability to measure time in different ways through several sub-dials on the face.

"This is about more than just time keeping," says Mayer. "It's all about adding a mechanical challenge and owning a complication." Indeed, in 1999, a platinum Patek Phillippe watch that was custom-made in 1933 for the New York banker Henry Graves Jr., containing 24 complications—including a split second chronograph and a chart of the nighttime sky over Graves' home—was sold at auction for $11 million.

Underscoring further the need for watchmakers is the growing secondary market of vintage timepieces. For these watches, should a problem arise, not only would the owner need a trained repairman but many of the spare parts needed are no longer being manufactured. "Every watch has its own challenge," says Mayer. "Many pieces are individually made."

A Popular Program

With sales of mechanical timepieces up and the number of watchmakers, with an average age of 60, moving in the opposite direction, the industry realized it was in danger of not being able to support the market. Jim Lubic, the executive director of the American Watchmakers-Clockmakers Institute, a trade group based in Cincinnati, says "There's no question we could probably use another couple thousand watchmakers without any problem." Currently, he notes, schools are putting out some 65 to 70 watchmakers annually. "But to keep up with attrition we need more like 75 to 100 a year."

Located in the small town of Lititz, Pa., in the heart of Amish country, the Technicum is housed in a Michael Graves-designed modern stone barn. The sun-filled interior contains the school's two classrooms, labs for waterproofing and cleaning, and a library. The stainless-steel cafeteria offers students espresso served in porcelain cups. The second floor houses a Rolex service center.

The Technicum receives at least 100 applications for each class of 12 students for the two-year, 3,000-hour curriculum. While Rolex underwrites the school, Lititz teaches the Swiss watchmaking skills necessary to work on every kind of timepiece, allowing its graduates flexibility.

Patience Required

Prospective applicants are vetted for their mechanical inclination, patience, self-motivation, problem-solving skills, abstract-thinking abilities, and discipline. Some, not all, have a background in watches or jewelry, a few have a college education, but most arrive fresh out of high school. Before they're accepted, final candidates are invited to spend a day at the school for interviews with the staff and then put through a series of tests to gauge their mechanical talents and thinking processes.

The first year is devoted to nothing but micromechanics. Pupils learn to handcraft and manufacture parts. For example, a four-day exercise consists solely of sharpening tools, so that the students learn the kind of precision, discipline, and patience they will need in working with watches. Likewise, 41 days are spent doing nothing but sharpening hairsprings. The only modern element to the craft is the use of a software program for mechanical drawings.

By the end of the first year, all students are required to build their own watch with a bridge, winding stem, and a balance staff. But most students create a timepiece well above the minimum requirements.

One of the most creative students, Kesse Humphreys, a 2004 graduate, has spent much of the past three years building a watch made of over 300 parts—all of them hand-made—including an instantaneous minute counter "In high school, I had no idea that I wanted to be a watchmaker," he says. "It's not for everyone. You have to be a very patient person and mechanically inclined."

Skills in Demand

During the second year, students concentrate on diagnosing problems, as well as the repair of simple and complicated timepieces, including manual wind, automatic, and electronic watches, and several types of chronographs. All student examinations are sent to Switzerland for grading.

Demand is so high for skilled watchmakers that the students are almost all assured employment upon graduation. Starting salaries range from $45,000 to $55,000 a year. The 40 Lititz alumni have gone on to work for independent jewelers, as well as Breitling, Chopard, and Patek Phillipe. Rolex has hired three of the graduates. Mayer says that while the school doesn't encourage students to go out on their own immediately, preferring that they work with an experienced watchmaker first, about 10% to 20% of the students have opted to start their own shops.

One of the legacies of the past 40 years of battery-powered watches, according to Mayer, is that consumers now demand high-functioning watches. "Thirty years ago, a consumer wouldn't mind if the timing was one minute fast," he says. "But now, absolutely not. That's just not acceptable. They're used to quartz." But he adds, "If a watchmaker knows what he's doing, it's feasible to [engineer] a mechanical watch to run within a couple of seconds."

Clearly pleased with the results of the Lititz school and hoping to encourage the rest of industry to follow suit, Rolex two years ago made a $1 million grant over five year to support watchmaking at Seattle Community College and launched a similar grant at St. Paul College in Minnesota. In 2003, Rolex launched a second Technicum in Tokyo, and is planning another, in a yet to be announced third country. For the next generation of horologists, it’s about time.

To flip through a slide show on how students learn the art of mechanical watchmaking at the Lititz school.

Perman is a staff writer for in New York.


Watch dealer seeks damages

A LUXURY watch dealer in Zhejiang Province has filed a suit against fashion giant LVMH Moet Hennessy Louis Vuitton SA for millions of yuan in compensation as the French firm allegedly unilaterally ended their partnership before the contract expires.

Hangzhou Baoliang Keyi Co Ltd sought eight million yuan (US$1.02 million) from LVMH Watch & Jewelry Hong Kong Ltd, the Chinese watch agent of France-based LVMH, for violation of a three-year contract. The Hangzhou Intermediate People's Court accepted the case late last month but the fashion company hasn't yet responded to the court.

"The court will hear the case as early as January," said Qiu Hongwei, attorney for Baoliang.

LVMH Watch & Jewelry last October agreed to make Baoliang the dealer of its TAG Heuer and Dior watches under a three-year contract. Baoliang later registered another firm, Look (Hangzhou) Trading Co Ltd, as the sole dealer for the two brands.

Baoliang a month later opened a TAG Heuer store in Hangzhou. In January, it opened a second store selling solely Dior watches right beside the TAG Heuer outlet. The Dior store is the first licensed dealer of LVMH in China, as the other outlets are operated by the French company, according to LVMH's corporate magazine.

However, in March this year, LVMH asked Baoliang to shut the Dior store as its Chinese strategy changed after a change of its top management. After Baoliang declined the request, LVMH in August halted supplying its watches to the two stores.

"Only more than 60 TAG Heuer watches are left and the Dior watches have been sold out," said Ying Lianping, director of Look (Hangzhou) Trading Co Ltd. "We used to have at least 120 Dior watches and 140 TAG Heuer watches in stock."

