Raymond Weil and a Legendary Guitar – the Gibson Les Paul

Raymond Weil celebrates with the Freelancer a true music icon – the Gibson Les Paul. You don’t need to be a guitarist or a musician of any kind for that matter, to have heard of this legendary instrument. This guitar has inspired and served the best artists of all time; from Jimmy Page to Keith Richards and Jimi Hendrix to Eric Clapton musicians have turned to this instrument, making Rock’n’Roll history.
The manufacturer honors this icon with a new watch – the Freelancer Les Paul. Raymond Weil has been putting its name in lights alongside some of the greatest musicians of all time for nearly half a century in various special editions.

The body of the 43.5 mm case is made of steel and its tachymeter bezel is enhanced with black PVD inspired by the lacquer on the “Black Beauty” – a guitar renowned for its electrifying performance that continues to astound musicians worldwide.
The board features a circular guilloché motif featuring six chords studded by fret-shaped hour markers. The “fittings” – tri-compax chronograph counters, date and strap topstitching – of the Freelancer are also inspired by the Gibson Les Paul and set with golden highlights. At 12 o’clock, the names of the guitar manufacturer and the Les Paul signature appear, while the split-diamond inlay – a distinctive feature of the Les Paul Custom shines in golden tones next to the date window at 4.30. At 9 o’clock Raymond Weil has placed the small seconds. Hands and indexes are luminous and contrast well with the black dial, which makes the watch very legible, even in the dark.

The Freelancer is powered by a self-winding mechanical movement, the RW5010. It provides the energy for central hours, minutes and small seconds, a date and the chronograph functions as well as a power-reserve of 46 hours.

The ebony perforated calf leather strap brings to mind the sound holes that are part of the body of a guitar.
This watch clearly is a collector’s edition and limited to 300 pieces. Every Raymond Weil Freelancer Gibson Les Paul is delivered in a presentation box inspired by the famous Gibson guitar cases.

Return of an Icon: TAG Heuer Autavia

The legendary driver’s chronograph from the Sixties, the Autavia, is making a comeback in 2017. A contraction of the words “automobile” and “aviation”, its name is synonymous with its rotating bezel, its large snailed counters and the black and white dial. Created in 1962, this iconic model celebrates its 55th anniversary in the form of a neo-retro successor featuring updated functions and a proprietary movement – so what’s not to like?

Modern yet faithful to its roots, the new generation Autavia channels the spirit of the golden age of motor racing. As innovative as the original, this contemporary model is the result of an interactive campaign called the “Autavia Cup”, run in 2016.

The Autavia was the first wrist chronograph with a rotating bezel designed by Jack Heuer. This watch was worn by the best-known racing drivers of the 1960s and 1970s, including Mario Andretti and Jochen Rindt. The version worn by Rindt was the inspiration for the new Autavia, TAG Heuer presents this year.
The Autavia is synonymous with a rotating bezel, the large snailed counters and the exemmplary legibility of its black and white. The diameter of the stainless steel case was increased from 39 to 42 mm and it also comes with a higher water-resistance of 100 metres.

 

The Autavia is powered by a in-house chronograph movement, the calibre Heuer 02. Its functions are tailored to modern requirements: a self-winding calibre, power reserve of 80 hours, date at 6 o’clock and a water resistance to 100 metres.
“Mushroom” push-pieces, a ridged crown, the Heuer logo and a distressed calfskin leather strap add to a vintage feel. Like the patina of a vintage watch, the luminescent coating has a beige tint, in harmony with the strap stitching. The studied neo-retro style encompasses the minute track subdivisions, employing the 1/3-2/3 ergonomic rule of the era created to enhance legibility and accuracy.

This bold watch combines a retro look with modern elements – unique, classy and beautiful.

The Hublot Classic Fusion Italia Independent Collection

Hublot will introduce a new collection at the Baselworld 2017 in which the watchmaking expertise of the manufacturer combines with the creativity of Italian Independent and the treasures of the Italian tailor Rubinacci.
Since 2014, two collections have been born from the partnership between Hublot, Italia Independent and Lapo Elkann. Although both of the previous collections were based on the Hublot Big Bang Unico model, but this time the creative team has decided to go with the Classic Fusion model. Its name seems to have predestined it for this new special edition, because it is a fine example of the fusion of the “classic” and innovation.

