Tag Archives: cartier

Top Jewelers Exit Paris Biennale des Antiquaires

Winds of change are blowing in the world of art, antiques and jewelry. Heralded as one of the world’s most important such fairs, the Paris Biennale des Antiquaires will see its last run as a biannual event and, we presume, its last as the Paris Biennale des Antiquaires. Come 2017, the art event will be reinvented as an annual event (although admittedly, Paris Annuale des Antiquaires doesn’t have as nice a ring to it).

Even so, this year’s event will see a 30 percent increase in size, with a minimum of 113 galleries from 12 countries, making it the year’s largest such event. The mantra is go big or go home, and that is exactly what some of the world’s top jewelers did, according to the reports we are seeing, following on the heels of Cartier’s announcement that it would stay away earlier this year .

Event organizers Syndicat National des Antiquaires’ renewed focus on antiques sat badly with many high jewelers, leading to the exodus,. Seriously, it is a veritable Jexit. Among these are familiar names such as Chaumet, Piaget, Van Cleef & Arpels (whose image from the ongoing Art and Science of Gems exhibition at MBS Singapore is showcased top), Boucheron and Bulgari, dramatically thinning out the ranks of high jewelry exhibitors. In fact, just four remain. It says a lot that this year’s largest accessory brand is first-time exhibitor Cindy Chao. The fair also marks her inaugural public exhibition.

Nevertheless, this year also marks the first historical non-selling timepiece exhibit by the Fondation de la Haute Horlogerie (FHH), so at least there’s a twist here. If that name sounds familiar, that’s because the FHH are the organizers of the Salon International de la Haute Horlogerie and actually represent the entire Richemont Group; Richemont is the parent company of Cartier, Piaget and Van Cleef & Arpels, among others.

The Paris Biennale des Antiquaires will open September 10 at the Grand Palais, and will be held for nine days. For more information, visit the website here.

Luxuo World of Watches Rolex Daytona closeup 2016

10 Important Collector Watch Calibres

Car nuts rattle off engine codes as a special lingo that authenticates membership within the tribe; trump card hoarding schoolboys of an earlier age would memorise service designations of combat jets, as well as such vital stats as engine thrust and capacity armament. Watch appreciation too, has a nerdier aspect that finds parallel obsession with calibres, mainly addressed by their number codes: 2824, 2892, 7750, 4130, etc.

Calibres, or movements, are the hearts of mechanical watches and the very engines that divide the continuum of existence into consistent intervals that we might know when it is that we are meeting for lunch.

As has been widely reported, though there are myriad brands in the watchmaking business, at least where the Swiss are concerned, most of the movements come from a single source: ETA. A movement maker within the Swatch Group, ETA supplies movements that can be found in around seven out of 10 Swiss watches, never mind what brand it says on the dial. Of these, the 2824 and 7750 come to mind as being among the most ubiquitous. The self-winding 2824 found in three-hand watches, and the 7750 in automatic chronographs, pretty much cover the field. We will not be including these two movements in our list, as they belong more properly to “movements you already know about”. Rather, our list includes movements that are noteworthy, from a collector’s standpoint for their relevance to the brand or particular collection; or that they represent a milestone in the ever-progressing evolution of the mechanical movement. As a whole, this ensemble was also chosen as a broad survey of watchmaking, old and new.

Patek Philippe Calibre 240Patek-Philippe-Calibre-240

Sitting at the pinnacle of fine Swiss watchmaking, Patek Philippe is renowned for its elegant high complication watches. Such a feat would not be possible were it not for movements like the 240, a trusty, self-winding ultra-thin movement designed to take on more modules for ever more complications, while still looking svelte, and gala-ready. Unlike most self-winding movements sporting a full-sized rotor, the 240’s is a micro-rotor, not stacked on top of the movement (thus adding height) but recessed on the periphery, hence contributing towards a slim profile. At the same time, it does not obscure the beauty of the wonderfully decorated 240 when viewed through a crystal case back, though the rotor too is a thing of beauty in itself, a solid piece of 22K gold.Patek-Philippe-Calibre-240-automatic-movement

Dating from 1977, the 240 has been updated over the years and today features the Spiromax (silicon) balance spring, which offers precision in operation and manufacture as well as resistance against magnetic fields. At its simplest, the 240 drives several of Patek Philippe’s time-only watches such as the Ref. 7200R ladies’ Calatrava.

That said, the 240 was designed as a base calibre to accommodate complication modules while retaining a slim profile. In Patek Philippe’s present catalogue, there exists no less than seven variants with an impressive array of complications, from the 240 HU with world time and day/night indication, 240 PS C with date hand and small seconds, up to the 240 Q offering moon phase and perpetual calendar! With the latter, the number of components had grown by more than 70 per cent, to 275 parts, and movement height increased from 1.61mm to 3.88mm. Because of the added energy required to drive these added components, power reserve had also dipped, but remains at an agreeable minimum of 38 hours.

Specifications

Automatic movement beating at 3Hz, with silicon hairspring and 48-hour power reserve

Dimensions: 27.5mm x 2.53mm

Number of parts: 161

Rolex Calibre 4130Rolex-Calibre-4130

Even in the relatively dignified realm of luxury watch collecting (high expense and a Britannica’s worth of technical history and cult lore promotes sobriety), there are fanboys, and the objects of their fevered affection falls upon Rolexes, not a few. Lusted after at a higher pitch even in this company, is the Cosmograph Daytona, and this was recently demonstrated once again at BaselWorld 2016 when the announcement of a new steel cased Daytona with white dial and black ceramic bezel sent the watch press and enthusiast community into another fit of ecstasy.

Why is this? Some credit surely accrues to the movement behind the silvered/lacquered face: the Calibre 4130.Rolex-Calibre-4130-Daytona-Movement

The Daytona wasn’t always mated to the 4130. Introduced in 1963, it was driven by a hand-wound Valjoux movement till 1988 when it was cased with Zenith’s self-winding El Primero movement (also featured on our list). However, Rolex famously detuned the movement from its native 5Hz to a more conventional 4Hz, while swapping out more than 50 per cent of the El Primero’s original parts. Major surgery; but still, not a Rolex movement. That would come in 2000, in the shape of the 4130, ticking all the right boxes: self-winding, column wheel control, vertical clutch for smooth starts, and Parachrom hairspring designed to perform well against magnetism, temperature variation, and shock. Rolex even reduced the number of parts enough that it could fit in a longer mainspring to achieve an impressive 72 hours of power reserve. It is a chronometer too, naturally.

Specifications

Automatic chronograph movement beating at 4Hz, with 72-hour power reserve

Dimensions: 30.5mm x 6.5mm

Number of parts: 201

Audemars Piguet Calibre 3120Audemars-Piguet-Calibre-3120

Often banded together with Patek Philippe and Vacheron Constantin as the “Big Three” of high watchmaking, Audemars Piguet is phenomenally plugged into pop culture while remaining firmly anchored in high watchmaking orthodoxy. Like no other, its long resume of firsts in watchmaking innovations and high complications sits very comfortably with associations on the funkier end of the cultural spectrum, being a perennial favourite of sports and rap royalty. Part of this comes from dynamic thinking, like in 1972, when Audemars Piguet practically created a new genre of the luxury sport watch when it introduced a steel watch, finished to the standard and priced accordingly, as one of gold: thus the Royal Oak (RO) was born. Together with the burlier Royal Oak Offshore (ROO) chronograph that came on the scene in 1993, and in an almost unlimited arsenal of limited editions in various colour combinations, the RO and ROO are wont to steal the thunder from the company’s arguably more accomplished collections. The movement that unites the handsome duo, is the self-winding Calibre 3120.Audemars-Piguet-Calibre-3120-movement

Like Patek Philippe’s 240 described above, the 3120 is also a base calibre meant to accommodate more modules for additional complications. What’s different is that the 3120 was not made thin, but robust, including a balance bridge that anchors the oscillator securely on two points, wound by a full-sized solid gold rotor. Its thickness is suited for the masculine, sporty RO and hulkier ROO. In the latter’s case, because the chronograph is a module stacked above the 3120, the date display looks recessed – a quirk that has done nothing to dampen its popularity.

Specifications

Automatic movement beating at 3Hz, with
60-hour power reserve

Dimensions: 26.6mm x 4.26mm

Number of parts: 280

Zenith El Primero Calibre 400Zenith-Primero-Calibre-400

A rock star among movements in more ways than one, the El Primero was unleashed to the world in a relatively low-key press conference in January 1969, which belied its ground-breaking specs. Not only was it the world’s first automatic integrated chronograph movement, it also featured an escapement that blitzed along at an unprecedented 5Hz which offered better chronometry and the ability to measure elapsed times to an accuracy of a tenth of a second. An engineering coup; but Oscar Wilde hit the nail on its head when he complained that people knew the price of everything and the value of nothing. In 1975, Zenith’s then-American owners decided to focus on making quartz watches and ordered the El Primero’s production equipment dismantled and sold as scrap. Instead of complying, an intrepid employee spirited away the El Primero’s technical plans and tooling bit by bit after work. Thanks to Charles Vermot, the El Primero resurfaced in 1984.Zenith-Primero-Calibre-400-movement

Today, the El Primero remains among the fastest beating mechanical movements at 5Hz, in the company of a few brands that have caught up with high beat movements in recent years. Though it started life as a chronograph, El Primero can now also be found in Zenith’s time-only watches such as the Synopsis, which drops the chronograph function but features an updated escapement with silicon wheel and lever visible through an opening on the dial. It has also made its way into the watches of Zenith’s sister brands within the LVMH group: TAG Heuer, Hublot, and Bulgari.

Specifications

Automatic chronograph movement beating at 5Hz,
with 50-hour power reserve

Dimensions: 30mm x 6.6mm

Number of parts: 278

A. Lange & Söhne Calibre L951.6A-Lange-Sohne-Calibre-L951-6

The beautiful images and videos about Lange’s watches and movements belie a much more dramatic history that the Lange manufacture shares with its home city, Dresden. Towards the end of World War II, the city was obliterated by aerial bombing. Lange too ceased to exist after it was nationalised together with other companies into a watchmaking consortium to serve the needs of the Eastern Bloc. But both Dresden and Lange have since regained their place in the world with the end of the Cold War. The former, rebuilt brick by brick – from original rubble, in the case of the magnificent Frauenkirche church; while Lange has shrugged off the mass market tickers it made in the Communist era to return to the high watchmaking of its roots. It is history that informs the ethic at Lange, and the difference this makes is amply demonstrated in Lange’s interpretation of the ubiquitous wristwatch chronograph: the Datograph Up/Down.

While the field is largely divided between sports chronographs made for everyday practicality and ruggedness or daintier dress chronographs meant to add a dash of dynamism to a formal getup, the Datograph is a little different in approach. On the outside, it is almost austere in its devotion to function, driven by visual clarity and balance without anything superfluous. Yet, turn the watch over and the Calibre L951.6 astounds with baroque richness. Lange doesn’t seem to care about ease of manufacture, since the L951.6 has got more parts than many perpetual calendars, all finished with stoic patience and consummate skill. At the same time, it brims with technical innovation: unlike most chronographs where the elapsed minutes is a dragging hand, that on the Datograph jumps from marker to marker, making for much clearer readings. It’s just one of a series of instances where Lange spares no effort in creating innovative solutions to easily overlooked issues, while remaining well within the old school realm of mechanical craft. Moreover, not only is the L951.6 an in-house movement, Lange is also in the even smaller class of companies that make their own hairsprings. No shortcuts.