Monthly sales at the two outlets plunged from the 950,000 yuan in September to 20,000 yuan now, far from covering the store costs of more than 100,000 yuan every month.

The Hong Kong-based agent last month sent Baoliang an official notice to terminate their partnership, saying the Hangzhou dealer violated the contract by allowing a third party - Look (Hangzhou) Trading Co Ltd - to run the two stores.

"The reason is groundless because Look (Hangzhou) has been dealing with LVMH since the stores were opened and LVMH did not question or complain, which means the French company already acknowledged that Look (Hangzhou) and Baoliang are of the same party," said Qiu.

A spokeswoman at LVMH Watch & Jewelry's Beijing office wasn't available for comment yesterday.


Friday, December 22, 2006

Wrist Watch Strap Repair

One annoying aspect about watches is how easily their straps break. They have that annoying little pin that slides into the hole at the top of the strap then fixes onto the watch itself. But the strap constantly falls off. If you have a watch for more than two years it will probably happens 4 or 5 times. Usually it can by fixed by yourself. Easily done, just slide the pin back into place. The problem comes when you bend that pin or lose it. Where do you get a new one?

Well of course you take it to a watchmakers ot be fixed. Basically you get a new strap. It costs very little and takes a small amount of time to be done. There is virtually no waiting.

The problem comes when the watchmaker asks what strap you want. Nowadays there are so many different types. There are leather and metal straps as well as all different colors and designs. You came into to get your watch fixed and you are now faced with the difficult but strangely pleasurably experience of trying to decide what strap will look the best. Which one will give you the most attention?

When you walk out of that shop you may as well be wearing a whole new watch it so little resembles what it looked like a mere five minutes ago. Yes by all means get your strap repaired just remember it is now regarded as one of the most important aspects of the watch and can change its whole feel.

I remember I bought an awful watch from the market precisely for the reason that it was cheap. Nasty, but cheap. Like all cheap things from the market it broke within days. I caught the strap in a door and it ripped off. So off I went to the watch repair to get a new one. When I came out of that shop I still had the same awful digital clock face, but instead of the sweaty plastic strap I had a gorgeous green leather one. I loved my watch after that and it has to be said it drew a number of compliments.

The problem comes of course when you have an old watch and the strap breaks maybe for the first time. You go to the repair shop intent on getting the same strap and they no longer have it in stock. In fact it is no longer made. The best advice for that situation is trying the Internet. If that doesn't work there are enough straps out there to find a similar looking one. It may not quite be the same, but I suppose their is nothing you can do.

Article Source:

Gregg Hall is an author living in Navarre Beach, Florida. Find more about this as well as fine watches at


Thursday, December 21, 2006

Swatch to release new products

MUMBAI: The Swatch Group Ltd, the Swiss watch major, is gearing up to further enhance its brand portfolio in the country.

The international watch maker, which grossed 4.497 billion Swiss francs in 2005, plans to introduce four additional brands in the Indian market.

Further details — the new brands and the time frame identified by the company for launching these in the country — were not disclosed. With the introduction of new brands, the Swatch Group’s product offerings in India will increase to 10 brands.

Catering to a variety of customers, the Swiss watchmaker currently offers six brands including Rado, Omega, Tissot, Swatch, Breguet and Longines.

Growing consistently at 40% year on year (YoY), Swatch currently retails through 140 points of sales (PoS) across 53 towns in the country. The company also plans to enhance its Rado exclusive boutique network to 12 outlets across various locations by end of 2007.

The points of sales will be increased to over 150 in the same time span.

Christian Leiggener, regional sales manager for Rado Watch Co Ltd, told DNA Money: “We currently have two such Rado boutiques in the country — one each in Delhi and Chennai. New boutiques will come up in high net worth cities like Mumbai, Chandigarh, Ludhiana among others. In fact, Mumbai will have four such boutiques.”

Spread across 60 - 70 sq m, the exclusive Rado boutiques will be set up in partnership with the local retailers wherein the latter will own the real estate and will be responsible for managing the store.

“Our participation will be in the area of furniture, stock, training and marketing support,” said Leiggener.

Not disclosing the financials of the company, Leiggener estimates Rado’s contribution to under 50% of the retail set-up cost.

On an average, setting up such an exclusive boutique requires an investment ranging between Rs 1.5 to Rs 2 crore.

The watchmaker recently unveiled the new Rado.True range comprising four variants in Mumbai.

The Rado.True has been priced upwards of Rs 42,000 and will be made available through a mix of exclusive Rado boutiques and multi-brand outlets.


You think you have seen it all??


Time pieces has transformed in a great way from the early times when people used to measure time by following the location of the sun. In between we had countless methods or devices to measure time.

Sand+Time Watch
is a unique time piece that combines latest technologies and traditional way of calculating time. The hot watch inherits the interface from a classic sand hourglass. Offering the time in modern electronic hours and light-emitting diode technology for the screen image, the new watch works in two modes. First is the screensaver and the other is common numbers. As far as the screensaver is concerned, it takes the shape of a sand hourglass to measure a particular time unit according to the liking of the wearer, whereas, the second mode depicts time in a regular or modern numerical figures. It comes in a plastic case with a rubber strap.

Sand+Time Watch, no doubt, is a unique time piece that not only will give altogether new look for the wearer but importantly restore old way of measuring the time.


Just where do these watches come from?

This is a great article. In the last few years I've become somewhat jaded with respect to parts of the Swiss Watch industry. I completely understand efficiency, division of labor, and the fact that parts have been outsourced as far back as Breguet himself was making watches. That said, I think that some of the manufacturers are more than a bit disingenuous with respect to their 'manufactured' histories. Some take more liberty than others when referring to a movt. as being 'in-house'. Of course it's continuum, but I have seen enough of brands putting a custom rotor on Valjoux 7750 and giving it their own calibre number designation and charging several thousand dollars (or more) for it.

I've come to have even more respect for brands such as Jaeger-LeCoultre, Rolex, Patek, Omega (particularly the Speedmaster Professional), Chopard, Seiko, Vacheron Constantin, and others. Dufour and his peers as well of course.

