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Bulgari, the renowned fashion and jewelry brand acquired both Gerald Genta and Daniel Roth some time back without a clear public indication of what they are going to do with the two recognised and respected brands in the horology world. Interestingly rather than keeping the brands separate identities like others had done before in brand acquisitions, Bulgari redesigned the dials of the current models of the two brands with "Bulgari" trademark together with the Genta and Roth watches.  This weekend, Bulgari hosted a three day exhibition of their new watches as well as a demonstration of their Genta Grand Sonnerie in Singapore.

At the SIHH 2011 this year, several new watches were launced and one particular model has a new and distinct character of both Bulgari and Genta put together. Its the Gerald Genta Tourbillon Saphir. It features the new Genta Calibre 8000 movement that has sapphire crystal bridges and skeletonised dial. Its a huge watch at 53mm.

The watch is also considerably thick but its sides are made of crystal as well. The watch features long tubes of luminova that glows greenreally nicely in the dark. 

Its good to see Bulgari capitalising the great wealth of expertise from the Genta and Daniel Roth watchmakers. While this very rare and expensive watch will not be within the reach of most (only 25 will be made), it is hoped that they will continue to use all their design strengths and the horological prowess of the two brands to grow their market share.

- HT


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Its here again, the first of two famed annual watch fairs has begun. SIHH now annually held in January of each year at Geneva- the other is BASEL FAIR which is usually held in April. Everyone commercially connected to the watch industry is expected to make the annual pilgrimage to these fairs. The SIHH fairs are essentially the fair for Richemont brands (save for independents like GP and AP) and Basel Fair is for the rest of the industry to showcase their latest watches for the year. Buyers from retailers, journalists from watch magazines, moderators from the watch forums all congregate to listen, to admire, to photograph all the latest pieces being presented.

Historically, there had been observable themes - who can forget the year where multi-tourbillons were launched. Double and Triple tourbillons were a common sight. This year there seems to be a continued theme from last year of remaking old designs. Regardless of the debate whether the brands are lacking inspiration for better designs, the reissuing of these designs with new materials have proven to be a winning formula. At least for the brands who had been around long enough to have their old designs remade.

Some worthy of mention are Lange, Cartier, JLC, AP and GP. Most are reissuing simple classic watches and returning to the theme of ultra thin. Something I had predicted two years ago that will happen to the industry. JLC has its new Grand Reverso Ultra Thin (46mm x 27mm x 7.2mm high) and the remake of the Memovox Divers watches. AP has its AP Jules Audemars Extra Thin (41mm x 6.7mm). Cartier has the new Ballon Bleu Extra Flat - where the crown is actually thicker than the watch (46mm diameter - no height dimensions provided).  Lange has its new Saxonia Ultra Thin (40mm x 5.9mm).  Check out the rest of the brands offerings at Perpetuelle WatchForum site.

Unfortunately, quite a few brands appear to be launching new over 40mm case sized watches with much smaller calibre movements. In some cases, the use of the same calibre in different sized models of the same design. Just keep an eye out for placement of subdials and date windows. That usually results in the watch needed fillers to hold the calibres in place.

Its my personal opinion that JLC, Cartier and Lange deserve special mention for their new pieces. Cartier's new collection shows their pedigree for design and horology. JLC simple classics are still leading the way with their personality and character. Lange's Zeitwerk and Saxonias are beautiful to look at but the new Pour Le Merite is a new interesting take on a series that is considered as the most desirable tourbillon in the market.

- HT


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On Tuesday 11th January, Dickson Watch & Jewellery opened its new flagship store in Singapore at the Knightsbridge along Orchard Road. With this new store, Dickson has shown that it has serious intentions to become a major player with other the top tier retailers like Hour Glass, Sincere and Cortina. Unlike the other Dickson outlets that focussed on a handful of sure fire brands, Dickson will be retailing with a stable of renowned luxury brands. The Dickson Group based in Hong Kong has had a presence in Singapore for some years but with astute hiring of key management staff saw its presence and position in Singapore grow and succeed despite the relatively poor economic climate both globally and regionally. The new  1300 sq feet flagship store will showcase brands such as Rolex, Chopard, Glashuette Original, Girard Perregaux, Bedat, Tag Heuer, Bulgari, Rado, Bertolucci, Longines, Bell & Ross, Frank Villa, Baume & Mercier, Breitling and many others. Judging by the grand opening Dickson has seems to have already garnered quite a following with local celebrities as well as those from Hong Kong.

Will Dickson's strategy to expand its Singapore operations turn out to be a good one?  I suspect it would be if they are able to remain not only competitive and manage the challenges of business in the very competitve Singapore market - but to keep innovating itself to reach out to the sophisticated collectors from Singapore and the region.

- HT


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Just before 2010 came to an end, a group of collector friends got together to celebrate the year that went by and found it a useful excuse to meet up yet again to have a great meal, nice wine and conversations about watches. Being a gathering of like minded collectors, several turned up with watches on both wrists - which is not uncommon for this particular group of collectors. All without exception are well versed about all things horological and the ensuing debate that inevitbly follows during the meal continue to fuel the discussions for hours on end.

It is interesting to observe though - looking at the table capture of the watches worn that night - surprisingly there no models from 2010 releases. I would almost dare say not even 2009 but the IWC Vintage Portuguese (grey dial) while released in 2009, is technically a remake of an old design, and the Omega Polprof while new, is also a remake of an old design.

I wonder what conclusions can one draw here? Are these collectors trapped in the past with a preference for older models or are the models being offered in 2009/10 not interesting enough?

To see a full report of the gathering CLICK HERE.

- HT


Welcome to
Watching Horology


  • This is a personal blog of Harry SK Tan on all things pertaining to Horology - from watch collecting, horolography, news and developments from all over the world particularly Singapore.
  • ©HarrySKTan2005

Horolography - noun, the art of photographing timepieces

Horolographer - Harry SK Tan

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