Specifications

Hand-wound chronograph movement beating at 2.5Hz, with big date and power reserve indicator (60 hours)

Dimensions: 30.6mm x 7.9mm

Number of parts: 451

Jaeger-LeCoultre Calibre 854/1Jaeger-LeCoultre-Calibre-854-1

In an industry where most watch brands source their movements from other companies, Jaeger-LeCoultre is the technical superpower with more movements than we’ve got fingers to count them (more than a thousand different calibres, in its 180-year history, with hundreds of patents shepherding the evolution of mechanical watchmaking), and distinguished names on its client list include the likes of Patek Philippe, Vacheron Constantin, Audemars Piguet, and Cartier. Jaeger-LeCoultre today boasts a most expansive catalogue that showcases its deep expertise in diverse disciplines, covering high complications, artisan craft, and gem-setting. Of these, its most iconic watch is the Reverso; and even here, this venerable model exists in countless iterations, from petite quartz models for ladies, to high complication models with perpetual calendars, triple dial faces, repeaters, and multi-axis tourbillons spinning in cage within cage. Do we pick the movement one ought to know by drawing movement numbers out of a fish bowl? No. If we have to choose, we’d pick the Calibre 854/1.Jaeger-LeCoultre-Calibre-854-1-movement

The original Reverso was created in 1931 in answer to complaints by British army officers stationed in India over having their precious wristwatches smashed during energetic games of polo. With the Reverso, simply flipping the case over protected the fragile crystal and watch dial, while the metal case back that now faced the outside could be engraved with unit insignias or loving words. Outside the polo experience however, we think it more practical to have a second dial in place of bare steel, tracking a second time zone.

Enter the Reverso Duoface of 1994, refreshed in recent years with an ultra-thin and special edition blue dial versions, displaying time on each of its two sides. The GMT function is among the most practical of complications in this global village century, and while every other GMT watch in the business shows home time either via pointer, or window on one dial, the Reverso is alone in spacing this out over two. It may not be as efficient as checking dual time zones in a single glance, but the clarity can’t be beat. And because the Duoface sports contrasting dials, e.g. silvered dial and black on the reverse, it is essentially two watches in one, able to match near a complete range of dress codes and occasions. All this is made possible with the hand-wound 854/1, a single movement driving two time displays. Time can be set normally by pulling the crown, or when passing time zones, the hour hand in the second display can be advanced in one-hour jumps by pushing the flat pusher on the case side.

Specifications

Hand-wound movement beating at 3Hz, with dual time zone and 45-hour power reserve

Dimensions: 3.8mm thick

Number of parts: 180

Montblanc Minerva Calibre 16.29Montblanc-Minerva-Calibre-16-29

There is a logic to progress that is unflinching, almost ruthless in its efficiency. Making much more of something in shorter time, for much less, is an advantage that is very hard to pass up. For this reason, mass produced commodity is stamping out the niceties of artisan production everywhere. Yet, thanks to companies like Montblanc, industrial prowess is sometimes lent towards preserving precious pockets of artisan production so that future generations may yet wonder and actually acquire heritage objects of rare beauty.

Montblanc churns out timepieces by the tens of thousands a year from its facility at Le Locle. It also has a manufacture at Villeret (formerly Minerva SA before it was acquired by the Richemont Group in 2006 and turned over to Montblanc) that produces only around a couple of hundred timepieces a year – that’s about as many as possible, doing things the old way, everything in-house, with classical tools and machines, largely by hand!Montblanc-Minerva-Calibre-16-29-movement

Minerva was best known for its chronographs, and the Calibre 16.29 that is used in the Montblanc 1858 Chronograph Tachymeter is a gorgeous sample of classical watchmaking. Based on a movement made by Minerva in the 1930s, the 16.29 is huge, filling up the 44mm watch case. There’s a column wheel, lateral coupling instead of vertical clutch favoured by its modern brethren, and the huge balance with weight screws oscillates at a stately 2.5Hz for maximum visual drama. But classical architecture is not the 16.29’s sole merit: lush finishing aside, the serpentine profile of its bridges and levers, including the signature devil’s tail of the chronograph hammer, makes many other chronograph movements
look ungainly in comparison.

Specifications

Hand-wound chronograph movement beating at 2.5Hz, with 50-hour power reserve

Dimensions: 38.4mm diameter

Number of parts: 252

Chopard L.U.C Calibre 98.01-LChopard-LUC-Calibre-98-01-L

Some companies just have the knack for juggling diverse competencies. Among these, Chopard could have been content with the knowledge that its haute joaillerie collections are no strangers to red carpet galas, while its Happy Diamonds watches are extremely popular as everyday luxury. But the latter can no more lay claim to “authentic watchmaking” than could the Swatch watch, though both are phenomenal success stories for their respective companies. To address this, Chopard co-president Karl-Friedrich Scheufele established the Chopard Manufacture in 1996 to create “serious” watches fitted with movements designed and manufactured in-house. Since then, Chopard Manufacture has kept the steady pace of a long-distance runner, creating no less than 10 base movements with some 60 variations, cased in beautifully finished, classically styled watches of varying degrees of complication under the L.U.C label, the initials of the original company founder.Chopard-LUC-Calibre-98-01-L-movement

Of these, Chopard’s 8Hz is a dazzler for sure; but for us, the L.U.C Calibre 98.01-L beating inside Chopard’s Quattro watch is more in character with the company’s bold gambit and tireless consistency. Quattro is Italian for “four”. In the 98.01-L, which was introduced in 2005, that refers to the movement’s four mainspring barrels coupled in two stacks – a world’s first! According to Chopard, each mainspring is 47cm long, and it’s no small feat to squeeze four of them into a 28mm movement that is just 3.7mm thick. As such, the watch boasts a power reserve of nine days when fully wound. What is noteworthy is that this is achieved despite having the movement beat at a relatively quick (and energy-hungry) 4Hz. Moreover, while accuracy can suffer in watches with long power reserves as the energy wanes, the 98.01-L manages to be a COSC-certified chronometer. Add to that, quality and provenance validated by the Geneva Seal, and no room is left to doubt Chopard’s intent and capability in authentic watchmaking.

Specifications

Hand-wound movement beating at 4Hz, with four barrels and nine-day power reserve

Dimensions: 28mm x 3.7mm

Number of parts: 223

Cartier Calibre 1904 MCCartier-Calibre-1904-MC

Cartier has an enviable history of supplying the most exquisite jewellery to royalty, and commercial success as a luxury purveyor to, well, the whole world. Its timepieces, too, have staked their place in watchmaking history. The Santos created in 1904 is one of the earliest true wristwatches (as opposed to pocket watches bound to the wrist by leather straps) for men, originally made for Alberto Santos-Dumont who flew the first true (powered) aeroplanes.

Still, for too long, Cartier hadn’t gotten the respect it deserved, not least for its Parisian (not Swiss) address, and that its most dazzling timepieces and complication creations, particularly those produced between 1998 and 2008 under the “Collection Privée Cartier Paris” (CPCP) label, used movements from companies like Jaeger-LeCoultre and Piaget, though Cartier did the finishing.Cartier-Calibre-1904-MC-movement

The sniggers stopped when Cartier introduced its first Geneva Seal watch in 2008, the Ballon Bleu Flying Tourbillon. However, it is a more mundane watch that is the real hitter into the heartland of Swiss watchmaking: the Calibre de Cartier, launched two years later. Though a humble three-hand with date, it is as pivotal as first love, containing Cartier’s first self-winding manufacture movement, designed, developed and made in-house: the Calibre 1904 MC.

Cartier now has a base movement from which to venture into higher complications, while broadening its reach tremendously, in bringing to market reasonably priced watches with authentic manufacture movements. To this end, the 1904 MC was engineered for reliability, ease of service, and efficient mass production. Performance also factored prominently in its design – though the 1904 MC boasts two mainspring barrels, they are arrayed in parallel, achieving only a modest power reserve of 48 hours, but energy delivery is made more consistent over a broad spread of its state of wind, contributing significantly to accuracy. The 1904 MC is also used in 2014’s Calibre de Cartier Diver, which meets the ISO 6425 international quality standard for diver’s watches.

Specifications

Automatic movement beating at 4Hz, with twin barrels and 48-hour power reserve

Dimensions: 25.6mm x 4mm

Number of parts: 186

IWC Calibre 52010IWC-Calibre-52010

Even among storied brands, IWC stands out for how deeply it has written itself into watchmaking history. Timepieces for air force pilots just as air power was gaining traction among military planners, watches for scuba diving, timepieces for engineers as we turned a corner into the modern technological age – individuals engaged in pushing boundaries on land, in the air, and under the sea need wristwatches and IWC has enriched its own heritage and know-how by making purpose-built wristwatches for them. For a dressier pick, the Portugieser is among the most iconic and best loved. The original introduced in the 1930s was borne from the need for a marine-chronometer grade wristwatch, then only possible by casing a large, high-quality pocket watch movement in a wristwatch case.IWC-Calibre-52010-movement

This collection has been characterised by large cases and IWC’s largest movements ever since, including 2000’s Portugieser Automatic with a 50000-calibre movement that boasts seven-day power reserve and a highly efficient Pellaton winding system. The calibre 52010 featured here is a 2015 update with further technical enhancement and better finishing. Ceramic parts have been added to the winding system, making it virtually impervious to wear and tear; the faster balance now beats at 4Hz for better accuracy. Moreover, 52010 has two mainspring barrels to supply the same seven days’ power reserve with greater consistency for improved chronometry. IWC also partly skeletonised the rotor so the improved finishing of the movement is more readily evident.

Specifications

Automatic movement beating at 4Hz, with two barrels and power reserve indicator (seven days)

Dimensions: 37.8mm x 7.5mm

Number of parts: 257

This article was first published in WOW.

Gender Bender: 3 Luxury Women’s Watches

The norm: boys like classics, girls want diamonds. Scratch that. The women’s timepieces we now lust after are neither too complicated nor decorated, but simple, slick and macho enough so the men can wear them too.

Chanel

Wool jacket and silk dress, Saint Laurent. Leather wallet, Isaac Reina.

Wool jacket and silk dress, Saint Laurent. Leather wallet, Isaac Reina.

It was the year 2000 when Chanel last channelled macho design codes for a timepiece. So when the Boyfriend burst onto the scene at the most recent Baselworld, it made headlines naturally – and for all the right reasons. Described by the Parisian house as having “a masculine allure just for women”, the watch has an elongated, octagonal case, a nod to the eight-sided form of the iconic Chanel No. 5 perfume flacon, the Premiere timepiece and Place Vendôme in Paris. Beige gold with alligator strap.

Tiffany & Co.

Jersey dress, Julien David. Cashmere sweater, Eric Bompard. Corduroy trousers, Bally. Leather notebook, Smythson.

Jersey dress, Julien David. Cashmere sweater, Eric Bompard. Corduroy trousers, Bally. Leather notebook, Smythson.

Inspired by the rectangular lines of a Tiffany & Co. travel clock from the ’40s, the East West mini, first unveiled last April, literally turns time on its side with a dial positioned horizontally. This year’s editions are fitted with a single or a new double-tour bracelet, and come with dials painted in three colours: white, dark blue and, our top pick, the Tiffany Blue which never, ever gets old. Steel with alligator strap.

Cartier

Someday calfskin satchel, Berluti.

Someday calfskin satchel, Berluti.

When Alberto Santos-Dumont – Brazilian pilot and friend of founder Louis Cartier – found his pocket timepiece cumbersome and impractical to use during his flights, his watchmaker pal invented a flat wristwatch with a distinct square case and rounded corners just for him to tell the time. Aptly named the Santos, the ticker is, today, one of Cartier’s most commercially successful designs and one of the most instantly recognizable in horology. Pink gold with alligator strap.

Story Credits

Photography Thomas Pico

Styling Roman Vallos

This article was first published in L’Officiel Singapore.

Christie’s: Joan Rivers Private Collection Auction

Fans of the late host and television personality Joan Rivers, will soon have the chance to own several personal pieces from her Manhattan Penthouse. On June 22, Christies will be holding an auction featuring an assortment of 200 items from the woman whose personality was larger than life.

Proceeds of the auction will go towards “God’s Love We Deliver” and “Guide Dogs For The Blind” — both charities that Rivers held close to her heart. A connoisseur of decorative arts, paintings and fine French furniture, Rivers’ personal items are expected to go under the hammer where prices will range from $500 to $200,000. One such piece, is the Edouard Vuillard painting Dans L’Atelier, circa 1915 ($120,000 – $180,000). Other items to look out for include a jewelled Nephrite study of a Lily of the Valley leaf by Fabergé ($200,000 – $300,000) and a silver water bowl from Tiffany & Co., engraved with “for Spike” ($500 – $ 800) that she had bought for her beloved dog.