Horomundi: Do Elves Make Swiss Watches?: "BNB Concept now makes watches – that’s right, COMPLETE watches, not movements – for 25 different brands. High profile clients that I can mention include: HD3 (Idalgo), Jacob (the Quenttin), Hublot (Bigger Bang)
Out of the top 50 luxury watch brands, La Joux-Perret counts at least 25 as clients. In keeping with the cloud of secrecy and misinformation that pervades so much of the Swiss watch industry, the majority of La Joux-Perret’s clientele are a well kept secret. However, a little research uncovers quite a few prestigious names, including Panerai (split second chronographs), Louis Vuitton, Tag Heuer (Caliber 360), Corum (sapphire tourbillon), Chanel (J12 Tourbillon), Maurice Lacroix (Masterpiece Tourbillon Retrograde), Raymond Weil, Jorg Hysek, Graham, and Hublot (Big Bang)."


Wednesday, December 20, 2006

Swiss watchmakers sound alarm over internet fakes

The Swiss watch industry is facing an uphill struggle to check the rapidly expanding network of illegal websites selling counterfeit watches, Swiss Radio International (SRI) reported on Tuesday.

The run-up to Christmas has seen a flood of spam, offering discounts on "replica" watches -- even the Federation of the Swiss Watch Industry has received such offers, the report said.

"Christmas is a period that is set up for this kind of offer and people are profiting from this," said Jean-Daniel Pasche, president of the federation.

"It's a very difficult situation. Unfortunately, the internet has helped increase the distribution of counterfeit watches," Pasche added.

According to the federation, those wanting to buy a fake Rolex or Patek Philippe no longer need to travel to Asia, where 70 percent of the fakes are made. At the touch of a button, an increasing number of websites are willing to deliver counterfeits to the customers' doors.

One site visited by swissinfo is selling a fake 18K Oyster Perpetual Submariner with "all the appropriate Rolex markings in the correct places" for $239 (SFr291). The genuine article retails for around SFr25,500.

Another is advertising a replica Breitling Navitimer Olympus, again with all the trimmings, ready for worldwide shipping at $249.95 a piece. An original goes for around SFr6,000.

The federation estimated that counterfeiting costs the Swiss watch industry around 800 million Swiss francs (around 655 million U.S. dollars) every year.

Pasche said that the Swiss watch industry was still trying to open a new front in the war on counterfeiting.

"There are a lot of things to do. We are trying to step up the fight but it will take a long time. This is a new aspect of counterfeiting," he said.

The Swiss watch industry produces around 25 million timepieces every year, a number that is surpassed by the 40 million fakes produced around the world, the SRI said.


Jaeger-LeCoultre Master Grand Réveil Fantasy


Is it just me or are blocky serif fonts on watchfaces a little off-putting? When the serif font is thin and spindly, I think it really works well.

That said, I’m sure the movement in this new JLC beast is amazing, but the face I could probably do without. What think ye?

Jaeger-LeCoultre Master Grand Réveil Fantasy [Velociphile]


Marine Tourbillon Chronograph by Breguet

The latest watch from Breguet is the Ref. 5837, a chronograph that includes a tourbillon. The beautiful 18K pink gold watch uses the manual-wind Breguet caliber 554.2T movement with 25 jewels and a power reserve of 50 hours. The watch has front and back sapphire crystals and is water resistant to 100 meters. The dial is black rhodium plated over 18K gold and is engine-turned in a wave pattern. The very handsome watch comes with a rubber strap. It's an attractive caoutchouc rubber strap with a gold clasp but I still think that elegant watch deserves a more elegant band.

[via Time Zone]

Wrist Dreams - Predict Solar Storms With Your Watch

People will soon be wearing watches that warn of solar storm strikes, which would result in likely power blackouts, stated space storm experts at the American Association for the Advancement of Science in Washington DC. This would allow them to shut down any critical systems.The Sun’s 11-year rotation of activity will be at its violent peak this year and US officials are "anticipating a higher frequency of more severe storms this year."

Gary Heckman from the US National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) predicted, "Everyone will have their own wireless wrist display to get forecasts of space weather."Development of these watches is already underway for astronauts’ use during spacewalks to detect increase in cancer risk. Via BBC News


Monday, December 18, 2006

Read a book about watches!

Among all the timepieces created during the 20th century, the Tank watch, designed by the master jeweler Louis Cartier has remained the most long-lived and the most coveted by glamorous people around the world. Inspired by the modernistic design of the Renault tank and given to General Pershing in 1918, it was the first elegant wristwatch destined for the modern man of action. Adapted also for women, the Tank has been a constantly evolving masterpiece of the jeweler’s art while remaining an object of practical design for an age of technological progress.

This elegant volume traces the story of the celebrated Tank from its inception in 1917 throughout the century, weaving history and anecdote, and linking its many variations to the other great designs for watches and jewelry from Cartier’s long and distinguished production. An illustrated history in three parts covers the evolution of the design and tells the story of the famous people who wore them. This is followed by an extensively researched, comprehensive catalogue featuring more than 250 vintage models drawn from Cartier’s archives as well as numerous private collections around the world.

The informative text and superb illustrations locate the Tank at the heart of Cartier’s creations, and also in the context of contemporary watchmaking and objets d’art, where Cartier has always been an innovator. It presents the astonishing range of Tank forms from nearly a century of design–from the rare Tank Chinoise to the famous Must and the recent Tank Française–all of which have maintained the unique Cartier identity.

Drawing on Cartier’s extensive archives–many published here for the first time–this sumptuous volume, with more than 540 illustrations, provides an essential resource for vintage watch collectors and for all those who admire Cartier’s distinctive style and exquisite workmanship.


