Tag Archives: timepiece

The Henry Graves Supercomplication handmade watch by Patek Philippe

Swiss Pocket Watch Sells for Record $24 Million

The Henry Graves Supercomplication handmade watch by Patek Philippe

A gold pocket watch made by Patek Philippe for a banker in the 1930s has sold for a record $21.3 million at auction in Geneva.

The sale of the “Henry Graves Supercomplication”, a handcrafted timepiece named after its original owner, a New York banker who ordered it in 1925, weighs more than half a kilo and comprises 900 separate parts.

The winning bidder, who remained anonymous, will have to fork out a total of $24 million, including the commission.

It took  five years to assemble the watch, which has Graves’s name on the dial.



Tim Bourne, Sotheby’s worldwide head of watches, said the sale confirmed the watch’s “superstar status”. Bourne called it an “icon of the 20th century, a masterpiece that elevates the discipline of watchmaking to art”.

A watch industry expert told AFP before the auction the timepiece was not just an immensely expensive accessory.

This is not a watch you can wear. It is a watch that symbolises strength, power and money,” he said.


The Patek Philippe piece displays not only the hour but also a plethora of other indicators: a perpetual calendar, the phases of the moon, sidereal time, indications for the time of sunset and sunrise, and the shifting night sky over Manhattan. Its Westminster chimes sing joyfully every 15 minutes.

The seller and buyer chose to remain anonymous at the auction at a Geneva lakeside hotel, where bidding lasted 15 minutes.

Patek Philippe Grandmaster Chime

Luxury Watchmaker Patek Philippe Unveils $2.6M Watch

Patek Philippe Grandmaster Chime

To commemorate its 175th anniversary, Swiss luxury watchmaker  on Tuesday unveiled a new $2.6 million wristwatch.

Featuring 18-karat gold and sapphire crystals, the Grandmaster Chime timepiece is the most expensive wristwatch Patek has ever built.

It has two faces—one that shows the time and the other, the calendar. The case turns on a vertical axis to alternate between the two (below).

It’s the most complicated wristwatch ever, featuring 20 different complications including a range of different sonneries and repeaters.

The company apparently logged 100,000 hours for the watch’s development, production, and assembly with 11,060 meticulously hand-finished parts in the seven limited-edition exemplars of the watch.


One of them will go on display in the company’s permanent collection, while the six others are priced at 2.5 million Swiss Francs ($2.6 million).

Here are the watch’s 20 complications: 

1 Grande Sonnerie
2 Petite Sonnerie
3 Minute repeater
4 Strikework mode display (Silence/Grand Sonnerie/Petite Sonnerie)
5 Alarm with time strike
6 Date repeater
7 Movement power-reserve indicator
8 Strikework power-reserve indicator
9 Strikework isolator display
10 Second time zone
11 Second time zone day/night indicator
12 Instantaneous perpetual calendar
13 Day-of-week display
14 Month display
15 Date display (on both dials)
16 Leap year cycle
17 Four-digit year display
18 24-hour and minute subdial
19 Moon phase
20 Crown position indicator (RAH)

Grandmaster Chime

Henry Graves Supercomplication

Most Expensive Patek to Return to Auction at Sotheby’s

Henry Graves Supercomplication

The Henry Graves Supercomplication, a timepiece which has an estimated value of $16 million, is “the most complicated watch ever made completely by human hand” and will be sold in Geneva on November 14, Sotheby’s said.

“The list of superlatives which can be attached to this icon of the 20th century is truly extraordinary,” the auction house said, describing it as “the Holy Grail of watches”.

The timepiece, made by , was commissioned by New York banker Henry Graves in 1925 and took a total of eight years to complete.

It features on its display not only the hour but also a plethora of other indicators: a perpetual calendar, the phases of the moon, sidereal time, indications for the time of sunset and sunrise, and the night sky of NYC.

The Henry Graves watch was the world’s most complicated for 56 years before it was surpassed by designs executed by technicians aided by computers.

It sold in 1999 for a then-record $11 million and is on sale again to mark the 175th anniversary of its manufacturer.

Midnight Planetarium van cleef

Midnight Planetarium by Van Cleef & Arpels

Jeweler and watchmaker Van Cleef & Arpels has decided to shoot for the stars with its latest design, the astrological watch Midnight Planetarium.

Midnight Planetarium van cleef

The watch replicates the orbit of six planets — Earth, Mars, Mercury, Jupiter, Venus and Saturn — around the sun. The position of each of the planets at any given time is accurately represented on the watch face thanks to a complex mechanical system comprising 396 separate parts.

The movement of each planet is true to its genuine orbit — for example, it will take Saturn over 29 years to make a full circle of the watch dial. Mercury has the shortest orbit, circling the timepiece in just 88 days.