Before the auction at Christie’s however, the auction house will also be hosting an online auction from June 16 – 23. During the online sale, unique costumes made by Bob Mackie, couture and personal jewelry from jewelers such as Cartier, Van Cleef & Arpels as well as Harry Winston will be available. For someone as opinionated as Rivers, with a taste for the finer things in life, this sale will certainly not disappoint.

“My mother’s legacy as a much loved comedienne and philanthropist will be commemorated in this collaboration with Christie’s and her generosity to charitable causes is something I will continue in her honor” said her daughter Melissa Rivers.

Father’s Day Gift Guide 2016

In case you’ve missed the memo, Father’s day is only 11 days away. If this is news to you, then don’t panic because you still have time (not much but it will do). For those fretting about what to get dear old Dad, we are here to help. Each year, children around the world spend time, effort and money putting together the perfect gift for the woman who spent long sleepless nights looking after you. We often overlook the man who spent sleepless nights wondering how in the world raising a child costs so much.

It is only fair then, that we put as much thought and effort to coming up with gifts for the man who is your bank, knight in shining armor and partner in crime. The great thing about getting something for Dad is that you can narrow the list down fairly quickly. First up, we have something that we think every father wishes he could have had a glass or two of when paying for your little (it really wasn’t that much!) shopping sprees.

AlcoholMacallan-edition-no-1-featured

There is nothing better to complete your day, than a glass of whisky. Our favorite go to whisky of course is none other than the Macallan Edition No. 1. We’ve given you a glimpse into just how good it is, and it is our expert (by that we mean that we drink it often enough to call ourselves experts) opinion that this is the one to truly warm your father’s heart this year. With orange and dried fruit, the Edition No.1 is a special blend that leaves you wanting more. Just don’t drink it all before dad has had a glass, or 10.

Grooming2016_MR_BURBERRY_FATHERS_DAY_RGB_CROPPED_02

Don’t you just love it when someone smells as good as they look? This year, why not get dad a fragrance that will leave him feeling like a million bucks, with a little help from Burberry. With the brand’s latest fragrance, Mr Burberry, you can gift him a sophisticated scent that mixes classic and unexpected ingredients. The woody fragrance has hints of grapefruit and smokey guaiac wood for a touch of seduction. For father’s day, the brand even brings you a monogramming service for that personalized touch.

Writing Instruments

Montblanc Heritage Collection Rouge & Noir Writing Instruments

Montblanc Heritage Collection Rouge & Noir Writing Instruments

You can never go wrong with a luxury pen and what better than a Montblanc writing instrument. Our pick would be the writing instruments from the brand’s Montblanc Heritage Collection Rouge & Noir, Special Edition that was created to celebrate the brand’s 110th anniversary. The pen features a serpent on its cap; an emblem that has been linked to the brand since it first began. The instruments are available in coral and black.

FashionDior-Homme-store-Opening-article-3

You could treat dad to a well-tailored suit for Father’s day, especially since it should be a staple in any man’s wardrobe. Head down to Dior Homme at ION Orchard, for an expertly crafted suit, that is sure to please the main man the moment he puts it on. If a suit isn’t something he favors, then you’re in luck. The spanking new store also carries one of Dior’s latest collections for men. This could be just the shopping spree that makes up for you using him as a flesh-and-blood ATM.

BagsTods-envelope-bag-brown-leather

Fresh from the latest Tod’s fall/winter collection, the Envelope bag is our accessory of choice. Sleek and simple, it is perfect for the modern man on the go. While the bag is available in black, we think this shade of brown will lend a youthful touch to an outfit. If you think he will love the bag as much as we do but it could be too bulky for an avid traveler, we have good news for you. The bag also comes in soft suede, so it can be stowed away in a luggage bag during travel with no trouble.

WatchesDRIVE_DE_-CARTIER_WATCH FACE

You may not be able to buy him a car — we have to be realistic and also, watch that carbon footprint people — but you can get him something inspired by automobiles. In walks the Drive de Cartier 1904-PS MC, with its cushion shaped case and exterior that takes its inspiration from cars. We have covered the timepiece in a previous article so we won’t bore you with the details but the guilloche dial and Roman numerals combined with the in-house Cartier movement make this a wonderful gift for a motor head.

Final Cut: 4 Red Carpet Trends Cannes 2016

Ah the red carpet and the beautiful women, designer gowns and gems worth millions drawn to it. It takes some time to sift through the images and galleries to find the trends that we know you love but someone has to do it.

We covered the yellow trend starting strong on opening night and you would be forgiven for overlooking several other trends. As the festival continued, the designers sent their best designs out and we were treated to more trends. We take a look at the four trends you may have missed.

Best Foot Forward

From left: Karlie Kloss (Marchesa gown with Chopard jewelry); Bella Hadid (Alexandre Vauthier gown); Alessandra Ambrosio (Redemption gown and Boucheron Jewelry); Izabel Goulart (Alexandre Vauthier gown); Ana Beatriz Barros (Ralph and Russo gown). Images from Runway Manhattan.

From left: Karlie Kloss (Marchesa gown with Chopard jewelry); Bella Hadid (Alexandre Vauthier gown); Alessandra Ambrosio (Redemption gown and Boucheron Jewelry); Izabel Goulart (Alexandre Vauthier gown); Ana Beatriz Barros (Ralph and Russo gown). Images from Runway Manhattan.

You could call Angelina Jolie the pioneer of leg flashers since she did bring this trend back in vogue at the Oscars in 2013. Three years on and it is far from over. In fact, if Bella Hadid’s dress is any indication, the slits just keep getting higher… Of course, these are models we speak of so naturally they really do have some of the best gams in the world. Just like those slits, where they end no one knows…

Belle of the Ball

From left: Blake Lively (Vivienne Westwood gown); Elle Fanning (Valentino gown); Jourdan Dunn (Ralph and Russo gown). Images from Runway Manhattan.

From left: Blake Lively (Vivienne Westwood gown); Elle Fanning (Valentino gown); Jourdan Dunn (Ralph and Russo gown). Images from Runway Manhattan.

We fell in love with several of these dresses that would have been a young girl’s fantasy. From Blake Lively in her Cinderella-esque gown to Elle Fanning who looked whimsical, the fairy-tale princesses made the red carpet their own and the pictures didn’t disappoint.

The Naked Dress

From left: Blake Lively (Atelier Versace gown); Kendall Jenner (Cavalli Couture gown); Bella Hadid (Cavalli Couture gown). Images from Runway Manhattan.

From left: Blake Lively (Atelier Versace gown); Kendall Jenner (Cavalli Couture gown); Bella Hadid (Cavalli Couture gown). Images from Runway Manhattan.

There are nude colored dresses and then there are the naked dresses. As risky to wear as the thigh-high slits, this requires a certain amount of bravado —and the confidence to go commando — to pull off. While some chose to use strategically placed panels to pull off this look, others went all out.

Suit Up

From left: Susan Sarandon (Saint Laurent suit); Victoria Beckham (Victoria Beckham Jumpsuit and Chopard jewelry); Charlize Theron (Christian Dior Couture and Cartier jewelry). Images from Runway Manhattan.

From left: Susan Sarandon (Saint Laurent suit); Victoria Beckham (Victoria Beckham Jumpsuit and Chopard jewelry); Charlize Theron (Christian Dior Couture and Cartier jewelry). Images from Runway Manhattan.

This one made us wonder if Barney Stinson decided to switch professions and dress Hollywood for a change. This look proved to be more controversial than the high slits or the naked dress. With a strict rule in place for all, the stars were expected to turn up in black tie appropriate attire and some of the ladies decided to walk the path less traveled. Forgoing the heavy gowns, Susan Sarandon and Victoria Beckham led the way in standing the dress code on its head with their pantsuits. While we think they looked just as elegant on the red carpet as anyone in a frock this year, if you take a look at the background, you’ll see why this generally is not a great idea. On that note, yes even the photographers at these events follow the dress code.

Cullinan Dream Blue Diamond to Sell at Christie’s

Set as the centerpiece for an upcoming sale by Christie’s, the Cullinan Dream is the largest Fancy Intense Blue diamond offered to be offered on auction (capital letters used there as Fancy Intense Blue is the technical term). It comes with an estimated value of $23 – $29 million and stands as a part of 260 lots (selling alongside jewelry by companies such as Van Cleef & Arpels, Bulgari, and Cartier) offered for the Magnificent Jewels And The Cullinan Dream auction on June 9. This auction is one of many such jewelry sales across all the majors at this time.

The Cullinan Dream is one of four diamonds cut from the 122.52 carat blue diamond that Petra Diamonds discovered in their South African Cullinan mine. It is a cut-cornered rectangular mixed-cut diamond of approximately 24.18 carats mounted on a platinum ring. The gem was rated as Type IIb by the Gemological Institute of America, which attests to its rarity.

“The success of the Oppenheimer Blue speaks to the international demand and market value of these exemplary colored diamonds and with the Cullinan Dream, Christie’s is proud to present another opportunity for collectors to acquire a rare gem being offered for the first time at auction” noted Rahul Kadakia, Christie’s International Head of Jewelry, making reference to an earlier sale made on May 18 in Geneva.

Petra Diamonds themselves have produced some of the most exemplary blue diamonds in the world. As a part of the sale, they’ll receive 15% share of the proceeds, after expenses.

You can check out more information on the sale over at Christie’s website.

Interview: Sofia Coppola for Cartier

Sofia Coppola is a terribly busy woman with her finger in myriad pies, but unlike a jack of all trades, she is a master of every single thing she does. The films of the American director, including Lost in Translation, Marie Antoinette and Somewhere, rank among the best of 21st-century cinema, and are still watched and talked about by people today. Her style – which editors and bloggers term “effortlessly elegant with a subtle, Parisian ease” – still turns heads, and remains relevant today and, most certainly, tomorrow. This innate timelessness, which Coppola embraces in the stories she tells through her flicks, in her style choices and in the way she broaches life, is a big draw for Cartier, the French jeweler and watchmaker that has tapped the popular figure as its new friend. “I have always loved Cartier,” says Coppola. “It is the height of beauty, heritage, craftsmanship and history.”

Sofia Coppola wearing the new Clé de Cartier timepiece.

Sofia Coppola wearing the new Clé de Cartier timepiece.

Everyone remembers their first encounter with Cartier – do you?

“Absolutely! I have this strong memory of Cartier’s red box and how exciting it looked.”

What is it about that famous red box – la petite boîte rouge – that fascinated you so?

“There’s something sexy about Cartier’s little red box because it is both for men and women, and it often comes accompanied with a sense of celebration! The box also suggests confidence because it’s simple in appearance and doesn’t have too much on it. I still feel very spoiled when I receive one!” Soffia-Coppola-Cartier-box

As you say, Cartier has something for both women and men. That aspect gives it a different and even sexier energy, doesn’t it?

“Cartier certainly has major sex appeal. Men wear Cartier and love it as much as women do. There’s a straightforwardness here, which is nice.”

What was your first Cartier timepiece?

“I remember buying my first Cartier watch – a mini Tank – when I had finished filming Marie Antoinette in 2005. I often do that after a big project – I buy myself a treat to remember it by. So I went into the shop and found this miniature one. It was little and narrow, and had a matte crocodile strap; I like how the strap clicked open. I really love Cartier’s attention to detail.”

Designed for the Parisian woman, stunners in Cartier’s Paris Nouvelle Vague collection are some of Sofia Coppola’s favourite. White gold earrings with diamonds.

Designed for the Parisian woman, stunners in Cartier’s Paris Nouvelle Vague collection are some of Sofia Coppola’s favourite. White gold earrings with diamonds.

To Cartier, you embody talent, creativity, style and a distinct vision and voice. What does Cartier mean to you?