A look at a Caller ID watch

Bluetooth watches will finally become a reality at the end of October thanks to Fossil and Sony Ericsson's new Caller ID Bluetooth watch. The watch pairs with Sony Ericsson Bluetooth-enabled phones and Nokia series 60 phones running Symbian 7, 8, and 8.1 to alert you when someone calls. Not only does the watch discreetly vibrate, but it displays caller ID information on a small OLED display, and allows you to mute or reject the incoming call. Very slick. It even notifies you of incoming text messages, as well. Here are the details:

  • Analog timekeeping.
  • OLED displays caller ID information and text message icon.
  • Bluetooth 2.0 compatible.
  • Vibrating alert (essential to keep you from drawing unwanted attention).
  • Rechargeable battery (via USB or AC adapter).
  • Stainless steel case and bracelet.
  • Water-resistant to 30 meters, or 100 feet.
  • Mineral glass crystal.
  • 5 - 7 day battery life with power saving function.

In general, I'd say Fossil and Sony Ericsson have come up with a pretty compelling piece of technology. One of my big concerns with Bluetooth watches has always been battery life, but 5 - 7 days is very reasonable. Just charge your watch when you charge your phone, and you should be all set. Of course, keeping an active Bluetooth connection between your watch and your phone will drastically reduce your phone's battery life, but I tend to believe that as long as a phone can make it through an entire day of active use, that's good enough (I think it's easier to remember to charge your phone every night than every 5 days).

My other concern was style, and how an obvious lack of it would affect adoption. Fortunately, I think Fossil has learned the hard way that technology which doesn't come in a pretty package is technology that won't last (see the discontinued Abacus Wrist PDA and Abacus Wrist Net series). In my opinion, the Fossil Caller ID Bluetooth watch is a relatively handsome and unassuming timepiece.

The only thing I would add to Fossil's Caller ID watch is the ability to synchronize with the phone's time. Although I think this watch represents an impressive piece of technology, I actually wouldn't call it a true Bluetooth watch because the watch itself (the portion that tells time) actually isn't integrated with the Bluetooth functionality, as far as I can tell. In other words, the Caller ID watch is basically an analog watch and a Bluetooth caller ID device crammed together into the same case, operating completely independently. If they were integrated, the watch could be synchronized with the phone's internal time which phones get from their networks which is usually synchronized against a time server which, in turn, is synchronized with an atomic clock, which basically turns a Bluetooth watch into an atomic watch, as well.

The Fossil Caller ID Bluetooth watch will be available at the end of October, and will sell for $249. If you're the impatient type, you can pre-order one now from Fossil's site.


Nice Watches for nice guys :)

Bramante - 18K Red Gold & Diamond Men’s Watch

The Bramante collection by Naloni is a tribute to the famous Italian architect of the Renaissance. The vault and the arch are two architectural concepts recalled in the soft and elegant lines of this model. The two-tone dial with stylized numerals is framed by 190 natural dazzling diamonds for a total of 2.56 carats. With a mechanical automatic Swiss movement, the 18K red gold case is presented on a black alligator strap closing with an 18K red gold buckle. Wooden gift box included, Designed and Manufactured in Italy

Bucintoro - Men’s 18K Red Gold and White Alligator Dual Time Watch

Bucintoro was the legendary golden boat built in 1311 for the Doge of Venice. Naloni dedicates to it one of its collections in a limited and numbered edition. The dial is divided in two separate time zones with Roman golden numerals and features a dual-time Swiss movement. Wooden gift box included, Designed and Manufactured in Italy

Chase-Durer CD262.8WOX-BR03

Chase-Durer Men’s Watch: Solid 18K Gold Fighter Command Chronograph, Model CD262.8WOX-BR03.

  • Minimum 42 hour power reserve.
  • Chronograph: 60 seconds, 30 minutes & 12-hour elapsed time.
  • Case in solid 18K gold, gr. 53;
  • Screw-locked crown & pushers.
  • Tachymetre.
  • Sapphire distortion-free crystal.
  • Calendar day & date windows.
  • Water resistant to 30m/100feet.
  • Diameter 40mm;
  • Thickness 13mm;
  • Weight 5.7oz.
  • Bracelet in 18K gold, gr. 80; or crocodile strap.
  • Limited Edition of 250.
  • 2 Year limited international warranty

    Canova - Automatic 18K Gold & Diamonds Men’s Watch

    The Canova collection by Naloni is a tribute to the famous Italian sculptor. The elegance and beauty of his sculptures are captured in this men’s model which features an elegant round case enriched by 142 natural dazzling diamonds for a total of 1.52 carats and has an automatic Swiss movement. The opalescent dial has a date window at three o’clock and is presented on a black alligator strap that closes with an 18K gold logo-engraved deployment buckle. Wooden gift box included, Designed and Manufactured in Italy

    Seiko SLQ021

    Limited edition men’s chronograph with carbon fiber dial and titanium carbon nitride plating from the Seiko Sportura Collection features a Seiko quartz kinetic movement with anti-reflection sapphire crystal, exhibition caseback. Comes packaged in rich red-accented leather case along with an actual gear from a Formula 1 race car. Model SLQ021 - Source

  • Thursday, December 14, 2006

    Another Diver Watch - Not for the budget concious

    The Pro One is TechnoMarine's new high-end diving watch. Another rugged watch, this one adds a touch of luxury with a large asymmetrical 18K rose gold case and a black carbon fiber dial but keeps is real with a rubber strap. it uses an automatic Swiss movement and has hour, minute, second, day and date functions. The watch is limited to 80 pieces as a tribute to the 80-meter world apnea diving record established in 1999 by Italian free-diver Umberto Pelizzari who is TechnoMarine's newest Ambassador. The watches are numbered and come with a certificate signed by Pelizzari. The watch sells for $14,995.


    Give the eco-friendly gift - A solar watch

    Thursday, December 14, 2006

    Eco-Friendly Watch Gift - A Solar Watch

    Casio wrote the book on solar watches and they have designed a solar watch line that is not only tough, it's great looking too.

    If you have a gift to buy this holiday season and the recipient is socially conscious and recycles whatever they can and conserves water at every opportunity, the gift of a solar watch will delight them.

    The Casio MTP 1225A is a gorgeous silver banded wrist watch with a ruggedly designed case with a sturdy band. The dial is also designed to be clear and easy to read. This solar watch is water resistant to 100 meters and has an auto LED light with a handy afterglow to make telling time in low lighting conditions a breeze.