For Lapo Elkann, the founder and artistic director of Italia Independent, has always put customization and bespoke designs at the heart of his different projects. For him, unique objects, the fact that they became truly his in the designing process while simultaneously meeting the taste of his clients, represent real luxury. Decades of experience, the “Tailor Made” program as well as customizing cars, boats, planes and helicopters made the frequently named “most elegant man in the world” uniquely qualified for working on Hublot’s Classic Fusion Italia Independent Collection.
The sartoria Rubinacci is an institution known for its good taste, masculine refinement and its beautiful collection of fabrics in its archives. The combination of those three parties – Hublot, Elkann, Rubinacci – created with the Classic Fusion Italia Independent a truly unique collection.

The collection features six models in total, combining four different fabrics with three cases. The Chronograph Independent Titanium, the Chronograph Independent Ceramic and the Chronograph Independent King Gold. The chosen fabrics are a traditional Houndstooth, two different tartans and the “Prince of Wales” cloth. The fabrics are not only found on the dials of the watches but also on the straps; sewn on top of black rubber.
All Classic Fusion cases have a diameter of 45 mm are water-resistant up to 5 atm. The dials are protected by a sapphire crystal and all watches are powered by an automatic chronograph movement, the HUB 1143, which works at 4 Hz and provides a power reserve of 42 hours when fully wound.

The design of the Hublot Classic Fusion Chronograph Italia Independent is beautifully conclusive. The chosen fabrics complement the materials of the case perfectly, so does the stitching of the straps and the details on the dials. Aand all of this leads to a perfect balanced watch.
These watches are clearly not made for everyone but we predict that they will definitely find way more admirers than this edition has models. There will only be 50 pieces of the two King Gold models as well as of the Ceramic Tartan and the Titanium Prince of Wales. The Ceramic Prince of Wales and the Titanium Houndstooth models are limited to 100 pieces each.

Glashütte Original Presents the New Sixties Collection

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Following the inaugural presentation of the Sixties Iconic Collection in 2015, Glashütte Original takes its tribute to iconic ’60s design to a new level. In parallel with the 67th Berlinale, the German watchmaker introduces a special collection of five square chronographs featuring distinctive dials: The Glashütte Sixties Iconic Square Collection.
Dynamic, distinctive, unforgettable – the 1960s made their mark with inspirational design in watchmaking, furniture, fashion and beyond, with geometric forms and innovative, colourful visuals. In the mid-sixties, Glashütte’s watchmakers launched the Spezimatic in a series of versions destined to become lasting icons of style. And now the popular design elements of the time like the square cushion shape, domed dials, curved hands, idiosyncratic Arabic numerals, inspired the Sixties Iconic Square Collection.

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The dials are made by the Saxon manufacture’s own dialmakers in Pforzheim, Germany. The stunning colours and dial visuals take up iconic design elements first presented in a range of “Spezimatic” models produced in the 1960s. Manufacturing these dials is a complex and time-consuming process and the dialmakers from Glashütte Original use original tools and authentic methods from the 1960s while paying obsessive attention to each of the steps. The application of coloured lacquers achieves precise hues and shading, from light centres to dark perimeters, known as the “dégradé effect” – a finish found on every piece. The dials are given a galvanic base coat; layers of coloured lacquer are then added by hand in a series of subsequent steps and then, in a final step, black lacquer is carefully applied using a special spray gun. This technique produces an individual colour gradient on each dial.
Five colours give the models their names: Sixties Iconic Forest, Sixties Iconic Ocean, Sixties Iconic Graphite, Sixties Iconic Tangerine and Sixties Iconic Fire. Four of the five models are combined with a sunburst finish, while the fifth model, the Sixties Iconic Graphite, features an elaborate imprint instead.
The dials are protected by a sapphire crystal.

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Every watch is powered by the manufacture automatic Calibre 39-34 chronograph, featuring central hours, minutes and chronograph seconds as well as a small second and a 30-minute counter. The movement works at a frequency of 4 Hz and provides a 40 hour power-reserve.
The five models also feature a distinctive square cushion shaped stainless steel case, measuring 41,35 x 41,35 mm and providing a water-resistance of 3 bar.

25 sets of the Sixties Iconic Square Collection will be available in Glashütte Original Boutiques and selected retailers worldwide.

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A Fresh Interpretation of a Legendary Timepiece by Vacheron Constantin

Vacheron_Constantin_Traditionelle_EwigerKalender_1Vacheron Constantin has introduced a whole range of new models at this year’s SIHH. We cannot cover them all, but we just have to introduce the new interpretation of one of the manufacture’s most iconic timepieces: the Traditionelle Chronograph Perpetual Calendar.