“Cartier has always been linked to creative people, like Yves Saint Laurent, who appreciate good design. There is something really cool about the Cartier style, it is not overly ornate, but classic and timeless. I bought my mini Tank more than 10 years ago and I still love it. Cartier makes pieces that you keep your entire life. I definitely have pieces of my own which I really treasure. I mean, my wedding ring is from Cartier! I also have a slender bracelet from the Nouvelle Vague collection that I wear every day. It’s made from platinum and looks like nothing much, but is in fact very subtly embellished with diamonds. That’s what I like about Cartier: It can be understated or extravagant, depending on your mood. It is sometimes elegant, sometimes playful.”

1963 Tutti Frutti platinum and white gold necklace with sapphires, emeralds, rubies and diamonds.

1963 Tutti Frutti platinum and white gold necklace with sapphires, emeralds, rubies and diamonds.

Cartier, playful? Really?

“Yes! Cartier can be playful. They have pieces which come apart and turn into other things. There’s something fun about discovering that a piece of jewelry can transform.”

Cartier clients like Wallis Simpson, Barbara Hutton, Doris Duke and Millicent Rogers were all American-born style icons. What is it about Cartier and chic Americans?

“Babe Paley must have worn Cartier, too. I love all these women, especially pictures of them during the era they lived in. They traveled to Europe and knew how to mix jewels in a more casual way that was intrinsically more American.”

The Duchess of Windsor wearing the Flamingo brooch made by Cartier in 1940. She was one of Cartier’s most regular clients.

The Duchess of Windsor wearing the Flamingo brooch made by Cartier in 1940. She was one of Cartier’s most regular clients.

What about American women today?

“With super minimal clothing taking over, I feel that women want to wear jewelry again. Pairing a simple shirt with a really beautiful necklace… there’s nothing like a piece of jewelry to liven things up. I love jewelry! There’s something fun about wearing it. It gives a spark and you feel a thrill, and I feel that the older you get, the more you can wear it.”

Late American film star Gloria Swanson helped shape Cartier’s glorious reputation 
in cinema.

Late American film star Gloria Swanson helped shape Cartier’s glorious reputation 
in cinema.

What’s been your favorite Cartier moment?

“Recently, I’ve enjoyed wearing Cartier’s Art Deco diamond earrings. They are so beautiful and I got to wear them at the Marrakech Film Festival when giving an award to Bill Murray. I never wear earrings, but I couldn’t resist these!”

The panther became Cartier’s emblem in 1914. Today, the panther remains the brand’s icon. Do you have an affinity with this creature?

“I love that it has remained Cartier’s iconic motif. The panther is playful, sexy, and a bit dangerous. I like the idea of the panther as a bracelet, cavorting around your wrist. Thomas, my husband, gave me a little panther ring, which has tiny emerald eyes. There’s something decadent and, yes, playful at the same time about it – there’s an aspect of folly!”Soffia-Coppola-Cartier-bracelet

Story credits

Text by Kenny Loh

Images by Cartier Archives © Cartier, Vincent Wulveryck © Cartier 2013, Andrew Durham

This story was first published in L’Officiel Singapore.

Focus: Fred Allard Bridges Fashion, Art

French artist Fred Allard says, “Art is the way I express my feelings.” Allard’s style is creating art pieces surrounding fashion using different textures, colors and pictures that express his artistic voice. As a result, Allard revolutionizes the way we look at the bag as a fun, characterful and quirky object.

His recent project ‘Vide son bag’, features a series of bag designs that combine the ordinary with luxury: Campbell soup cans with Chanel handbags, Coke cans with Louis Vuitton bags, Chup-a-chup lollipops with Cartier paper bags – resulting in a style that is funky, unique and fresh. The bags of ‘Vide son bag’, fall in three different categories: the IT Bag, the Basket Bag and the Shopping Paper Bag. With each of these types of bag, he questions our way of using them – the shopping bag does not contain luxury articles but is amongst the most practical; the basket bag, an epitome of practicality and function; and the IT bag, authentic high fashion bags that he fills with everyday products to show the place of the luxury in our everyday lives.

With a background in fashion, Allard has a keen sense of textiles and colors and how they shape imprints, iconographies and culture. He is deeply inspired by street art, pop art, and music and finds food for thought in magazines and department stores. He finds value from observing the street, mixing the array of colors and materials from everyday life in his pieces and weaving commonplace objects into his works. The Allard style is an enthusiasm for materials, words and colors. He manifests his style onto his bags, which he seems to treat as sculptures of the humanistic desire for material wealth: the bag is a symbol of the lives we carry with us – it is both an intimate and personal object.

Beyond just the commonplace, at the heart of Allard’s works is the desire to portray the zeitgeist of the modern society: how our consumerist attitudes and need for status symbols blinds the simple joy of living in the ordinary. His works capture the “everyday objects, like uniting two opposites, the contradiction and the mix,” says Allard. By aligning Hello Kitty next to Hermes, he highlights the contradiction by “combining high end shopping bags and filling them in with products that can be bought from the supermarket, a perfect combination which perfectly blends together to create a unique object.”

Allard studio mirrors that of his works – spray cans lying around, graffiti all over the walls, machinery to create his sculptures of bags, as well as his artist tools: sand, boards, buckets, masks, clamps, brushes, hammer, screws. His studio has the same wealth of textures as his bags have colours. It is no wonder that his studio in the south of France is the incubator for his expressive thoughts.

“Luxury becomes popular and what’s popular become precious”, says Allard. ‘Vide son bag’ juxtaposes the ordinary with the luxury to bring out the fun contradiction of everyday living.

*For more information, please visit www.galeries-bartoux.com.

This story first appeared in Art Republik.

23 Watches Offering Multiple Complications

Whether for increased functionality, to uphold tradition, or just because, an extra serving of complex mechanics always delights the connoisseur. Here, we take a look at several timepieces that will make you do a double take.

Chronograph + Calendar

Breitling Navitimer 01

Breitling Navitimer 01

Mention the chronograph, and a sporty timepiece invariably comes to mind. It’s an easy association to make, since the complication has played pivotal roles in the tales of derring-do that have taken place in cockpits, race cars, and even outer space. Its contributions in less thrilling situations may be oft overlooked, but aren’t any less significant. Doctors in the past, for instance, relied on chronographs with pulsometer scales to quickly and accurately determine their patients’ heart rates. The chronograph’s myriad uses make it one of the handiest complications to have on the wrist – even today – whether in a robust, sporty timepiece designed to brave the elements, or a dressier one meant for the office. So what better complication to pair it with, than another perennially useful one – the calendar?

Date And Time
Omega Speedmaster White Side of the Moon

Omega Speedmaster White Side of the Moon

The calendar is the most relevant astronomical complication for daily life, bar none, which explains its ubiquity in watches. Combine it with the chronograph, and a winner emerges. On the technical front, this isn’t particularly difficult, since calendar modules can be stacked onto an existing movement relatively easily, if it doesn’t already have a date indicator. There are also plenty of choices, depending on the desired level of complexity for the watch, as well as the considerations for its dial design.

The most straightforward option is, of course, a simple date indicator that requires an adjustment at the end of every month with less than 31 days. Most integrated chronograph movements will already include such a complication, since it doesn’t take up much space, requires few parts, and is simple to accomplish. The Breitling Calibre 01 used in the Navitimer 01 is one such example, with the date display at 4:30 on the dial. Omega’s co-axial Calibre 9300 is another; its date window sits at six o’clock to maintain the symmetry of the watch’s bi-compax layout, as shown in the Speedmaster White Side of the Moon.

Zenith El Primero Winsor Annual Calendar

Zenith El Primero Winsor Annual Calendar

Annual Affair

To kick things up a notch, the chronograph can be paired with the annual calendar, which requires a manual correction just once a year at the end of every February. The added complexity of the complication is apparent on the dial, which now displays the day of the week and the month. This can be managed in different ways. In the Annual Calendar Chronograph Ref. 5905P, Patek Philippe began by doing away with a running seconds hand, thus removing a sub-dial entirely. The hour totaliser was also excluded to leave a single counter at six o’clock, which marks the elapsed minutes, to further reduce clutter. Zenith, on the other hand, removed just the hour totaliser (arguably the least used portion of the chronograph), but kept the small seconds sub-dial on its El Primero Winsor Annual Calendar.

Good Till 2100
IWC Portugieser Perpetual Calendar Digital Date-Month Edition "75th Anniversary"

IWC Portugieser Perpetual Calendar Digital Date-Month Edition “75th Anniversary”

If the annual calendar isn’t enough, there’s always the perpetual calendar. The usage of this complication moves the watch into high watchmaking territory, and creates an interesting dichotomy at the same time. As long as the watch is kept running, the perpetual calendar requires no input from its wearer (at least until 2100), so having a chronograph function encourages him to interact more with it – start-stop-reset, start-stop-reset.

Presenting the information from a chronograph and a perpetual calendar becomes even more challenging with the inclusion of a leap year indicator. For Hublot, this necessitated the combination of multiple indicators into each sub-dial, as the Big Bang Chrono Perpetual Calendar shows. The counter at nine o’clock, for instance, combines the month, leap year, and chronograph minute totaliser, with the information displayed in three concentric layers. The brand also organised the information with distinct visual cues – white arrow-tipped hands for the calendar, red-tipped hands for the chronograph, and plain stick hands for the time. The thoughtful layout has even enabled Hublot to sneak in a moon phase indicator.

Hublot Big Bang Chrono Perpetual Calendar

Hublot Big Bang Chrono Perpetual Calendar

IWC, on the other hand, took a different route by utilising digital displays in its Portugieser Perpetual Calendar Digital Date-Month Edition ‘’75th Anniversary’’ watch. By confining the date and month to two such displays, the manufacture could free up valuable real estate on the dial for an airier design. The chronograph sub-dial reinforces this by merging the minute and hour totalisers, which also allows elapsed time to be read like a normal watch, rather than the more common 30-minute counter.

Time Zones + Alarm

Vulcain Aviator Cricket

Vulcain Aviator Cricket

The world timer was created to allow its wearer to keep track of multiple time zones at a glance. From this came the simpler GMT complication that Rolex developed for airline pilots, to provide them with an easy reference for Greenwich Mean Time, the basis of all flight operations. These complications didn’t remain the exclusive domain of businessmen and aviators though. Globalisation, best exemplified by the democratisation of air travel in the mid-20th century, made both the world timer and GMT complications popular with a far wider audience, and has kept them relevant even today.

Ringing Reminder
Hublot Big Bang Alarm Repeater

Hublot Big Bang Alarm Repeater

Of course, one could use a little help if he has multiple time zones to keep track of. A rotating bezel could work – just align the 12 o’clock marker to the important time, and it will serve as a reminder. Why not go one step further, though, and use an actual alarm? Archaic as it seems, a mechanical alarm does offer benefits over its digital counterpart that’s available on a smartphone. For one, it’s integrated with the watch, which never leaves its wearer’s wrist, so it cannot be misplaced. There’re also no concerns with battery life either. Since the complication is powered by a separate mainspring that’s wound up manually, keeping it ‘charged’ is a nonissue.

Blancpain Leman Réveil GMT

Blancpain Leman Réveil GMT

Although the mechanical alarm isn’t a common complication, some manufactures do offer it in watches that track multiple time zones. Vulcain is one of them, as the brand was already producing watches equipped with mechanical alarms for Swissair pilots in the 1950s to help them with the important milestones in a flight. The spiritual successor to those watches is the Aviator Cricket, which pairs the world timer with a mechanical alarm. Operating the watch is easy: The alarm is set by positioning the central red-tipped hand to the desired time. Blancpain and Hublot have similar offerings, albeit with the GMT complication instead of a world timer. Blancpain’s Leman Réveil GMT has a sub-dial for the second time zone at three o’clock, with the alarm set like Vulcain’s timepiece. Rounding up the trio is Hublot’s Big Bang Alarm Repeater, which allows the alarm time to be set to the minute through a separate sub-dial at four o’clock.