    The solar power cells within the watch may be charged by either sunlight or exposure to bright indoor lighting. The 3-hand analog makes telling time handy on the easy to read dial and there is also the addition of a handy calendar to help keep track of important dates and events. There is also a power saving function to help keep the solar battery cells from discharging and all of this is housed in a durable stainless steel casing along with a stainless band.

    If you need watches that is both functional and eco-friendly, a solar watch is a marvelous gift that will let them feel good about the watch they are wearing. Best of all, you can pass on to them this watch has a full manufacture's warranty, but they don't have to know that shipping was free! Happy holidays from Watches Giant!

    posted by Watches Giant

    N E W M o d e l – Riedenschild Precision Instruments DarkSeaDiver

    Designed by Oliver Wolf for watch manufacturer Riedenschild Precision, the DarkSeaDiver is a new German diver now available in the U.S.

    All Riedenschild watches are hand made and assembled in Germany. All watch models sold are tested against DIN Norms. The company’s atelier is located in Fuchsstadt, near Munich.

    The case, in stainless steel, measures 45mm and is water resistant to 200 meters. The crystal is mineral and the caseback and crown are screw-in with protectors for the crown.

    Movement is the automatic caliber CM8215 (base Miyota). It is available with a rubber strap or a stainless steel bracelet. The dial scale comes in red or yellow.

    MSRP starts at $259 to $289.

    Riedenschild Watches


    Wednesday, December 13, 2006

    Complicated Complications....

    Franck Muller Aeternitas Watch

    There's a commercial on television with Jessica Simpson in her full Daisy Dukes attire going on about some HDTV. At the end she says, "I don't what that means but I want it." I feel a bit like that about the Franck Muller Aeternitas watch. Do you really need a watch that can go for 1,000 years without a correction? Probably not but still it's an amazing accomplishment.

    One look at the Franck Muller Aeternitas and you can tell it has a lot going on. This watch is for those who really get into complex mechanical complications. Instead of a regular perpetual calendar this watch is designed to follow a 1,000 year cycle without correction and takes into account the rule governing the Gregorian calendar. An article in Europastar breaks down the details. The watch comes in four version and uses a Cintrée Curvex curved automatic movement. The traditional perpetual calendar has the day, date, month and moon phases taking in to account the variations in each month. It also takes into account leap years but hast to be adjusted three times in a row every 100 years because in the Gregorian calendar every 400 years, the leap year is canceled for three centuries in a row and is re-established on the fourth century. The Aeternitas eternal calendar is a module on the watch which takes this into account. It has two sets of wheels, the first is a set of a wheel of 10 years, a wheel of 100 years and a wheel of 1,000 years; the second set is designed for the setting. The watch also has the retrograde date at 12 o'clock, days, months, 24h day and night, normal leap year cycle and indicates the time equation. The equation of time is coupled with the calendar, which means that even when the watch is not wound for many years, at the moment of its correction, the equation of time follows the calendar.

    With so many complications to keep track of and that big tourbillon obliterating the six o clock spot, the dial is a bit cluttered. It's a bit of a case of Dance Ten, Looks Three. The watch sells for around one million euros. Pricey yes, but consider it a bet that the world as it is will continue another thousand years (and looking at it that way it works out to only 1,000 euros per year).


    The signs of Time

    Fine watches tell your status as much as the time

    By Rod Stafford Hagwood
    Posted December 13 2006

    There is one thing that Generation Next is always sure of: They know what time it is.

    Cell phones, personal digital assistants, iPods -- they all have timepieces. You'd have to be completely unwired to not know what time it is ... and when's the last time anyone under the age of 25 was completely unwired?

    And yet, everyone is still wearing fine watches. What's more, the fashion of the times calls for old-guard-looking chronographs often with "old school" Roman numerals.

    Roman numerals in the digital age; Einstein was right (it's all circular ... like fashion).

    "You don't buy a Cartier timepiece to tell time. You buy it to tell about you," explained Mike Spezialetti, assistant vice president of Cartier while visiting Mayors' annual Swiss Watch Fair Preview held in the Galleria store this year.

    "It's about the look," echoed Mayors Senior Vice President of Merchandising Audrey Alvarez. "It's not necessarily about the time."

    The industry knows that watches tell more than the time. It's a game of exclusivity.

    "We're a designer-label society," said Boca Raton-based jeweler David Stern. "I'm not in the `need' business. I'm in the `want' business. Sure it's a different generation now with all the computers. But the same person who drives a BMW, Mercedes or a Porsche is going to have a nice watch on. And he's going to have his PDA too, and everything else with it."

    Stern says he carries the Swiss Dubey-Schaldenbrand brand of watches ($4,000 to $25,000) because of the exclusive limited edition qualities of the line. "It's a watch-collector's watch. People buy it because it's unique and everyone wants something that's one of a kind."

    Bryan Reeves, technical research director of the Miami-based Philip Stein Teslar watches, agrees and says digital accessories aside, people love having an excuse to wear something decorative.

    "I don't care if you have a cell phone and an iPod on you, young people still love wearing beautifully designed things on their wrists. Young people love expressing themselves with their fashion and their jewelry and their electronics. They want something with all the bells and whistles; but also looks great."

    According to Reeves, the Philip Stein Teslar watch ($595 to $17,500 at Neiman's and select Saks and Bloomie's) emits a signal that strengthens the body's electromagnetic energy field. Smirk if you like, but Oprah Winfrey swears that her Teslar -- a gift from Madonna -- allows her to stay on the treadmill longer. Sean Combs has a collection of Teslars, and talk has it that Barbara Walters never takes hers off.

    When it comes to the famous, every second counts.

    Rod Stafford Hagwood can be reached at


    Geek Watches - The Holiday Buying Guide

    I’m a huge watch geek. Therefore, I thought it fitting that I cover ten nice timepieces that you can pick up for the horolgy geek in your life. A few caveats, however. I’m a traditional watch geek, one who slobbers over mechanical watches in the $500-$100,000 range, so if we sat down to discuss this over a beer I’d tell you to buy a nice mechanical automatic watch instead of a quartz one. However, I understand that those things are horribly expensive - although I will discuss a few cheaper mechanical models in here. Let’s dig in, shall we?