The Traditionelle Chronograph Perpetual Calendar is one of the best-known models within Vacheron Constantin’s collection. The new version is available in platinum and pink gold and it combines two key complications – the chronograph and the perpetual calendar – and is powered by the new calibre 1142 QP. This watch leaves nothing to be desired.
The case hasn’t changed, it is still classically round and stepped while bearing the distinctive fluted pattern on its back.

Vacheron_Constantin_Traditionelle_EwigerKalender_3The dial is characterized by the dauphine-style hands and the railway-typed minute track. A white or black tachymeter scale surrounding the dial accentuates the technical nature of the watch.
Exemplifying a concern for legibility, the dial features various shades of grey with finishes that differ according to the functions, reflecting the layout of 1940s Vacheron Constantin chronographs. Standing out against a slate- or silver-coloured opaline base, the small seconds and chronograph minutes counters are distinguished by a circular-brushed ring with snailed centre.
The white or pink gold moon disc is hand-finished. Positioned in the centre of the date counter, it provides a symbolic depiction of a moon face that is alternately smiling or melancholy, depending on the path of the Earth’s satellite. This is a nod to historical pocket watches.

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The sophisticated aesthetic approach is matched by the technical evolution embodied in the movement of the Traditionelle Chronograph Perpetual Calendar. The 1141 QP is replaced by the 1142 QP, a state-of-the-art movement entirely designed and developed within the Vacheron Constantin manufacture. The new movement drives the perpetual calendar functions – with indications of the days, date, months, leap years and moon phases – as well as the chronograph functions with a direct-drive seconds hands and 30-minute counter at 3 o’clock, positioned opposite the small seconds at 9 o’clock. This watch will be able to keep track of all the vagaries of the calendar without any need for adjustments until March 1st 2100.
With the development of this new caliber, the watchmakers and developers have been attentive to the energy constraints relating to the chronograph functions, in order to minimize their impact on the 48-hour power reserve.  The oscillation frequency of the balance has also ben raised from 2.5 Hz to 3 Hz so as to increase reliability and shock resistance.
The Traditionelle Chronograph Perpetual Calendar comes with a sapphire crystal caseback to allow a glance on the movement.

The chronograph comes with a leather bracelet.

Designed to Conquer Space: BR-X1 HyperStellar

Bell & Ross has introduced a space-themed version of its BR-X1 hypersonic chronograph earlier this year, the BR-X1 HyperStellar. Mechanical chronographs have always been part of the official kit of astronauts and cosmonauts. These watches have enabled missions to be completed in situations where electronic motor systems have malfunctioned.
To survive in space, a watch has to respond to certain specifications: resistance to extreme temperatures, corrosion, impacts, acceleration, pressure, vibration and more. This is not easy to achieve.

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Bell & Ross has designed the BR-X1 HyperStellar as a horological space capsule and made sure that the watch is suitable for use with gloves. The predominance of stone grey and electric blue is a reference to two colours closely associated with space exploration: the grey of the moon and the blue of the Earth.
The BR-X1 HyperStellar chronograph features a 60-second counter in the centre, the minute timer on the chronograph function is positioned at 9 o’clock and instead of a hand it features an ultra light aluminium disk resembling the blades of a turbine.
On the flange appears a tachymetre scale in blue.
Made from grey-tinted sapphire crystal and featuring appliqué metal indices filled with Super-LumiNova, the dial forms a clear window through which the movement can be admired.

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Through the usage of titanium and aluminium for the case the BR-X1 HyperStellar is a very light watch. These two materials are widely used in the aerospace industry. Aluminium is known to generate an impermeable oxide lawyer, which protects it against corrosion. And titanium has exceptional corrosion resistance properties, high biocompatibility and properties that enable the production of small, thin parts that are light yet strong.
The case measures 45 mm in diameter, the bezel’s protective insert is in blue anodised aluminium. To protect it from impacts, the square case of the BR-X1 HyperStellar is covered with a bumper in the rubber that acts as a peripheral protective shell. A rubber grip function has also been integrated to ensure better handling even when wearing gloves.
The case is water resistant up to 100 metres and combines polished and brushed surfaces.