Hybrid Theory
Jaeger Le Coultre Master Geographic

Jaeger-LeCoultre Master Geographic

What other complications can a GMT or a world timer synergise with? With each other! Strange as it sounds, the two actually complement each other perfectly. Consider this: The GMT complication is intuitive to use, but tracks just one other time zone; the world timer, on the other hand, sacrifices some legibility to display far more information. Therefore, a hybrid can offer the best of both worlds by showing a selected time zone prominently, while the rest is available on demand.

Breitling for Bentley GMT Light Body B04 S

Breitling for Bentley GMT Light Body B04 S

Fusing the GMT and world timer complications can be done in several ways. For the Breitling for Bentley GMT Light Body B04 S, the red GMT hand continues to track home time, as the hour hand is set when one moves to a new time zone. To read the times in other cities, its user needs only to turn the bezel to align the home city on the inner flange with the GMT hand.

In A. Lange & Söhne’s Lange 1 Time Zone, local time is indicated by the larger sub-dial at nine o’clock. The smaller one at five o’clock has a triangular arrow that points at the city ring on the flange, and displays its corresponding time. Actuating the pusher at eight o’clock advances this city ring, and changes the time in the smaller sub-dial accordingly.

A. Lange & Sohne Lange 1 Time Zone

A. Lange & Sohne Lange 1 Time Zone

Jaeger-LeCoultre’s Master Geographic works similarly, with the crown at 10 o’clock responsible for changing the city at six o’clock. The time for the chosen city is then displayed accordingly in the sub-dial immediately above it. Granted, these three examples are not world timers per se. They do, however, have the ability to offer the time in more than 2 cities with just a little extra effort.

IWC Timezoner Chronographer

IWC Timezoner Chronographer

IWC’s Timezoner Chronograph, a 2016 novelty, deserves a special mention here. The timepiece displays the time of just a single city – the one at 12 o’clock on the bezel – in both 12- and 24-hour formats. Turn the bezel, however, and the white and red central hands that indicate the hours will jump accordingly, with the corresponding date correctly displayed at three o’clock. It’s both a GMT and a world timer watch, yet paradoxically it is also neither.

Perpetual Calendar + Moon phase

Richard Lange Perpetual Calendar "Terraluna" requires an adjustment for its moon phase dispaly just once every 1,058 years.

Richard Lange Perpetual Calendar “Terraluna” requires an adjustment for its moon phase dispaly just once every 1,058 years.

The perpetual calendar was covered earlier as a pairing option for the chronograph. On its own, however, this complication has almost always been paired with the moon phase display. For the man on the street, an indicator showing the current phase of the moon has about as much use as one that tracks the equation of time. This hasn’t stopped manufactures from including it in their perpetual calendar watches though, and for good reason – the moon phase display is the perfect feminine balance to the masculine perpetual calendar and its practical concerns with accuracy. Besides, it also lends a poetic touch to the dial that might otherwise be cluttered with hard information like the month and the day of the week – one certainly can’t argue against this, if he still appreciates wearing a mechanical watch in this day and age.

IWC Big Pilot's Watch Perpetual Calendar Top Gun

IWC Big Pilot’s Watch Perpetual Calendar Top Gun

Integrating a moon phase display into a calendar complication is easy. The period of the lunar cycle is roughly 29.53059 days, so a wheel with 59 teeth is commonly used. This wheel is advanced by a finger once every day, just like the rest of the calendar’s displays. The tiny difference between the two accumulates over time though, so a correction of one day is needed every 2.64 years. For the perfectionists out there, there’s good news – alternative gearing ratios for the moon phase do exist, and can drastically increase the complication’s accuracy. The A. Lange & Söhne Richard Lange Perpetual Calendar “Terraluna”, for instance, has a moon phase display that requires a correction just once every 1,058 years.

Montbalnc Heritage Spirit Perpetual Calendar Sapphire

Montbalnc Heritage Spirit Perpetual Calendar Sapphire

Technical details aside, the way the moon phase indicator meshes with the perpetual calendar’s displays also bears some study, and Vacheron Constantin’s Patrimony Perpetual Calendar is about as classic as it gets. Three sub-dials for the perpetual calendar’s full array of information, balanced by the graphical moon phase indicator. To reduce clutter, the manufacture merged the month and leap year into a single hand at 12 o’clock, which makes a complete revolution just once every four years. This reductionist approach extends to the simple aperture that shows the moon phase.

Vacheron Constantin Patrimony Perpetual Calendar

Vacheron Constantin Patrimony Perpetual Calendar

Montblanc’s Heritage Spirit Perpetual Calendar Sapphire has all its information sorted into the same positions on the dial, but looks far more contemporary because of its smoked sapphire dial, and the more elaborate sub-dial for the moon phase. IWC’s Big Pilot’s Watch Perpetual Calendar Top Gun is another variation on the theme, with the information presented in a slightly different arrangement. The highlight here is the double moon indicator at 12 o’clock, which simultaneously displays the moon phase as it is viewed from the Northern and Southern Hemispheres.

Glashütte Original Senator Perpetual Calendar

Glashütte Original Senator Perpetual Calendar

Finally, there’s Glashütte Original, which has stripped things to the bare minimum on the Senator Perpetual Calendar. The central hour and minute hands remain alongside a sweep seconds hand. All other information is shown via five apertures on the dial, including a single coloured dot that indicates the leap year.

Minute Repeater + tourbillon

It’s impossible to talk about the minute repeater without bringing out the superlatives. The complication remains the most revered among watchmakers and collectors alike, not least because of its complexity; a ‘simple’ minute repeater watch consists of over 300 parts that must all be finished, assembled, and adjusted. What’s more, there’s no room for error in several of the steps, like the removal of material to tune the gongs, as they are irreversible. It’s little wonder then, that the minute repeater remains the last bastion of high watchmaking that’s still well out of mass production’s reach. Its rarity is just part of its charm though. There’s nothing quite like listening to a minute repeater ‘live’ as its chimes announce the time down to the exact minute.

Cartier Rotonde de Cartier Minute Repeater with Flying Tourbillon

Cartier Rotonde de Cartier Minute Repeater with Flying Tourbillon

Spins & Strikes

Although minute repeaters frequently display their inner mechanisms through transparent case backs or open-worked dials, to admire them is to, above all else, have an auditory experience. As such, what better complication than the tourbillon to pair it with in order to create a multi-sensorial experience?

Jaeger- LeCoultre Master Ultra Thin Minute Repeater Flying Tourbillon

Jaeger- LeCoultre Master Ultra Thin Minute Repeater Flying Tourbillon

The tourbillon was conceived to even out a balance’s positional errors by constantly spinning it through all its possible positions. It might be an unintended consequence, but the rotating tourbillon carriage is mesmerising to watch, to say the least. Franck Muller was the first to recognise this and designed a movement where the device was first visible from the dial side of the watch, to create a constantly moving spectacle on the wrist. Combining the minute repeater with the tourbillon results in a timepiece with both audio and visual interest in spades.

Breguet Tradition Minute Repeater Tourbillon Ref.7087

Breguet Tradition Minute Repeater Tourbillon Ref.7087

Several manufactures offer such a match currently, but their executions differ widely from each other. Jaeger-LeCoultre’s Master Ultra Thin Minute Repeater Flying Tourbillon has its tourbillon prominently displayed at six o’clock, but keeps the minute repeater hidden when the watch is viewed from the dial side. Cartier’s Rotonde de Cartier Minute Repeater with Flying Tourbillon, on the other hand, has its gongs and hammers in the same position, while its tourbillon is moved to 12 o’clock to provide balance instead.

Girard Perregaux Minute Repeater Tourbillon With Gold Bridges

Girard-Perregaux Minute Repeater Tourbillon With Gold Bridges

Those who want even more visual details will do well to consider either Breguet’s Tradition Minute Repeater Tourbillon Ref. 7087, or Girard-Perregaux’s Minute Repeater Tourbillon With Gold Bridges. In each watch, the movement design allows large portions of the minute repeater mechanism to be visible from the dial side. These components only come to life when the strike train is activated though, which leaves the tourbillon as the star attraction normally.

Patek Philippe Ref.5539G-001

Patek Philippe Ref.5539G-001

Patek Philippe’s Ref. 5539G-001 deserves special mention here. Ever the stalwart of tradition, the manufacture has kept the tourbillon on the back of the watch, with the only hint of its existence being the text on its dial at six o’clock.

Story Credits

Text by Jamie Tan

This story was first published in World of Watches.

Drive de Cartier 1904-PS MC

Taut curves and refined lines – the Cartier manufacture has experimented (and mastered) all types of shapes throughout its established history – but the Drive de Cartier may be the most elegantly balanced and sophisticated model yet, complete with a dash of sportiness.

DRIVE_DE_-CARTIER_WATCH FACE

Unlike last year’s unisex Clé de Cartier, however, the Drive de Cartier is a strictly men’s-only wristwatch. With the patterning of the guilloché dial resembling that of an old radiator grill, and the winding crown inspired by bolts used to hold a car together, the vintage automative-inspired wristwatch boasts an indisputable presence of a motor car and makes for a very masculine timepiece.

The Drive de Cartier sits impeccably on the wrist with its rounded cushion shape. The case, available in pink gold or steel variants, measures a reasonable 40mm, enveloping a black, grey or white guilloché dial marked by Roman numerals and punctuated by blued steel sword hands – pure Cartier.

04_DRIVE_DE_-CARTIER

Inside, three calibres power the Drive de Cartier watch: the 1904-PS MC, the 1904-FU MC for the small complication and the 9452 MC for the Fine Watchmaking version – but we’ll talk about the 1904 MC today. The first movement entirely made in-house by Cartier, the 11½ line calibre is today well known for its reliability and technical refinement. In terms of functions, it covers all the basics: hours, minutes, small seconds and the date. Observant watch lovers will recognize the 1904 MC from previous iterations in the Calibre de Cartier, notably. The Côtes de Genève decoration on the bridges, oscillating weight and polished screw-heads are affirmation of the house’s high standards of quality. Designed to maintain chronometric stability, the watch also uses a double barrel system to ensure mainspring torque consistency over a long period, a testament to the house’s dedication to long-term reliability.

 

 

Christie’s Auctions Jewels from Princess Gabriela

It is not every day one can stand a chance to own jewelry that once belonged to royalty. On May 18, Christie’s will give you that opportunity with the sale of exquisite jewels that include several from the collection of H.S.H Gabriela Princess zu Leiningen. The former spouse of the current Aga Khan is letting go of a few memorable and personal pieces that were gifted to her by her second husband (The first being the Prince of Leiningen, hence her title). Before the sale however, the jewels will be on display in Geneva from May 13; the collection is currently making its way to New York as part of a tour.

The Pohl diamond, 36.09 carats

The Pohl diamond, 36.09 carats

“Sophisticated and classically beautiful, H.S.H Gabriela Princess zu Leiningen’s extensive collection is a true reflection of its owner. A woman of charisma, wisdom, elegance and above all joy” said François Curiel. The Chairman of Christie’s Asia Pacific added “ Each jewel represents a special moment in her life and the happiness she experienced at the time. We are honored to present superb jewels from her collection and extend to all the wonderful karma it brings.”

The Princess Colombian emerald and diamond necklace, by Cartier, the pendant weighing 39.70 carats.

The Princess Colombian emerald and diamond necklace, by Cartier, the pendant weighing 39.70 carats.

The 46 lots set to go under the hammer in Geneva are estimated to be worth over $15 million. Bidders can expect to see spectacular items from Cartier, Boucheron, Tiffany & Co. and Van Cleef & Arpels. We highlight several key pieces that will certainly excite any avid jewelry collector. The first is the Pohl Diamond. What makes this 36-carat diamond so special is that it was the very first significant diamond that was polished in America (most diamonds are polished in Europe, India or Israel) before it was sold to the Chrysler family in 1943. Having been mined nearly a decade earlier as a 287-carat rough stone, the diamond came into the possession of the princess in 1998 and is now estimated to be worth $3.8 — 5.5 million.