    Tissot T-Touch

    The T-Touch comes in both titanium and steel models and is one of the coolest watches you’ll ever own. The crystal is touch sensitive, which means you can activate various features just by pressing the middle button at 3 o’clock and then touching a quadrant of the face. It has a barometer - no time scale, so it’s a bit useless but it gives a general weather prediction based on atmospheric pressure, an altimeter, alarm, and thermometer. Best of all it has a built-in compass. When you activate the compass, the hands start spinning like a real magnetic compass.

    At about $375, the T-Touch is a great, easy to wear watch. I have the model with the orange band and our own Josh has a titanium version. Both are quite handsome and rugged.

    TokyoFlash PIMP

    Our own Raj wears one of these sexy timepieces and it makes him look so hot that he was once asked to leave the San Francisco main library because he was ROCKING OUT SOOOOO HARD!

    The watch lights up in spirals every two minutes and you read the time by — there’s a little instruction booklet on the page, so you figure it out. Just a cool, $190 watch. Hurry and you can get free shipping from Japan.

    Nooka Zub Zot

    Nooka makes a mean watch. Designed by Matthew Waldman, the Nooka line consists of dots and dashes that in some way tell the time. It’s easier than it looks. The Zub Zot is his latest creation, a lower end model that costs a mere $125. It comes in black, white, red, orange, yellow and blue.

    I reviewed two of the earlier watches on my site. If you’re looking for something fun, these are real winners.

    Tissot PR50

    The first mechanical automatic in our round-up, the PR50 is a standard-issue, entry level timepiece with a nice pedigree. While it doesn’t have many features - just a sweep second hand and a little date window - it’s a great way to catch the watch bug and costs about $150 on a steel bracelet.

    Casio PAW1200-V Pathfinder Triple Sensor

    Casio makes a mean watch. Their G-Shock line is already well known but their Pathfinder and Sea-Pathfinder watches are beefy and full of features. This particular model has an altimeter, thermometer, and uses atomic timekeeping, which means it syncs with atomic clocks automatically and never needs to be set. It also has an excellent on-screen digital compass and runs on solar power. No setting? No batteries? Big and beefy? A man’s watch for $169? Nice.

    Seiko Orange Monster

    The bold Seiko Orange Monster aka the SKX781K3 is a 200 meter divers watch for about $200. The Orange Monster is famous among watch geeks for being a great entry-level watch that can withstand almost anything you throw at it. I have a model on a rubber strap as well as a “Blue Monster”, a blue-faced version, and it consistently ranks as one of my top pieces. It has an automatic movement with day and date displays.

    D.Freemont Sapphire Power Reserve Diver

    This $975 diver is quite expensive but worth every penny. Made by David McReady, this custom diver has a GMT function that offers a second timezone and classic looks that goes great with both a leather band and a rubber diver’s band. Each watch is hand-modified and timed and offers quite a bit of watch for the money. A bit expensive, by d.Freemont watches are something to consider if you’re looking for something a bit more unique.

    Yes Zulu Watch

    Need some hardcore solar geekery in your life? Pick up the Yes Zulu watch. It displays local time, sunrise and sunset times, moonrise and moon-set, the length of the day, and the lunar phase. Why do you need to know all this? Ummm…

    At $795, it’s a bit expensive but it’s quite classy and a definite conversation starter (”Excuse me, sir, but when does the moon set today?” “Why at 6:16pm, dear lady. Can I buy you a hot toddy?”)

    Omega Seamaster Professional 300M 2225.80.00 Chrono Diver

    This is my current favorite watch. It is a 300 meter diver with chronograph functions, which means it can measure intervals mechanically. It is expensive - $2,686.00 expensive - but it’s worth it. I have 20 watches and this is the one I wear the most. It is huge, heavy, and quite striking. Sell your kidney and go buy one.

    Einstein Relativity Watch

    The numbers on this $29.95 watch rotate and scare small children. How this shows relativity I’m not sure. However, it will make you look like a science nerd.


    A New Style on Your Wrist and a nice Present too


    Corum’s unrivaled Golden Bridge won the Public Prize in the ‘Watch of the Year 2005’ contest. The watch is unique and clear in its design. Its price makes it elite choice, as it is very difficult for a normal man to pay $30,000 for a wristwatch.
    The watch is not only a timepiece rather it is jewelry for your wrist.

    Corum’s new Golden Bridge is “baguette-shaped 18 carat gold bridges, diamond bezel flawlessly hand-engraved with charming rolling patterns, tiny gears lined up together, and slim open-worked black gold hands, that seem to be suspended in the space invented by the transparence of the four sapphire crystals enveloping the case. The case is featured in fine 18 carat gold or platinum ribs, with a tonneau-shape and concavely curved to give a smooth wear. The watch has been supplied by slipping spring winding system and 40 hours power-reserve that make possible to place the winding and time-setting crown at 6 o’clock between the horns of the case.”

    Watch’s mechanical movement is in the microcosm of four 18-carat gold inertia-blocks and this movement is redesigned and developed with the help of Swiss manufacturer Vaucher of Flourier. The watches from Corum are highly priced but their price is genuine and that can be seen in the every elegant and chic design of watch.



    There's no present like the time

    Expect to see more technology crammed into smaller spaces in this season's crop of the coolest timepieces.

    Plummeting prices and holiday deals on these special-purpose watches make it nearly impossible to own just one. There are watches available for capturing and cataloging data from virtually every aspect of your business and personal life.

    So go ahead and indulge.