The Bell & Ross BR-X1 HyperStellar is powered by the calibre BR-CAL.313, a skeletonized, mechanical automatic movement. It can be seen through a small circular opening in the caseback.
This watch comes with a grey alligator and rubber strap and is limited to 200 pieces.

Bulgari Diagono Magnesium: A New Twist On A Classic

Bulgari presents with the Diagono a sports watch that is in a league of its own. The whole collection is technical and sophisticated and readily adopts an urban, cosmopolitan attitude. Its versatile nature stems from its inspiration rooted in ancient history – in Ancient Greek to be exact. The name Diagono comes from the word agôn, a classic term expressing competition and efficiency demonstrated in compliance with the rules of sportsmanship, in an inherently elegant matter.
The symbol of Myron’s Discobolus – the Discus Thrower – sets the tone for the Bulgari Diagono watches. The Discus Thrower is the best-known work by Myron of Eleutherae, who earned a major place in the history of art and became famous for both his inventiveness and boldness.
The design of the new Diagono Magnesium is inspired by the balance of grace, strength, power and agility in Myron’s works. And of course the watches pay tribute to the precision of Swiss watchmaking and Italian creative brilliance.

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Back in 1998 the Diagono was one of the very first watches to use materials such as aluminium, which caused a major upheaval in the design world. With the age of titanium came a fresh boldness, a new wager and further success. Last year, Bulgari introduced a whole new technological dimension with the use of magnesium and the combination of three technical materials.
The Bulgari Diagono Magnesium is not short on style: The watch is resolutely contemporary and confidently asserting both its sportiness and its sophistication. The Diagono brings style to every occasion, every circumstance and every situation.

The magnesium case is very light and is coated with motorlac which protects the case and at the same time creates a granulated texture and colourful new reflective effects. The bezel is made from ceramic, a light and scratch-resistant material.
It comes with a diameter of 42.5 mm,  in a lacquered red, blue, grey or black version. Every one of them is water resistant up to 100 m. The dials come in matching colours and they feature three subdials: A 12-hour-counter on 6 o’clock, a 30-minute-counter on 9 o’clock, and a small second on six a clock. Bulgari also found place for a small date window at 4.30.

The Bulgari Diagono Magnesium Chronograph is powered by a mechanical self-winding movement. The calibre B130 works at 4 Hz and provides a 42-hour power reserve.
The watch comes with a vulcanised rubber strap.

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Vacheron Constantin: Heritage models in new versions

The Historiques collection, dedicated to Vacheron Constantin’s creative archetypes, highlights the wealth of the technical and aesthetic heritage of the Manufacture through contemporary reinterpretations. New models are now reviving three icons much sought-after among collectors. We are looking today at the Cornes de vache 1955, inspired by a legendary 1955 chronograph, reinterpreted in pink gold.

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Embodying a singular blend of creative boldness and rigorous technical standards, this classic watch fitted with its distinctive “cow horns” lugs, which gave the chronograph its name, was inspired by the first water-resistant chronograph designed by Vacheron Constantin in 1955. The vintage icon is reinterpreted in pink gold, in keeping with the spirit of the 1950s, the era that sparked its creation.
Combining tradition, disruptive design and technical sophistication, the Historiques Cornes de vache 1955 chronograph embodies a stylistic originality typical of Vacheron Constantin. It expresses the unconventional creativity of the Manufacture in the 1950s through its stylised lugs creating an aesthetic tension with the traditional chronograph construction with two round pushers.

The silver opaline dial of the Vacheron Constantin Historiques cornes de vache 1955 is punctuated by applied numerals and hour-markers. The seconds hand in the centre as well as the hand of the 30-minute-counter at 3 o’clock are blue, enhancing the chronograph functions. A tachymetric scale on the dial allows the wearer of the watch to calculate speeds.

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Equipped with a column wheel shaped like a Maltese cross, the emblem of the Manufacture, the calibre 1142 drives the hours, minutes and small seconds as well as the chronograph functions while ensuring a 48-hour power reserve. It bears also the Hallmark of Geneva. The entirely hand-decorated manual-winding movement is revealed through the transparent back of the 38.5 mm-diameter case which is water-resistant up to 30 metres.

The Vacheron Constantin Historiques cornes de vache 1955 is equipped with a hand-stitched, brown Mississippiensis alligator leather strap.