The cultured pearl, diamond and yellow diamond fringe necklace

The cultured pearl, diamond and yellow diamond fringe necklace

The next is a creation by Cartier that would make any woman swoon. The diamond and emerald necklace features a 40-carat Colombian emerald. Worth somewhere between $2.5 — 3.5 million, the necklace with the matching earrings was worn at the official dinner that followed the wedding of Prince Felipe of Spain and Letizia Ortiz back in 2004. The other highlight in the collection is the cultured pearl and diamond fringe necklace. Its owner before coming into the possession of the princess was her former husband’s grandmother, Begum Om Habibeh Aga Khan. Upon entering her enviable collection of jewelry, a matching pair of ear pendants and a bangle was commissioned from Van Cleef & Arpels to make a complete parure.

The "Persepolis" necklace

The “Persepolis” necklace

Other pieces that will certainly get your attention, include a suite of emerald, diamond and pearl jewelry from Cartier, an elegant five strand pearl and diamond necklace as well as the “Persepolis” necklace and pair of “Persane” earrings. With graduated emerald bead drops and a larger emerald beat pendant suspended, the suite also features a briolette-cut diamond and oval cabochon emerald surmount. The five strand pearl necklace is made up of nearly 500 natural pearls and daimond roundel spacers.With emeralds, diamonds and sapphires of several cuts, the “Persepolis” neckalce and “Persane” earrings are a set that certainly cannot be missed.

The elegant five strand pearl and diamond necklace

The elegant five strand pearl and diamond necklace

“Aside from their beauty, many of these jewels bare a compelling history of their own” said the Princess. She added “To me they embody wonderful and loving personal memories as well as exciting chapters of my life, full of color, travel and encounters. They have brought me great joy and happiness. Now I wish their journey to continue, bringing joy and happiness to their new owners.”

The sale will be held on May 18, 7pm at the Four Seasons Hotel des Bergues in Geneva. For more information on the auction, visit Christie’s.

Drive de Cartier: Driving Force

When it comes to shaped watches, few brands can claim to match Cartier’s product variety and success. The classic Tank, the relatively new Clé de Cartier, and the highly atypical Crash, which makes recurring appearances over the years, are just a sampling of the manufacture’s offerings. This year, Cartier continues its trek off the beaten path of good ol’ round watches with the Drive de Cartier.

Foremost, Drive de Cartier is defined by a cushion-shaped silhouette and slim profile, lugs that extend smoothly from the case, which has both polished and satinated surfaces, a domed crystal, and a facetted crown set with a sapphire cabochon. The collection debuted with three models across seven references, including a Fine Watchmaking version, the Drive de Cartier Flying Tourbillon, which is the flagship. Like its siblings, this watch’s dial design is Cartier through and through: Roman numeral hour indexes, sword-shaped hands in blued steel, and a scalloped sunburst guilloché pattern are all present as identifying elements. But unlike its siblings, this piece has a more elaborate two-tier structure. The guilloché pattern is confined to a lower layer that is overlaid with an upper dial sporting the markers and chapter rings.Driving-Force-Cle-de-Cartier

The engine within the Drive de Cartier Flying Tourbillon is the manufacture’s in-house Calibre 9452 MC. As its name suggests, the calibre contains a flying tourbillon, which is prominently displayed at six o’clock on the dial. The lack of an upper bridge here affords an airier design for a view right through the movement. This is complemented by the tourbillon’s upper cage, which has been rendered in Cartier’s characteristic “C”. Design aside, the personalised cage also serves as a demonstration of watchmaking savoir faire. Finally, the feather in the cap is 9452 MC’s Poinçon de Genève certification, which attests to the movement’s finishing standards and origins.

Specs

  • Dimension: 40 x 41mm
  • Function: Hours, minutes
  • Power Reserve: 50 hours
  • Movement: Manual- winding Calibre 9452 MC with flying tourbillon and Poinçon de Genève certification
  • Case: 40 x 41mm in pink gold
  • Water resistance: 30m
  • Strap: Brown alligator leather with pink gold deployant buckle

Story Credits

Text by Jamie Tan

This story was first published in WOW.

6 Designer Sunglasses for Spring/Summer 2016

With the summer sun upon us, intense light is a further burden to those of us already braving the heat. Spring/Summer 2016 eyewear collections have elegant and innovative designer shades on offer, allowing one to stay fashionable and comfortable, without having to squint all day long.

Offering up a big dollop of high-glitz glamor, Jimmy Choo’s Vivy shades feature round nude colored or gloss black acetate frames with Swarovski crystals as decoration. As an added plus, the jewels are fully detachable, allowing you to adapt your style for any scenario.

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Vivy by Jimmy Choo

With the geek chic aesthetic brought back into vogue by the likes of brands like Gucci, Tom Ford has decided to tap into that with the Greta model. These shades sport thick geometric frames in retro inspired colors such as ‘transparent pink’ and ‘honey/brown’.

Tom-Ford-Designer-Glasses

Tom Ford Greta Sunglasses Pink

Fendi takes a leap into the future with its Eye Shine collection, yet still holding within it a bit of the retro vibe. Ingeniously featuring a ‘frame within a frame’, these round glasses have a 1970s color scheme of golden yellows and turquoise blues, but have a cat’s-eye silhouette.

Fendi-Designer-Glasses

Eye Shine collection by Fendi

On the other side of the spectrum, Moncler went all the way back to the 1950s with a stylized range of butterfly shaped lenses in pastel colors like taupes, corals, and mint greens. All perfect for a laid back feminine vibe.

Moncler-Designer-Glasses

Moncler Spring/Summer 2016

The ultra-modern Chanel went for style blended with technology by having a flat-mirrored eye-mask/visor like design engraved with laser padding. This Plein Soleil 2016 line uses colors subtly based on acetate to allow for slipping back and forth from black to blue on a solar cat’s eye, or from black to white on an oval optic.

Chanel-Designer-Glasses

Chanel Eyewear Spring/Summer 2016

Finally, we take a look at Cartier. Popularly known as aviators, the Panthére de Cartier features the Maison’s emblematic panther making an unexpected appearance in the lens. The three-dimensional jeweled panther is completed in gold or platinum with black lacquer, much like most of the eyewear. Choose between a golden flash or graduated grey lenses with silver toned reflections for a sleek and polished look under the sun.

The Panthére de Cartier

The Panthére de Cartier

Images courtesy of the brands.

In Pictures: Many Facets of Iroshini Chua

Dr Iroshini Chua wears many hats as a mother of two, family physician, travel columnist, high society fixture, party planner, accomplished home chef, charity crusader, style influencer, among others. The multi-hyphenate is also well known for her good taste in accessories and her love of gemstones. She has designed jewelry as a hobby business in the past, and is planning to launch her own brand in the near future. We asked her to share a few secrets on how she balances style and comfort so effortlessly.

Hostess With The Mostest

Special thanks to The St. Regis Singapore for hosting the photo shoot at its lavishly appointed Presidential Suite, which features a master bedroom, living room, dining room, executive office, gym, and terrace. Displayed on the premises are prized artworks by masters including Marc Chagall, Mark Tobey, Le Pho, and Sam Francis. Hand-painted silk panels adorn the walls, while custom-made Czech crystal chandeliers cast a warm glow. Other highlights include a luxurious bedroom and a beautiful master bathroom with its own Jacuzzi and separate jet massage shower with marble steam chamber.

Special thanks to The St. Regis Singapore for hosting the photo shoot at its lavishly appointed Presidential Suite, which features a master bedroom, living room, dining room, executive office, gym, and terrace. Displayed on the premises are prized artworks by masters including Marc Chagall, Mark Tobey, Le Pho, and Sam Francis. Hand-painted silk panels adorn the walls, while custom-made Czech crystal chandeliers cast a warm glow. Other highlights include a luxurious bedroom and a beautiful master bathroom with its own Jacuzzi and separate jet massage shower with marble steam chamber.

Van Cleef & Arpels Magic Alhambra one-motif white gold and diamond long necklace, Perlée white gold hoop earrings, Cadenas white gold and diamond watch; Emporio Armani embroidered cotton-mix pleated dress.

Career Woman

Christian Dior La Mini D de Dior 19mm watch, Rose Dior Pré Catalan pink gold and amethyst necklace, earrings, and ring, polyamide-mix pleated dress.

Christian Dior La Mini D de Dior 19mm watch, Rose Dior Pré Catalan pink gold and amethyst necklace, earrings, and ring, polyamide-mix pleated dress.

“I like wearing timeless and feminine clothes and jewelry that can easily take me from the clinic to an evening engagement.”

Mummy Duty

The Presidential Suite is part of The St. Regis Singapore’s Suite Society programme, which also features the Manhattan, Metropolitan, Knickerbocker, Astoria, and King Cole Suites. Guests who book them are offered exclusive access to exceptional dining and lifestyle privileges.

The Presidential Suite is part of The St. Regis Singapore’s Suite Society program, which also features the Manhattan, Metropolitan, Knickerbocker, Astoria, and King Cole Suites. Guests who book them are offered exclusive access to exceptional dining and lifestyle privileges.

Audemars Piguet Ladies Royal Oak Self-winding 37mm diamond watch; Chanel pearl sautoir; Iroshini’s own pearl and diamond ring; Christian Dior printed cotton-knit top and viscose-mix skirt.

Jet-setter

Available across all St. Regis properties around the world, the St. Regis Aficionado programme provides guests with exceptional bespoke experiences, such as private access to the world’s premier lifestyle collections and auctions, tasting rare private vintages, and getting a custom-tailored garment made.

Available across all St. Regis properties around the world, the St. Regis Aficionado programme provides guests with exceptional bespoke experiences, such as private access to the world’s premier lifestyle collections and auctions, tasting rare private vintages, and getting a custom-tailored garment made.

Vacheron Constantin Traditionelle Small Model 33mm watch with diamonds; Iroshini’s own yellow sapphire ring, blue sapphire earrings; Ondademar silk kimono, cotton camisole, woven hat, heels.

“I love to discover new destinations, and I holiday at resorts about eight to 10 times a year. I don’t believe one should eschew style for comfort or vice-versa. This resort outfit is my perfect solution as it is comfortable for lounging by the pool as well as a chic ensemble for the restaurants. Matching it well is this Vacheron Constantin watch, which is so versatile and offers a pop of color.”

Lady Of Leisure

Chopard L’Heure du Diamant collection white gold necklace with 4.85 carats of diamonds, High Jewellery white gold ring with 13.6 carats of yellow diamonds and 1.28 carats of white diamonds, High Jewellery white gold and diamond ear studs; Diane von Furstenberg appliqué cotton-mix dress; Wedgwood Daisy Tea Story teacup and saucer set.

Chopard L’Heure du Diamant collection white gold necklace with 4.85 carats of diamonds, High Jewellery white gold ring with 13.6 carats of yellow diamonds and 1.28 carats of white diamonds, High Jewellery white gold and diamond ear studs; Diane von Furstenberg appliqué cotton-mix dress; Wedgwood Daisy Tea Story teacup and saucer set.

“I believe that diamonds can be beautifully paired with a busy print or loud colors to pull an entire look together without competing with them. This way, each can be admired in its own right.”

Belle Of The Ball

Home to one of the finest private art collections in Southeast Asia, The St. Regis Singapore offers exclusive access to museum-quality art. The collection showcases over 70 original works of art, including sculptures, paintings, and prints by internationally renowned artists. Hotel guests are invited to partake in The Art of Living tour around the hotel, conducted by the hotel butlers at 6pm daily.

Home to one of the finest private art collections in Southeast Asia, The St. Regis Singapore offers exclusive access to museum-quality art. The collection showcases over 70 original works of art, including sculptures, paintings, and prints by internationally renowned artists. Hotel guests are invited to partake in The Art of Living tour around the hotel, conducted by the hotel butlers at 6pm daily.