    Humminbird SmartCast RF35 Fish Finding watch

    Hemingway would have loved it! Simply attach the SmartCast's sonar sensor to your fishing line, and cast away. The wireless sensor returns detailed information on the whereabouts of your prey in real time. The unit features proximity alarms, sensitivity level, depth range and fish identifier. All you need is bait and an excuse to get out of the office for a day; $84.99;

    iBEAM Optical Timepiece

    Call it the MacGyver of cool watches. While not the highest tech of the bunch, the iBEAM features two items that you'll wonder how you ever lived without: Press a spring loaded button, and a 5X magnifying lens pops up; press a second button and you'll activate a high-intensity LED flashlight. It has a stainless steel case and Japanese quartz movement; $100;

    Almeda Time Multiple Vibrating Alarm Watch

    The Almeda (for ALarm MEDical Alerts) was developed for monitoring multiple daily doses of medication, but it can be used for myriad reminders. The watch features six programmable chiming and vibrating alarms that are coded to pulsating visual confirmation dots on the watch's face. Avail-able in several strap combinations. We like the Knight with a woven mesh bracelet; $195;

    Thanko FMP3 watch

    The designers of this watch were clearly inspired by the Spy Mus in Washington, D.C. Beneath its rather boring exterior lies an audio device that can covertly record up to 1 gigabyte of conversation. Spies are supposed to look nondescript, remember.

    It also records audio from direct sources, such as CD players, and features an FM transmitter for playback through a radio. Imagine being able to instantly record and embarrass your guests at the Holiday party: priceless; $107;

    Suunto D9 Diving Wrist Computer

    Unencumber your dive kit with Suunto's wireless diving transceiver/watch. All the critical information that you need is on your wrist: depth, time, water temperature, tank pressure (with optional transceiver), decompression status and electronic compass.

    The built-in dive log enables you to track your dives and maintain a database on your computer. This large watch is cased in solid titanium with a sapphire crystal; $1,099;

    Speedtech WW1 Weather Watch Pro

    If sticking your head out the door or listening to the morning news doesn't fill your daily weather fix, then the WW1 is the watch for you.

    This Swiss- made gadget is designed for yacht racers, and features an ingenious magnetized impeller to measure wind speed and direction. Other features include readouts for temperature, barometric pressure, wind chill, altimeter, day and date and a timer; $145;

    Panatime NauticFish

    Just can't make up your mind about which kind of dive watch to buy? The German-made Panatime Diver Advance is a solid dive watch available in a variety of face, hand and strap configurations. Choose blue, orange or black faces; blue, orange or black hands; and red, orange, blue, black, yellow or white Italian- made straps. This sturdy steel chronometer is waterproof to 1,000 feet; $399;


    Tokyoflash is a company that specializes in funky Japanese watches that throw function out the window and concentrate on form. The latest offering is this wild numerically named watch that uses 31 green, yellow and red LEDs to display time, date and day. An auto light-up function displays the time every quarter hour between 6 p.m. and midnight; $84;

    Steve Lundin is technology editor of International Wristwatch magazine, and "chief hunter and gatherer" of Chicago-based BIGfrontier Communications Group,


    Tuesday, December 12, 2006

    Low-Power Crystal Oscillator IC Announced

    The EM7604 Uses Ten Times Less Power Than Comparable Circuits

    MARIN, Switzerland--(BUSINESS WIRE)--EM Microelectronic, an electronic systems company of the Swatch Group, introduces the EM7604, a low-power CMOS crystal oscillator circuit. The EM7604 is intended to be used with a 32.768 kHz tuning fork crystal as a low frequency clock oscillator with no other external components required. The IC is also available as the EM1564, which combines the oscillator circuit with a tuning fork crystal in a single, very low footprint ceramic package.

    The EM7604 is ideal for precision time references in real time clocks, timekeeping in network servers and computers, in mobile phones and as an improved alternative to embedded quartz oscillators. The IC also works well for metering electricity, gas and water. The small size and efficiency of the EM7604 makes it a perfect fit as a general purpose clock oscillator circuit for digital systems and in portable field communication applications.

    "The EM7604 uses up to ten times less power than similar circuits from the competition," says Mougahed Darwish, president of the management board of EM Microelectronic. This ultra-low power circuit can be operated with a supply voltage ranging from 1.2V to 5.5V and power consumption as low as 250nA. Additionally, the on-chip integrated oscillation capacitor provides excellent oscillator stability and tight frequency tolerance at an extended temperature range of up to 125°C.

    The circuit is available in a small SOT23-6 package and is matched with low-cost SMD quartz available from Micro Crystal, and is also compatible to crystals with high series resistance.

    Combined product

    The already announced EM1564 containing the EM7604 combined with a 32.768 kHz tuning fork crystal in a specially designed package is a result of the joint effort of Micro Crystal and EM Microelectronic, two companies of the Swatch Group Electronic Systems (SGES). The EM1564 package can replace standard quartz as a solution to limitations of miniaturization. It is also a convenient solution when application difficulties arise with quartz or on-chip embedded oscillators.


    The EM7604 circuit is available in the SOT23-6 package from EM Microelectronic and its authorized distributors. More information about this circuit is available at

    EM Microelectronic

    EM Microelectronic is a semiconductor manufacturer that designs and produces ultra-low-power, low-voltage, digital, analog and mixed-signal integrated circuits for battery-operated and field-powered devices in consumer, automotive and industrial applications. The companys product portfolio includes RFID circuits, ultra-low-power microcontrollers, voltage reset IC and microcontroller supervisory IC supervisor, watchdog, regulator, smart card ICs, LCD drivers and displays, sensor and optoelectronic ICs, mixed analog and digital gate arrays and application-specific integrated circuits. EM also produces LCD modules and offers bumping services.

    EM Microelectronic is one the electronic systems companies within the Swatch Group, producing and assembling ultra-low power, miniaturized and accurate microelectronic components and systems. Additional company and product information is available at

    Editors Note:

    Pricing for the EM7604 starts at $1.00 each in quantities of 1,000 pieces. (PLEASE DO NOT PUBLISH PRICE INFORMATION.)

    Photography of the EM7604 is available at: index.html

    Product fact sheet and datasheet for the EM7604 are available at: pdf pdf

    (Due to their length, these three URLs may need to be copied/pasted into your Internet browser's address field. Remove the extra space if one exists.)

    Please send business inquiries to:

    United States:

    Marketing Communications Department, EM Microelectronic-US, 5475 Mark Dabling Blvd. Suite 200, Colorado Springs, CO 80918, or


    Most Valuable Watch in America Unveiled

    "OV Watch" Outclasses a Rolex or Cartier for Six Million Women

    New York, NY (PRWEB) December 11, 2006 -- More sought-after than a Rolex, Patek Philippe or Cartier, the OV-Watch ( is the most valuable watch available for the more than six million U.S. women battling fertility issues.