Special Edition: London Chronograph by Speake-Marin

This spring, Speake-Marin unveils a special edition dedicated to the early years of the British watchmaker peter Speake-Marin. The London Chronograph is a special edition and it will only be available in the Fine Watch Room at Harrods, in London during this summer.
After qualifying as a horologist a London’s Hackney College and deepening his knowledge of watch making in Switzerland, Peter Speake-Marin met Georges Somlo in 1990. Speake-Marin stayed in Somlo’s Piccadilly arcade for six years, restoring al manor of early pocket and wrist watches. The London Chronograph is a tribute not only to this years but also to the watches Speake-Marin learned to love back then.

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The chronograph is powered by a Valjoux 92 made during the 1950’s and 60’s. As with many mechanical calibres the quartz revolution in the late 60’s cut short the life of this and many other calibres. Therefore today these calibres are rare and it was chosen by Peter Speake-Marin because it is the same type of movement he had restored during his time in London during the 1990’s while working with Georges Somlo.

The Valjoux 92 succeeded the popular Valjoux 23 family. It was similarly sized but used a different technology. It was an oscillating pinion design, distinct at a glance for having two rather than three chronograph engagement wheels visible at the back. The historical chronograph movement were used by companies like Patek Philippe, Rolex and TAG Heuer. The mechanical hand wound movement beats with 18.000 beats per hour and features a power reserve of approximately 40 hours.

The London Chronograph is housed in a 42 mm titanium case with a three dimensional white dial. On the dial, the Arabic numbers alternate with Roman numerals to bring a vintage touch. The red 12 has classical connotations and associations with early pocket and wrist watches made in England.
The centre seconds chronograph is married in color to the 30 minute recorder hand located at 3 o’clock on the dial. The two subsidiary dials for the 30 minute recorder and the seconds dial are both seen to float on the dial and below them is found the Speake-marin topping tool logo wheel fitted to the hour wheel turning with the hour hand. The Central Speake-Marin signature Foundation style hands in heat blued steel bring the final touch to this special edition.

CHRONO CLASS_ART 01 (500ko)The London Chronograph is equipped with a black rubber strap and water resistant up to 3 atm. It will only be available the coming summer like mentioned before and it’s priced at £14.400.

Limited Edition: Hublot Classic Fusion Chronograph Chelsea

l_hublot-classic-fusion-chronograph-chelsea-1-1Swiss watch brand Hublot and Chelsea FC teamed up and launched the first watch made to celebrate the dynamic partnership between them. The official presentation of the Hublot Classic Fusion Chronograph Chelsea took place at the club’s Surrey training base in the presence of Ricardo Guadalupe, CEO of Hublot and Christian Purslow, Head of Global Commercial Activities at Chelsea FC.
The new watch is seen as the perfect marriage of the two organisation’s values. Both, the Swiss watch company and the globally recognised football club are associated with quality, tradition and the pursuit of excellence in everything they do. For Hublot, that’s creating high-quality, technically flawless watches that communicate an appreciation of stylish design and the finest manufacturing standards; for Chelsea, it’s playing beautiful, technically precise, high-quality football that will propel them for further success.

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Hublot and Chelsea announced their partnership in August 2015 on the first day of the 2015/16 Premier League season.
Christian Purslow said: “We are absolutely delighted to see the Chelsea name on this exquisite luxury Swiss timepiece and would like to thank everyone at Hublot for their continued support and enthusiasm. Hublot is a valued partner and it is wonderful to see the partnership brought to life through the Classic Fusion Chronograph Chelsea.”
Hublot is known for its love for football. It was the first luxury brand to invest in football 10 years ago and has a close cooperation with FIFA as the Official Timekeeper and Official Watch of the FIFA World Cup, with UEFA since 2008 and with some of the most prestigious clubs worldwide.

The Chronograph is the first watch made in partnership between Hublot and Chelsea. It features a 45 mm satin-finished and polished titanium case and bezel, and is powered by the calibre HUB1143, an automatic chronograph movement that provides the watch with twin counters at 3 and 9 o’clock, a date window at 6 o’clock and a 42-hour power reserve. The decorated movement can be seen through the watches sapphire case back.
The dial is blue, inspired by Chelsea colours, and has a sunray satin finish and a Chelsea FC Lion appliqué at 12 o’clock. The watch is water-resistant to 50 metres and comes on a black leather strap with a blue rubber lining and trim.l_hublot-classic-fusion-chronograph-chelsea-detail-1

The Classic Fusion Chronograph Chelsea is a limited edition watch of 200 pieces.