The Hourglass event called "Supermachines & Horological Heroes" features some of the most exciting watches in recent years - most of which hails from the ateliers of independent watchmakers. Many of these independents are considered living legends like Phillip Dufour, Vianney Halter, Roger Smith and Voutilianen. All four of these men are in Singapore for the next few days talking to collectors and speaking at the plenary discussion happening today.
Amongst the many very rare and award winning watches shown at this exhibition are books and exhibits from all the renowned comic series including superman, batman and ironman. The beautifully constructed and finished models also include the scene above of Ironman being adorned with his metal suit. This amazingly well made model is only 1 foot tall.
If you are in Singapore over the next few days (up to 30th Sept), make sure you drop by the Paragon to have a look at the wonderful timepieces. But if you wish to meet the legends, you only have today!
Buben & Zorweg recently launched its brand new Perpetual Calendar ONE in Singapore. A brand that has its origins in watch boxes and winders that progressed into become leaders of watch safes and watch displays that are hand crafted from beautiful wood panels, glass to rare metals. Their bank grade safes are something to behold. At this launch however, a small diminutive but very sophisticated winder was created to provide collectors with a winder that is designed to turn the crown (as opposed to most watch winders that relies on automatic movements with rotors that winds the watch while it is being rotated). Such winder needs to be extraordinarily engineered so that it is capable of automatically stopping without overwinding a watch. All previous offerings of such a winder tended to be quite large but Buben managed to engineer theirs to be small enough to be inserted into a safe.
Together with the launch of the new winder is the new ONE Perpetual calender. A large watch at 46mm which features a large balance wheel with silicium escapement. The large date is featured through a double window at the bottom of the dial and the day and month at the top of the dial. The watch has a nice personality and presence on the wrist. Unfortunately this watch comes in very limited numbers and with a price tag that would in all probability restrict their market to those who can afford their high end safes. Check out Buben & Zorweg website
for more information. If you are in Singapore stop by their store at Timeless Gallery at ION Singapore.
During my 2013 trip to Vienna, I chanced on the Wempe store in the heart of the shopping belt in the city and despite trying to resist the temptation to step in, I could not stop going in the store to investigate the German retailer to assess their quality of service (that has operations also in New York). As with all top tier luxury watch retailers in Europe, Wempe is an agent for the top tier brands and during my visit a pleasant lady served me and was very helpful in taking out from the store windows and safe many of the models I wanted to see. I had no intention to acquire any timepieces during my visit to Vienna but she showed me something I have not seen anywhere before.
A house branded watch catalogue was given to me and I was thoroughly intrigued. After browsing through it I made the critical error of asking to see the Chronometerwerke and she happily obliged. She took out almost the whole range for me to investigate, wind and study with a loupe. I had the sinking feeling I was being cleverly sold and my resistance... well, was quite futile. The more I studied the watch, the harder it was to resist.
Wempe the retailer has become a watch brand itself. They worked together with NOMOS to develop new calibres for their watches. The Chronometerwerke really spoke a lot about Wempe's effort to be taken seriously as a watch making brand. It was extraordinarily well finished for their price point. The tourneau case design has a tourneau shaped calibre that was finished very close to the top tier Glashutte brands (where the Wempe watches are made). On the wrist this watch was perfect - as I was in the market to acquire my first non-round watch (admittedly the Reverso and Cartier tank were in contention). The Chronometerwerke comes with two barrels providing 80 hours of power reserve and manually wound with a beautifully finished three quarter plate made of German Silver that features red rubies with gold chatons and blued screws.
There were several versions of the watch and the gold cased, white dial was extraordinary but not wanting to put a huge bet on a lesser known brand, the stainless steel version was just perfect at its price point with the white dial, blued hands and arabic numbers.
The watch has grown on me even more over the months of ownership and being worn. It is discreet yet quite comfortable and handsome on the wrist. The watch represents especially good value at below S$5k (after return of VAT and retail discount). Study the image collage below (click on it for a large version) and consider - what other watch in the market today provides such value at this price point?
- Forgot to mention earlier, this watch features a wonderfully hand engraved balance cock with a swan neck adjustment. This is not usually found in watches under S$10k.
The new round Chronometerwerke Power Reserve is quite handsome and should be considered by collectors wanting an affordable and well made German timepiece. Click Here
for a video of it.