    Laboratory chic in its gunmetal grey color and matching band, the OV-Watch is the only watch worn by stylish women from Rodeo Drive to Madison Avenue that actually helps predict a woman's best time to conceive.

    "Forget the diamond-studded Cartier for your wife or daughter this year. By giving an OV-Watch, you may be giving the gift of a child. And what present is better than that," said OV-Watch designer Rob Carter.

    FDA cleared and tested, the OV-Watch predicts the chloride ions (salt content) in your skin to more accurately forecast ovulation. In clinical trials at Duke University and Thomas Jefferson University, 66% more pregnancies are estimated to occur by month six with OV-Watch over LH kits.

    Watches are not available at Fred Segal, but you can order one at for $99, more than $10,000 less than other higher-priced designer watches.

    About OV-Watch
    OV-Watch® fertility predictor is clinically proven, patented, and FDA-cleared. It detects the chemical surge of chloride ions on the skin, which is an earlier predictor of a woman's fertility. It requires no urine sampling or temperature taking. Just wear it while you sleep. OV-Watch is located in Atlanta, GA. For more information visits


    Monday, December 11, 2006

    IWC Showcases Timepieces For Pilots For The First Time In Kuwait

    Leading Swiss luxury watch manufacturer International Watch Company (IWC) Schaffhausen announced that a new collection of professional timepieces for pilots and watch lovers are currently on display for the first time in Kuwait’s Salhiya Mall.

    “We have been manufacturing pilot’s watches since the mid-1930s and this is the first time that the collection is being put on display in Kuwait,” said IWC Brand Manager, Gianfranco D’Attis.

    He added: “IWC launched its first special watch for pilots as early as 1936 and the watches were designed to survive in the cockpits of the aircraft of the time.”

    The new Classic collection of pilot’s watches on display in Kuwait comprises five models: the new Big Pilot’s Watch, the Double Chronograph, the Chrono-Automatic, the classic Mark XVI and, as an addition to the pilot’s watch segment, the Midsize model. Its case diameter of 34 millimetres makes the Midsize ideal for slender wrists.

    Other new features in this collection include the following: The case diameter of the Mark XVI has grown, in comparison with its predecessor the Mark XV, by one millimetre to 39 millimetres. The case of the Chrono-Automatic has also grown – from 39 millimetres to 42 millimetres. An item for watch collectors is the Double Chronograph in a ceramic case, which will be produced in a limited edition of 1,000 watches.

    The Spitfire, one of the most impressive aircraft in the history of aviation, which stands out for its elegance and its supreme technical competence, also made its maiden flight in the same year as IWC launched its Pilot collection in 1936, exactly 70 years ago. These two legends meet again at IWC - in the new Spitfire pilot’s watches collection.

    Also on display in Kuwait is a stunningly beautiful special edition of the IWC Pilot’s Chronograph that commemorates the French author and aviation pioneer Antoine de Saint-Exupéry, who published his novel “Night Flight” 75 years ago.

    IWC has dedicated a pilot’s watch in a limited edition to the pilot and author Antoine de Saint-Exupéry. This special edition of a pilot’s watch from IWC builds a bridge to one of the pioneers of aviation. More precisely, to the pioneer who, as both author and pilot, described the great human adventure of flying 75 years ago.

    Leading impulses for the mechanical watch come from IWC. With its 390 employees, the company manufactures these sought-after timepieces. Since the year 2000 IWC has belonged to the watch division of Richemont SA.


    All wound up for a fight


    The industry is set to give an all-new meaning to the term clock-watcher.

    Stung by counterfeits and smuggling, the watch industry has sought rationalisation of the duty structure — including reduction in excise duty, raising of the abatement rate and slashing of customs duty — to encourage official imports of luxury timepieces.

    “Smuggling is the biggest challenge faced by the watch industry. It is prevalent in all range of watches. The industry estimates that more than 60 per cent of the watches sold in the country are smuggled or made out of smuggled parts”, said Harish Bhat, Chief Operating Officer (COO) Titan Industries and president of the All India Federation of Horological Industries (AIFHI).

    Out of the total demand of more than 3 crore units, the organised sector, comprising players such as Titan, Timex, Maxima and HMT, supplies just 1.4 crore units, valued at Rs 90.72 cr ($203 million).

    Against this, AIFHI values the ‘unorganised” sector at Rs 103.68 cr ($232 million)!

    “Despite government regulations and surveillance, fake “foreign” watch brands thrive in India. They have a market share of seven per cent. And the local brands, which operate through small units and avoid government regulations, have a whopping 58 per cent market share,” said V.D. Wadhwa, senior vice president of Timex Watches Ltd.

    Bhat said the current abatement factor of 35 per cent does not take into account the significant increase in “non-manufacturing” costs.

    Currently, the watch industry is allowed an abatement of 35 per cent on excise duty. Effectively this means that excise duty is calculated on 65 per cent on the maximum retail price (MRP).

    “This means that even if the manufacturing cost is significantly less than 65 per cent, the industry has to pay excise duty on that amount. The higher excise duty incidence not only restricts the capacity of industry players to offer watches at better affordable prices, but also encourages the malpractices of a parallel trade through unofficial channels”, said Bhat.

    Wadhwa makes an additional point: high-end watches with MRP over Rs 5,000, studded with diamonds, precious and semi-precious stones must be treated on par with jewellery.

    India has a watch density of just 25 watches per 1000 people as compared to 250 per 1000 in developed markets. Even China clocks in at over 60 per 1000.

    Counting the seconds
    3 cr: Size of total watch market in India
    1.4 cr: Supplied by organised industry
    58%: Market share of 'unorganised' small players
    7.7%: Market share of smuggled foreign watches
    Industry demand
    >Raise abatement rate on excise duty from the present 35%
    >Cut excise customs duties
    >Treat watches costing over Rs 5,000 on par with jewellery

    SARO Gem US, Inc