A pink gold shooting star moving along the outer edge of the dial is used to tell the time, whilst wearers can also set their own ‘lucky day’ by positioning a red triangle along the watch face’s calendar.

On that particular day, the Earth will skip to sit directly below a star engraved on a sapphire crystal — a sign of good luck.

Midnight Planetarium

The planets have been created from a selection of hard stones: turquoise for the Earth, serpentine for Mercury, chloromelanite for Venus, red jasper for Mars, blue agate for Jupiter and sugilite for Saturn.

The Midnight Planetarium is part of Van Cleef & Arpels’s Poetic Astronomy watch collection, which the brand has been developing since 2008 through its Poetic Compilations and Extraordinary Dials ranges.

Hugh Jackman

Hugh Jackman Is the New Montblanc Ambassador

At the Salon International de la Haute Horlogerie (SIHH) in Geneva, Montblanc announced the Australian actor as the latest face of its watches, writing instruments and leather goods.

Hugh Jackman

As Montblancs international brand ambassador, Hugh Jackman will appear in campaigns for the company’s luxury goods worldwide although not in the US.

“I am delighted to be part of the Montblanc family. I have always admired what the brand stands for, its fascinating history, and the quality and originality of its products,” stated the actor.

At SIHH 2014, Montblanc is unveiling a number of new luxury timepieces, including a watch designed as an homage to horologer Nicolas Rieussec, the Meisterstück Heritage collection, and the TimeWalker Chronograph 100.

swiss watches

10 terms to know when buying a luxury watch

Like any other science, horology — the study of timekeeping, clocks and watches — has its own ultra-specialized vocabulary, which can be intimidating to the uninitiated.

To help newcomers to the watch world, we have provided an explanation of 10 essential terms below.

swiss watches

Picking up this vocabulary may not make you an expert, but it will almost certainly come in handy next time you are looking to purchase a new timepiece.

A small opening on the dial providing an additional indication (usually month, day or moonphase).

This ring-shaped piece surrounds the dial of the watch and joins the case (see below) to the crystal (the cover over the dial). Though generally stationary, some bezels can be rotated by hand, as is the case on diving watches, which are traditionally equipped with rotating bezels with markings to help divers calculate the amount of time needed to return to the surface.

This usually round, box-like component can be considered as the shell of the watch. The case contains the movement, dial and hands.

This term refers to a watch’s additional functions outside of its standard ability to show hours and minutes. Chronographs with stop and start functions, moonphase displays, date indicators and chiming mechanisms are some of the most common complications found on watches.

This complication allows the wearer to measure short stretches of time, for example to time a lap at the race track, using a separate timer. Chronograph functions have become especially popular on men’s watches over the past century.

Sometimes also called a winder, this is the small dial that allows the wearer to wind the movement and set the time.

Also called the face, this is the disk where the time, date and any other additional indications are displayed.

These are the small projections on the case used to attach the strap or bracelet.

This is the complex ensemble of parts that make the watch run, a little like the engine in a car. There are three main types: battery-powered quartz movements, self-winding mechanical movements or hand-wound mechanical movements.

Second time-zone indicator
Among the easier terms to decipher, this complication indicates the time in a second time zone thanks to an additional hand or a separate dial.

Parmigiani Fleurier samba madeira

Parmigiani Fleurier honors Brazil with a new timepiece

Parmigiani Fleurier samba madeira

The Pershing Samba Madeira is the latest creation from Parmigiani Fleurier, it celebrates Brazil, with its vibrant colours and lively Samba rhythm.

The dial of the luxury timepiece features Brazil’s signature yellow and green shades as well as a stylized image of a guitar, with a tourbillon carriage in place of the soundhole.

The instrument even has six strings, as thin as human hair, fastened in place by hand. With a power reserve of 192 hours, the watch also has a hand-wound 30-second chronometer.

The titanium case of this luxury timepiece complements the bezel and indices in 18-carat rose gold. Behind the guitar, one reads “Ordem e Progresso,” Brazil’s national motto.

French luxury brand Hermès designed the strap for the “Samba Madeira,” in alligator leather accented by an adjustable folding clasp with a titanium finish.


CTK18 White Jade Automatic wrist watch


Unveiled in Baselworld 2013, The Chinese Timekeeper is back this year with yet another charismatic addition to its collection: CTK18 – White Jade Automatic.

White jade is rarer and more precious stone than its more famous big brother, green jade! For this limited edition collection, CTK has used grade ‘A’ Burmese White Jade to create that perfect visual contrast for greater legibility on the black dial.

For the very first time on a watch, the illustrious material is skilfully used and its various shades are greatly inserted in the stunning and daring design of a CTK.

This timepiece is priced at HK$32,800 ($4,250) and there are just 18 pieces of them at the Hong Kong Boutique (82 Stone Nullah Lane, Wanchai).