For official details of this watch, visit WEMPE.DE.
When the original Rolex Sea Dweller was released several decades ago, it was considered a large watch for its time. Though it was sized similar to the ubiquitous Submariner, it was made thicker to improve its depth capability to 4000 ft. Its replacement is the Sea Dweller Deep Sea that has tripled its capability to 12800 ft. Unfortunately this means the watch had to be made even bigger. This set of images was taken with an iPhone at a recent get together with a few collector friends. The Deep Sea is much thicker and larger and one could only appreciate how much bigger it is by making a side by side comparison.
Not obvious in these images is that the watch sits very tall on the wrist and dwarfs average wrists. The bracelet that it comes with was a surprise to all as it is no larger than the original Sea Dweller. With the increased dimensions of the watch the bracelet is imbalanced. While the Deep Sea is a monumental achievement in depth capability and made of the best materials available, it is not a watch that is meant for every day use. While the original Sea Dweller has become somewhat of a collectors piece, it is still very much a tool watch capable of being work for work or play. Its now anonymous design (due to so many variations from other brands with the same look) makes it an easy wear even while travelling. The new Deep Sea however which is more than double the price of the original, will probably become a rarefied watch for collectors of diving watches.
In recent years Tudor had been successfully reinventing itself by returning to it's successful historical pieces. The reissue of the Heritage Chrono Grey and the Black Bay diver, even the Pelagos diver - all are clever reissues of Tudor watches from the early 70s. For 2013, Tudor reissues its 1970s Monte Carlo Chronograph Blue. This watch took Baselworld 2013 by storm capturing much of the attention usually reserved for top end luxury models at the annual show. The first few shipments of these new watches started arriving in late August and for a fortunate select group of collectors (who placed orders on the announcement of the model). Having arrived on our shores here, does the watch match the hype?
The 42mm steel cased chronograph comes with a tri-coloured blue, yellow and red fabric strap and a steel bracelet made at a level of finish one comes to expect from Tudor or even Rolex. Although it is somewhat taller than most chronographs at 13mm, on the wrist it does not feel as if the watch is overly tall unlike watches with larger dimensions.
The dial of this Heritage is a well appointed with handsome hands laid on a familiar Tudor design that is reminiscent of the 70s Monte Carlo watches. The colour combination of beige, orange and blue is a surprisingly handsome and attractive looking dial. Enhanced by the proportionate applied markers that compliments the design of the hands. The movement is the much respected ETA 2892 with a Dupuis Depraz chrono module. This combination makes the chronograph action much more sophisticated than the commonly available Valjoux 7750 found in many chronographs.
The case construction is a pleasant surprise - note the image below showing the quality of the knurl on the bezel and crowns. The two chronograph crowns have screw functions to release and lock the buttons in place.
On the wrist this Heritage Chrono feels like it is worth much more than it's retail price. It is a well made watch with wonderful details put together with great thought given to almost all aspects. Regardless whether one is using the steel bracelet or the fabric strap, on the wrist the watch has a positive summer character to it.
The Tudor Heritage Blue Chrono easily achieves a "Highly Recommended" for its total package of being a well made, handsome watch that is not only distinctive in design but well executed and priced honestly. Click on the images to view them in larger resolution.
More images to come when WH makes a photographic comparison between this new Heritage Chrono with the original Tudor 1970s Monte Carlo.
For seven days from 23rd August 2913, Paragon Shopping Centre was the location of the Omega Co-Axial Exhibition. The exhibition was a showcase for much of the recent horological achievements of Omega - in particular the work with George Daniels and his much vaunted Co-Axial mechanism. The exhibition brought some of the most precious timepieces that are on permanent display at the Omega Museum in Bienne. The Co-Axial escapement which is now featured on all of current Omega models (save for some historical models such as Speedmaster Professional which are still featuring the original calibres from the 60s and 70s to meet the demand from collectors). The co-axial is an evolutionary development and is already surpassing its promise by being a highly tolerant, low maintenance escapement. Omega has such faith in the new escapement that it provides industry leading 4 year warranty on its watches.
In conjunction with the state of the art co-axial, the development of new silicium materials and the development of amagnetic movements (movements that are not affected by magnetic forces), Omega as a company is leading the way forward for the Swiss industry - showing that continued investment in research and development together with old world watch making know how can make a winning combination.