Piaget Extremely Piaget white gold ear cuff with 3.19 carats of diamonds and 12.76 carats of blue sapphires, Extremely Piaget white gold necklace with diamonds totalling 52.43 carats, a 20.06-carat cushion-cut sapphire, and a 7.35-carat pear-shaped blue sapphire, Limelight white gold secret watch with Polynesian mother-of-pearl and 506 multi-cut diamonds totaling 76.24 carats; Iroshini’s own Tex Saverio silk-mix laser-cut applique tiered gown; Jimmy Choo red suede clutch.

Party Princess

At The St. Regis Singapore, all guests have access to the signature St. Regis Butler Service, which includes food and beverage requests, unpacking and packing of luggage, garment pressing, and the e-butler option for access to the butler service, from within or outside the hotel, at any hour 
via e-mail.

At The St. Regis Singapore, all guests have access to the signature St. Regis Butler Service, which includes food and beverage requests, unpacking and packing of luggage, garment pressing, and the e-butler option for access to the butler service, from within or outside the hotel, at any hour 
via e-mail.

Cartier Panthère Captive de Cartier white gold watch with diamonds, emeralds, and onyx, Panthère de Cartier yellow gold earrings with tsavorites and diamonds, Panthère de Cartier yellow gold bracelets, one with tsavorites and onyx, the other with black lacquer, tsavorites, diamonds, and onyx; Iroshini’s own Tex Saverio polyester-mix laser-cut top; Marciano cotton-mix shorts; Ash gladiator heels

“My wardrobe contains edgy and architectural pieces for night outs. They allow me to have fun with fashion and be experimental. The iconic panther motif on the timepiece and jewels packs a punch and makes the entire look more impactful.”

Story Credits

Text by Yanni tan

Images by Wong Wei Liang

Styling by Vernon Sim

Styling Assistance by Christine Lim

Hair by Eileen Koh

Makeup by Amy Chow, using Chanel colors

Location The Presidential Suite at the St. Regis Singapore

This story first appeared in WOW Jewelry, Singapore.

Absolutely Brilliant: 14 Top Jewelry Watches

Like many things with a topping, jewellery watches tend to be larger than life. They may not be to everyone’s taste – there are those who wouldn’t touch a brew with cream and sugar in it or people who’d always scrape the icing off a cupcake; but when a watch is dressed in a Technicolor coat of precious stones, everything goes up a notch, or 10. Price for one, for not just the material, skill, design, and man-hours, but also sourcing stones from the ends of the Earth and working tirelessly over them, polishing, cutting, and setting racks up significantly higher costs. And secondly, there’s wattage: Not the electricity it takes to light a bulb, but metaphorically, an index of the amount of attention a jewelled watch is going to attract.

This happy circumstance of putting hand to stone, far from creating broken windows, has instead birthed a bewildering range of jewellery watches of every shade of colour, and taste, limited only by the collective imagination of the human race. Some watches go for subtlety, with just a light dusting of precious stones to bring up the lustre. In other instances, it is the diamonds and precious stones paved like tarmac that do the talking for the timepiece.

In both, and the continuum of moderation in between, a watch is worn all the better when the degree of ornamentation is pitched exactly to what the wearer intends. Here are some that have caught our eye.

RAPPERS & ROCK STARS

If a wattage could be ascribed to this class, it would be on the top end of the scale, by the sheer weight of stones, usually diamonds, paved onto every nook and cranny of the timepiece’s three-dimensional form. It’s conceivable only the night sky will have more stars by number, however, the point is not really to count, but to declare, “Here I am!” People will stare for sure because watches in this class aren’t just slathered with the good stuff; they are also designed in a way that proclaims wealth, loud and proud.

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Audemars Piguet Royal Oak Offshore Chronograph
When one of the most established Swiss watchmaking houses creates something that is modern and captures the spirit of the times, an icon is birthed. In this case, the Royal Oak Offshore Chronograph, much-beloved of elite rapper and sports celebrities, is released in nearly as many special editions to match. Wholly carpeted with diamonds – save for onyxes to mark the hours – the result is a thoroughly aspirational emblem of excess.

102075_BGOW43D2GD2DBR-DANIEL ROTH

Bulgari Octo Bi-Retrograde Full Diamonds
Squat and sleek at the same time, it’s like wearing a bunker on one’s wrist, its walls laid over with diamonds, and dual arcs in black ceramic for the retrograde minutes and date. Utterly glamorous with a commanding presence.

Roger Dubuis Excalibur Collection EX45 Spyder 505SQ

Roger Dubuis Excalibur Spider Skeleton Flying Tourbillon with Diamonds
It’s a little ironic that a watch from which so much material has been excised should have such a long name. And in comparison with other megawatt watches in this category, it hasn’t got that many carats on its spec sheet either. But in both senses, whether metal or stone, the Spider Tourbillon exemplifies the ideal of projecting so much presence with so little. And what diamonds it’s got are set using a unique process, into the rubber moulding wrapped around the bezel.

07-Hublot-Big-Bang-Unico-10-Years-Haute-Joaillerie-Red

Hublot Big Bang Unico “10 Years” Haute Joaillerie
It’s been 10 years since Hublot’s Big Bang stormed into the watch collecting scene, and to celebrate, the company introduced three new Big Bang models valued at a combined $10 million – an arresting statement from a company that writes the book on making statements! In particular, the Unico Haute Joaillerie comes in four references, set to the hilt in precious stones: black diamonds, white diamonds, white diamonds and blue sapphires, and white diamonds and red rubies.

OLD MONEY

If elegance is conveyed in a whisper, that is only relative in a manner of speaking. Timepieces here are not ‘loud’; but for sheer beauty and luxury, they give no quarter in their ability to draw one’s eye. Not by the collar, as compared to pieces that are all about bold expression – that would not be very refined. Rather, they cast their spell by compelling persuasion, even seduction. Enthrallment rather than shock and awe, and once ensnared, many would find they’d rather do backflips than look away.

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Vacheron Constantin Malte Tourbillon High Jewellery
There’s a white gold case forming the core of the watch, but one doesn’t get to see it, because the entire timepiece, save for the tourbillon and including the bracelet, is entirely paved with baguette-cut diamonds using an invisible setting technique. Working at tolerances down to 100th of a millimetre, the fit is perfect, no different from a second skin. A true creature of light.

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Bulgari Octo Tourbillon Full Diamonds
The distinctiveness of its octagonal case and its angular lugs project immense presence. At the same time, the arctic blaze of the diamonds tiled over the whole watch finds beautiful contrast in the warmth and animation of the tourbillon.

10-Breguet-Classique-5238

Breguet Classique 5238
Even with diamonds up to its ears, paved on case, bezel, and lugs, the Classique 5238 with openworked dial has not shed a whit of the formal elegance and visual purity of the rest of the Classique family. Somehow, it manages to look luxurious without being extravagant, stealing the show without being 
overtly showy. Brilliant!

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Breguet 5719 Classique Hora Mundi Haute Joaillerie
What looks to be a glamour piece for the ballroom actually scores very high on utility, featuring a self-winding movement with instant jump second time zone display at the 12 and 6 o’clock positions. Engraved day/night indicator is deliciously quaint, and the continent of one’s choice (America, Europe or Asia/Oceania) rendered in round-cut diamonds and set against wavy rose engine turned ocean is a sight to behold.

BEAUTY QUEENS

Every watch marched out of a serious watchmaking factory has had a lot of design thought into its creation: nothing is random, accidental, and every flourish makes a point even if it’s mechanically superfluous. But these watches take design a nudge further, ties are loosened if not flung away, and brushes are inked a little wetter for bolder strokes.

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Cartier Pasha de Cartier 42mm Skeleton Dragon Motif Watch
Watch aficionados light up for the skeletonised manufacture movement specially shaped to complement the dragon motif; but the latter itself is wonderfully stylised, drawn with softer lines that are a departure from the more regular renditions, all snarly, teeth and talons. Exquisite; and the Pasha’s distinctive crown has just a bit of the oriental vibe to match.

Métiers d'Art Swan 86677-000G-B116

Vacheron Constantin Métiers D’art L’éloge De La Nature Swan
The swan being a symbol of enduring love, it is fitting that this watch should come as a pair, a men’s and a women’s model in 42mm and 39mm cases respectively. It takes two months to complete each dial, and four crafts – enamelling, engraving, guilloche, gem-setting – to impart vividness and liveliness to stone and metal, effecting a breath-taking rendition of a lustrous swan spreading its wings on a lake of enamel.

TECH WIZ

Very much of watchmaking is about technology and technique. The Swiss anchor and hairspring are important milestones in man’s technological advancement, a long way from stone tools and time measurement in drips and drabs. But especially in the 21st century, well into the age of digital and information technology holding sway, some watchmakers remain adamant about performing incredible feats of mechanical engineering, extending the relevance and wonder of the gear-driven timepiece.

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Hublot MP-05 LaFerrari Golden Jubilee
The plain vanilla MP-05 is already more exclusive than its supercar namesake, being limited to 50 pieces. But the Golden Jubilee created to celebrate SG50 and Big Bang’s 10th anniversary is even more so, as a unique piece. As unique as its orientation, which is not top-down like most watches, but front-back, like a stack of coins stood on their edges. The watch has 11 barrels (most watches have one) stacked just like this, visible as the central spine on the watch face, terminating in a vertical tourbillon and flanked by marked cylinders telling time and power reserve, over a scale of 50 days! Golden Jubilee model adds plenty of diamonds, like scales on a cobra’s head.

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Vacheron Constantin Traditionnelle 14-Day Tourbillon
It’s like the watchmakers pussy-footed on the documents, to make doubly sure the mechanical merits are highlighted by precious stones without being upstaged; the archetypal “watch with jewellery” as opposed to the reverse. In this case, a handsome balance has been struck. Being adequately embellished, it’s not just the diamonds, but the supreme refinement and conservative elegance of Vacheron Constantin’s tourbillon – with the distinctive Maltese Cross tourbillon cage and outstanding 14-day power reserve – that shines through.

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Piaget Emperador Coussin Tourbillon Diamond-Set Automatic Skeleton
How can one forget Piaget when thinking about gem-set watches? The manufacture’s dual expertise in watchmaking and jewellery crafting does not go unnoticed especially in such illustrious timepieces like this one. Of course the technical know-how is impressive; it’s not every day that a manufacture gets to successfully create an ultra-thin self-winding skeletonised flying tourbillon. But Piaget had already done that a few years ago, and with this new model, it went a step further, lavishing the movement Calibre 1270D with beautiful diamonds. The case, bezel, crown, and bracelet, as well as the micro-rotor, have all been set with a mix of brilliant- and baguette-cut gems.

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Jaeger-LeCoultre Master Grande Tradition
The Grande Maison’s watchmaking mastery extends out of grand complications and into such luxuriant yet tasteful gem-setting as seen in these two stunning creations. We have the Master Grande Tradition Tourbillon Cylindrique à Quantième Perpétual with flawless baguette-cut gems cradling the tourbillon as well as set all around the bezel and crown, not to mention its indexes too, and the Master Grande Tradition Tourbillon Cylindrique, which is fully paved with baguette-cut gemstones. In the latter, Jaeger-LeCoultre plays with colours, namely blue 
and silver, by mixing blue sapphires with diamonds, and white gold with blued steel.

Story Credits
Text by Yeo Suan Futt

This article was originally published on World of Watches

Design Focus: Etourdissant Cartier in 5 Points

When Etourdissant Cartier made its world debut in Singapore, Cartier’s image, strategy and heritage director, Pierre Rainero was on hand to share five things to know with the L’Officiel Singapore team. They were kind enough to share it with us.

Work on the Etourdissant Cartier starts two years in advance.

Even before an idea of where we want to go in terms of design and the very evolution of that design, we have to gather the stones first. The gathering of stones is always the first step, and that’s what we do on a regular basis as you don’t buy stones in a month for a collection of 100 pieces. We hold a meeting with our design team at the beginning of September and we put all physical stones on the table that are available for the collection, and we match all possibilities that the stones offer to a direction that we have in mind.

Platinum necklace with diamonds and white gold bracelet with emerald, rock crystal, onyxes and diamonds.