Chinese Timekeeper CTK18 watch

The Chinese Timekeeper Year of the Snake timepiece

Chinese Timekeeper CTK17 watch

Luxury watchmaker The Chinese Timekeeper (CTK) has designed an amazing “Year of the Snake” luxury watch for the Chinese New Year.

This remarkable timepiece is boasting a majestic Snake all over its case & dial … literally encircling your timepiece in an outstanding way!

The tail starts on the back case and the Snake’s body goes along each of the 4 layers of the case structure. It comes on top of the watch where it is deeply engraved on the bezel before diving below the inner ring to reappear on the back dial.

Appropriately the strap is made of taupe color Snake skin to further celebrate the 6th animal of the Chinese Zodiac! The CTK17 Special Edition is priced at HK$32,800.

Official website and online boutique: www.thechinesetimekeeper.com

ulysse nardin stranger watch

Ulysse Nardin “Stranger” Musical Watch

ulysse nardin stranger watch

Swiss watchmaker Ulysse Nardin has released the “Stranger”, a timepiece which emulates a classical music box and plays Frank Sinatra’s “Strangers in the Night” either on the hour or on call.

This innovative timekeeper was done in collaboration with musician Dieter Meier. The Ulysse Nardin Stranger is a limited edition of 99 pieces.

It has a music mechanism that is conceptually similar to a wind-up music box, except here the music box mechanism is a rotating disc with 10 blades. Basically, the disc “pings” the fingers to create music.

The on/off pusher which enables the musical mechanism to be activated or deactivated is located at 10 o’clock. The melody can be programmed to play on the hour or not at all. To set the time, the crown function is activated by a pusher instead of pulling the crown out in the traditional way.

The case back of the watch features a medallion, while a black leather strap with a folding buckle keeps the watch secure to the wrist and completes the feeling of elegance.

Source: Perpetuelle

Richard Mille Tourbillon RM 27-01 Rafael Nadal

Rafael Nadal gets new superlight watch

Richard Mille Tourbillon RM 27-01 Rafael Nadal

The latest watch produced by Richard Mille for Rafael Nadal is the lightest on the wrist, and the heaviest on the pocket so far.

Weighing just 19 grams (including velcro strap), the Tourbillon RM 27-01 Rafael Nadal watch is the latest in sports watch technology and is now being used by the Spanish ace in all of his matches.

Extremely light, the watch can also resist accelerations of over 5,000 G with no repercussions, and is housed in a scratch- and shock-resistant antracite casing, rich in carbon nanotubes.

The watch movement, which weighs just 3.5 grams, is suspended in the casing by four braided steel cables (just 0.35mm in diameter).

The movement uses LITAL®, a lithium alloy containing aluminium, copper, magnesium and zirconium, which is used on the Airbus A380, helicopters, rockets and satellites as well as in Formula 1 cars.

This isn’t the first watch Richard Mille has produced for Nadal; the first model, named the RM 27 had a chequered past, with the tennis player once leaving it behing in a locker room and once having it stolen from his hotel while he was sleeping.

The RM 27-01, is currently available in a limited edition of 50 timepieces via official Richard Mille stockists and will be priced at $690,000.

Nadal is not the only major tennis player with a nice watch. Roger Federer has a deal with Rolex, which, alongside agreements with Wilson and Nike, sees the Swiss player net over €20 million per year in sponsorships.

Three-in-a-row Australian Open champion Novak Djokovic is an ambassador for Swiss luxury watch brand Audemars Piguet.

Rafael Nadal and Richard Mille

Rolex Submariner Roger Moore

Rolex, Omega and Seiko – James Bond’s timepieces

Rolex Submariner Roger Moore

Being on her Majesty’s secret service with a license to kill requires more than a penchant for martinis, a way with women and an ability to outsmart super villains.

It also requires being sharply dressed and wearing a very stylish watch. The best of James Bond’s timepieces are detailed below.
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David Gandy Dolce and Gabbana Watches

Dolce & Gabbana launches men’s watch collection‎

David Gandy Dolce and Gabbana Watches

Reveal­ing their new time­pieces col­lec­tion for men, Ital­ian fash­ion house Dolce & Gab­bana enlists three of its favorite male muses.

The label turns to David Gandy, Adam Senn and Enrique Pala­cios, who are lensed by fashion photographer Mar­i­ano Vivanco in con­fi­dent and pow­er­ful por­traits.

Their Timepieces Collection features a total of 52 watches that include two different collections, retro watches and captivating chrono watches.
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Ulysse Nardin Classico Limited Edition Santa Maria

Ulysse Nardin Classico Santa Maria

Ulysee Nardin has released a stunning new timepiece inspired by the merchant ship used by the explorer Christopher Columbus during his first expedition in 1492.

This colorful watch is painstakingly created, requiring more than 50 working hours and 26 baking processes to complete each handmade cloisonné dial.
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