Over the weekend, three highly respected independent
watchmakers was in town to meet up with fans, collectors and
potential clients on the invitation of The Hour Glass. Its
their regular tour of the region that includes Singapore,
Malaysia and Bangkok. On their first stop, over a hundred
guests were treated to a great dinner at the Garibaldi's.
There the lastest offerings from Kari Voutilainen, Roger
Smith and Vianney Halter were also featured.
During the evening where all the watchmakers were busy
with questions from collectors, I managed to find a few
moments of their time to photograph portraits of two of the
watchmakers - Vianney and Roger - as well as
images to create the cover shots above.
It was a great disappointment for me to miss Kari
but I am sure I will get another chance in the near future.
For a comprehensive photo report of the evening,
check out THIS REPORT
by my friend, Raphmeister.
The last image here is a family portrait of Vianney with his beautiful daughter Victoire Halter.
Rolex clearly has a strong grip on collectors that support the brand and the lastest developments seems to indicate that its influence will continue to grow. Recent past had seen little changes both in its line up as well as pricing structure. However in 2007, in a step to move with the times, Rolex announced the start of their incremental change to its important models with a completely reworked GMT 2.
The most distinctive element of this watch is the new ceramic bezel which I had thought was Rolex's take on the trend to use ceramics in watches. However, I was pleasantly surprised that the bezel with the new font had modernised its classic diver watch design. All round, the watch hardly bears any resemblance to its earlier sibling in terms of both materials, design and function. Now rated deeper with the triplock system borrowed from the submariner series, the bigger and heavier case sits very nicely on the wrist without being too big as many had originally feared. The bracelet is now completely solid with a completely new clasp that has a double locking mechanism.
The retail price of this watch jumped by at least 30% from the previous model - while substantial, it looks very much worth the amount judging by the overall quality of the watch. Clearly it is no longer a mere tool watch but a high spec luxury sports diver's watch.
For many Rolex fans, the long wait for this model comes as an exciting addition to the brand. As a precursor, it certainly gave fans something to savour before the arrival of the new Deep Sea Dweller due to be delivered at the end of the year.
In the meantime, for fans of the GMT2, you can download a series of wallpapers I have published on this Webpage
A new brand called Maitres du Temps created an alliance of three renowned master watchmakers Roger Dubuis, Christopher Claret and Peter Speake-Marin to work on its first watch - the Chapter One which was publically launched here in Singapore at a dinner on Monday 16th June.
The watch is huge in its proportions but the size was needed to house the many complications put into it. The functions include a tourbillon, choronograph, retrograde hands and two revolving cylinders for the moonphase and day indicators.
Here is an image of Roger Dubuis himself modeling the watch for me.
For a complete report of the launch event of this watch, CLICK HERE
to see Tay Kok Choon's wonderful and comprehensive coverage including his fantastic images of the Chapter One.
A Dutch expatriate engineer working here in Singapore contacted me earlier this year requesting me to shoot his Dutch watch - a Van Der Klaauw. A brand which apparently was once available here in Singapore sometime ago. This piece however was acquired by him directly from Van Der Klaauw.
The watch he showed me is the Ariadne in stainless steel. This watch is a Full Calendar also comes in rose gold as well. The movement is a relatively standard Valjoux 7751 while not a spectacular movement is nonetheless clean and well executed and exhibited. The dial is handmade by Jochen Benzinger.
VDK started with designing and building clocks in 1967 and became a member of the AHCI in 1990 but in 1992 he decided that watches were the way forward.
to see the other image I have of this watch.
Compared to the Dream Watch No.1, one would be forgiven to believe that the No.2 looks conservative. However, one has to handle it and try it on to realise the presence it commands as well as the details that went into the design and manufacture.
With a new silicon tourbillon located on the back, this perpetual calendar with DeBethune's renowned 3D moon comes with sapphire crystal hands as well as the now familiar skeleton lugs.
A true collector's timepiece with very limited numbers being produced yet with all the innovative features one would come to expect from DeBethune.
To view the images I have published CLICK HERE
for the photomontage.
The Richemont luxury goods empires controlled by the Rupert family of South Africa came about in a very unlikely manner; click here
to read the full story.