Platinum necklace with diamonds and white gold bracelet with emerald, rock crystal, onyxes and diamonds.

The making of the Etourdissant Cartier is planned in two stages.

One will make its debut a year and a half later and the other, two years later. In fact, we presented the first part of the Etourdissant Cartier collection in June and July and now we are presenting the second part. Pieces that require more time to create are normally left for the second part.

Cartier gathers the most exceptional stones possible.

In the Etourdissant Cartier you’ll find an incredible sapphire from Burma, emeralds from Colombia and a combination of pink and blue diamonds, amongst others. It is mandatory for us that every collection should present some extraordinary stones, be it historical or not. The stones lead us to an inspiration, and then, in terms of style, we decide which direction we’d like to take and innovate upon.

Yellow gold ring with emeralds, rock crystal, onyxes and diamonds and yellow gold bracelet with emeralds, rock crystal, onyxes and brilliant-cut diamonds.

Yellow gold ring with emeralds, rock crystal, onyxes and diamonds and yellow gold bracelet with emeralds, rock crystal, onyxes and brilliant-cut diamonds.

Our heritage is always present.

Everything we do has to bear the Cartier style in two ways. First, it should be recognisable as Cartier immediately even if there’s a lot of innovation going on. Second, this is almost a responsibility for us because innovations add a new vocabulary to the Cartier language and that is the way we look at our heritage. Heritage for us lies in the notion of style, and style is like a living language. Grammar would be, for instance, proportion, a sense of colour and associating them with the fluidity on the human body. The vocabulary is the precise element of design.

It is Cartier’s role to convince and shift the modern woman’s interest onto a certain newness.

Our previous works are so well known and popular that many people tend to want exactly the same thing. But if they want to be associated to the innovation like the way some people were associated with the first panthers in the ’40s or the first Galveston pieces in the 1900s, they should focus on the novelties.

Platinum necklace with rubellite, obsidian, onyx spots, emeralds and diamonds and platinum earrings with rubellites, onyx spots, emeralds and diamonds.

Platinum necklace with rubellite, obsidian, onyx spots, emeralds and diamonds and platinum earrings with rubellites, onyx spots, emeralds and diamonds.

This article first appeared in L’Officiel Singapore.

Power On-Demand: Cartier Panthères et Colibri

Ahead of the Salon International de la Haute Horlogerie in Geneva next year, jeweler and watchmaker Cartier has opted to release some details on this dazzler. A power-reserve on-demand timepiece, the watch deserves some quiet time to contemplate so we will do just that. Luxury icon Cartier has been working hard at marrying its competencies in jewelry and watchmaking to appeal to the world’s 1% while also inspiring the rest of us. Also, it is just beautiful and as far as what this watch is or means, that is all you need to know. Well, you have to revel in the beauty of the piece so do take a moment to really look at the watch because there is a lot going on here – more than meets the eye in fact.

Ok, so what’s going on here? The answer is a little more complicated than our initial paragraph implied so bear with us. The movement behind the timekeeping functions of the Cartier Panthères et Colibri is the in-house mechanical calibre 9915MC. To be sure, this little (36.18mm x 5.45mm is not actually that little, relatively speaking) wonder of moving parts needs to be wound up every three days. Yes, the power reserve here is 3 days and should you forget in that time to wind it up (not uncommon in our experience with watches with longer than 48 hours of power reserve), the power reserve indicator will remind you of the state of mainspring. So far, everything is properly impressive, if a little pedestrian. Pedestrian is not a word that the watchmakers of the La Chaux-de-Fonds manufacture traffic in…

Montre Panthe`re-Colibri sur cuir_v1

Here we see the watch at rest, before the crown is pressed to activate the power reserve display

Aesthetics-wise, having the power reserve front-and-centre takes up valuable space on the dial and only communicates limited information – no pun intended. Even the hour and minute hands are off to the side here in this showcase of bejeweled beauty so how to integrate power reserve information? The watchmaking team of Carole Forestier-Kasapi delivers an elegant solution to the power reserve issue not by putting the display on the caseback, but by making it available only on demand. In practical terms, pressing the crown allows a panther cub (always cute) to spring up from under its mum to give chase to a hummingbird; the length of the hummingbird’s flight is the amount of power remaining in the mainspring. This is what we call mechanical ingenuity!

Ok, what this means is that the cub-and-hummingbird interaction is in fact the main attraction of this piece, at once making it a very distinctive and serious mechanical pleasure while simultaneously demonstrating a whimsical attitude. Adding to the serious beauty of the Panthères et Colibri is the 18k white gold of the 42.75mm case, the rhodium treated 18k white gold dial, similarly rhodium-finished 18k white gold mother panther with 270 brilliant cut diamonds, spots in black lacquer and single pear-shaped emerald for the eye. The cub and hummingbird appear to be in rose or yellow gold but press time there is no information about these (Update: Cartier informs us that the cub and hummingbird are indeed in rose gold and the hands are in gilded steel).

Manufacture mechanical movement with manual winding, calibre 9915 MC_Vincent Wulveryck c Cartier_01

Calibre 9915 MC, dial-side

Specs

  • Dimensions: 42.75mm x 11.4mm
  • Functions: Hours, minutes, on-demand power reserve
  • Power reserve: 3 Days
  • Movement: Mechanical, manual-winding, calibre 9915 MC
  • Water resistance: 30 meters
  • Material: 18k white gold, 314 brilliant cut diamonds, with black alligator strap (deployant folding clasp with 43 brilliant cut diamond). Also available with gem-set bracelet
  • Manufacture mechanical movement with manual winding, calibre 9915 MC_Vincent Wulveryck c Cartier_03

    Calibre 9915 MC, back view

10 Ways to Wear Asia on Your Wrist

The most sublime artistic watches of 2015 are replete with motifs dear to Asia. Our friends at WOW curated this list of the 10 best examples, featuring a showcase of artisanal techniques in watchmaking such as champlevé enamelling but also incorporating outside crafts such as Aka-e painting.

HERMÈS

Travel back in time to ancient Kyoto with the 39.5mm Slim d’Hermès Koma Kurabe watch (pictured above), named after the famous millennial-old horse race at the Kamigamo Shrine. Fine French porcelain is further exalted with the Japanese art of Aka-e painting, under the expert brush of master Buzan Fukushima from Kutani in the Ishikawa Prefecture. One of the rare artisans who still practice this technique, Fukushima deftly paints on subtly graded shades of red and ochre, which he coats with a fine layer of gold before firing it three times. The watch also features the mechanical self-winding H1950 movement.

Jacquet Droz-r50

JAQUET DROZ

Honouring the Chinese Year of the Goat is this Petite Heure Minute Relief Goats, which features three goats carved out of white gold springing from the summit of an imaginary mountain. In the backdrop is a stylised dial evoking the motif of the plum blossom through champlevé enamelling of white and Jaquet Droz’s signature blue, with the finished result resembling an exquisite piece of Chinese paper cutting. 
This 41mm timepiece is endowed with a self-winding mechanical movement.

Piaget-r50

PIAGET

Also paying homage to the Chinese zodiac, the Altiplano Enamelled Cloisonné Goat watch displays the talent of world-renowned independent enamel artist Anita Porchet, who created this Grand Feu cloisonné enamel dial in soft shades of grey. The tones on the magnificent buck were painstakingly graded from intense to lighter nuances, while the ethereal background brings to mind a cloud-streaked sky over a mountain range. Housed within the 38mm watch is the Piaget 430P mechanical manual-winding movement.

VCA-r50

VAN CLEEF & ARPELS

A work of superlative savoir faire and craftsmanship, this Palais de la Chance Carpe Koï high jewelry bracelet watch is a tribute to Japanese culture, of which the koi is a symbol of love, life, and serenity. Requiring 3,450 hours of meticulous work, it is set with 8,000 colored stones that includes diamonds, spessartite garnets, and yellow sapphires for the body; black spinels for eyes; and Paraiba-like tourmalines and diamonds for the water motif. The bracelet of this watch, which is powered by a quartz movement, is unfastened by pressing on the koi’s tail.

Chaumet-r50

CHAUMET

Beautifully captured on the dial of the Lumières d’Eau Parure 11 watch is the elegance and grace of the carp, which in Chinese mythology is a symbol of success for its ability to transform into a dragon. It features four fish made of engraved yellow gold with blue sapphires for eyes, gliding across softly swirling water represented by a cream-colored lacquered dial set with brilliant diamonds for ripples. The long tails of the fish extend out over part of the bezel, the rest of which is set with 183 brilliant diamonds. The piece is powered by a Swiss mechanical self-winding movement.

Blancpain-r50

BLANCPAIN

The Hindu god of Ganesh is superbly immortalized on the dial of this Villeret Shakudo watch. Shakudo, which is a historical technique Japanese in origin, refers to an alloy principally composed of copper and gold that acquires a dark patina between blue and black. The 45mm timepiece also features engraving and damascening, which is another old technique that involves inlaying precious metals, in this case gold, into a base metal. It is endowed with the manual-winding Calibre 15B mechanical movement.

De Bethune-r50

DE  BETHUNE

Named after an ancient Mesoamerican feathered serpent, which is a deity of the summer winds and a protector of artisans, the DB25 Quetzalcoatl flaunts a solid gold dial sculpted by engraver Michèle Rothen. The head of the coiled snake at the center points to the hour, while its tail indicates the minutes. The hour markers resemble a series of temples viewed from the sky, while a circular guilloché motif makes the watch glow. Beating at the heart of this 44mm watch is the manual-winding Calibre DB2005.

Corum-r50

CORUM

The watchmaker’s legendary linear movement is paired up with a mythical creature, the dragon, to give us the audacious Golden Bridge Dragon. Immaculate hand-engraving work taking more than two weeks transforms a mold-poured piece of white gold into an incredibly detailed, three-dimensional piece of art. The dragon’s sinuous silhouette, which wraps around the movement without actually touching it, is covered with tiny depth-effect scales, and given impressive claws and a pearl-tipped tail. Encased within the 34mm x 51mm watch, with a bezel and lugs adorned with baguette diamonds, is the CO113 manual-winding movement.

Cartier-r50

CARTIER

The ancestral damascene technique is used on the dial of this Rotonde de Cartier 42mm to depict the amazingly life-like and detailed head of a majestic panther, which represents ferocity and strength to the Chinese. Wires in rose, yellow and white gold were hammered into troughs cut into a gold base, while the feline’s nose and spots 
were painted with black lacquer. Black onyx forms the background of the watch, which is equipped with the manual-winding mechanical movement 9601 MC.

Story Credits

Text by Yanni Tan

Illustrations by Irene Arifin

cartier presents

WATCH: Cartier’s romantic “proposal”

French jeweler  has enlisted British film director Sean Ellis to produce its new promotional video “The Proposal.” Set in Paris, the mini film revolves around a game of hide-and-seek and misunderstandings.

As with L’Odyssée de Cartier in 2012, once again the real stars of the show are the pieces from Cartier’s latest luxury jewelry collection.

With “The Proposal,” Ellis and French screenwriter Olivier Lecot present three tales of Parisian romance in which the iconic red Cartier jewelry box unexpectedly pops up — at the Musée Rodin, in the lift of a philharmonic concert hall, and at a Paris airport to enliven an existing marriage.

The first love story starring Christa Theret, shows a youthful and affectionate treasure hunt in the gardens of the Musée Rodin, drawing to a close at the foot of the famous Thinker sculpture.

the proposal

The second tale unfolds with a rushed series of missed opportunities in front of the lift in a large Parisian concert hall, where the doors consistently close on the lovers, played by Oisin Stack and Ana Girardot.

And finally, the third scenario recounts a completely unexpected declaration that unfolds in a dramatic turn of events at the airport, following a series of new developments between a husband and wife. A passport is stolen and returned and finally a surprise “remarriage” proposal is elicited.

This last opus is performed by Nicolas Bridet (“You Will Be My Son” by Gilles Legrand) and Anne Charrier (Guy Mazarguil’s “L’Art de séduire”).