Wednesday, 29 July 2009

This Is Worthy... The MB&F and Sage Vaughn HM2 Only Watch

"the world is a vampire... sent to drain... secret destroyers, hold you up to the flames... & what do I get for my pain?... & what do you want, i want to change... despite all my rage I am still just a rat in a cage… then someone will say what is lost can never be saved…" raphmeister selected extracts from 'bullet with butterfly wings' from smashing pumpkins
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“I’ve known Luc Pettavino for a long time and I admire his courage and determination,” said Büsser. “When I saw the film he had made about his son Paul, I was extremely moved. If we were going to create a piece for Only Watch, it needed to convey the same emotion I had felt – to create something that has meaning even if it is going to shock.”

i had seen this machine pop up on the forums and sites and hadn't read much into it initially but if you are thinking of just moseying on by...
ACHTUNG BABY!!!

this piece deserves a bit more attention. the only watch swings by every 2 years and they showcase piece uniques contributed by the various watch houses. now most years, most of the watches that are contributed are typically color changes, case material changes or just case inscriptions with 'only watch' going for it... although it is good that all these houses/brands contribute their pieces for the auction, they don't really take it to the next level...

this then, is doing things a better way... and making the contribution more meaningful. I applaud Maximilian Büsser for synthesizing into the HM's being the cause that it is looking to aid... that in itself is some kind of wonderful and imparts this piece wif a whole lot more soul... there are many out there who can copy or regurgitate but can’t really create or innovate... Max has shown his ability to realise a wonderful expression in a work of horology with this and it is most impressive...

to end off, I would like to wish the MB&F team with Sage Vaughn much success for this piece in the auction. It is a deserving cause and a remarkable timepiece...

...a butterfly trapped in the movement and it has no hope of escaping
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my select extracts from the press release...

The case top has been opened up for the first time to reveal the 365 parts of the movement through a sapphire glass. The movement imprisoned with hand-made gold barbed wire – a symbol of the illness that captures the body - and trapped in the barbed wire is a butterfly, representing innocence and hope, crafted of blued gold, sits on the bridge with its wings slightly clipped, a representation of the duality of hope and destiny in the life of DMD children.

This emotionally charged piece, a one-of-a-kind interpretation of MB&F’s Horological Machine N°2, is signed by the American artist Sage Vaughn. It will be auctioned at Only Watch, the charity auction to benefit research into Duchenne Muscular Dystrophy to be held in Monaco on 24 September 2009 under the patronage of HSH Prince Albert II. The disease is a genetic disorder affecting boys. It causes a progressive weakening of the muscles that becomes fatal as the child gets older. The Monegasque Association against Duchenne Muscular Dystrophy (AMM) is a leading force in the drive to find a cure.

love the rotor... battleaxing its way to freedom in the fight against this disease hopefully
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a worthy cause and i hope that the auction as a whole does well....
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do drop by this post at watchismo to view the video of max speaking about this wonderful piece there... view video in post or view in youtube ... dun miss it m'kay ;)
and do drop by and view more info on this piece unique or other wondrous horological machines at mb&f. click here to download/read the full press release for the HM2 Only Watch.
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Monday, 27 July 2009

a traveller speaks of fascination machines at l'atelier

my time travel device was acting up again... i had input AD2613 as my year of destination but on opening the hatch, the onboard A.I. alerted me that it was the gregorian year AD2009 and i was in fact in singapore. after several choice cuss words under the breath, i thought to make the most of it as the crystals on board needed a couple of hours re-energising anyhow... i donned attire suitable for the time and left to explore the area near to where i had landed...i saw a strange gleaming metal building reminscent of one of my homes in the outer regions and thought to scan for interesting things there... it was to be a most eye-opening visit...

these curious items greeted me on entering a shop filled with antiquities...
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he reminds me of one of my friends... but this chap was much much quieter than my friend... i wonder why...
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some interesting foliage in this shop
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and the mechanised beetles did look tasty...
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the following objects were foreign to me and had me wondering what their purpose was
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these caged birds refused to sing... i remember a caged bird once that sang of freedom...
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and then an amazing discovery... horological machines of the 21st century...
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vianney halter classic and trio in white gold
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urwerk 103
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ulysse nardin freak blue phantom
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in my time, the art pieces shown above are much sought after. special time pieces from a most interesting time. fantastical items that are so hard to come by and much desired by the upper echelons in many worlds. due to 'the ravage', the historical record of our time did not pinpoint which exact centuries these amazing creations existed. some brands in the fascinating shop i had entered 'l'atelier by the hour glass' at the ion orchard were unknown to me but others i had become acquainted with in my studies of art in the early milleniums.

these pieces are of of great value, representing works of art by independent artists of the time... vianney halter's futur anterieur collection is the stuff of dreams
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max busser and friends horological machines 2... the team creating new machines not knowing any bounds and taking flight
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fantastic machines that i found hard to tear myself away from...
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as i left the premises and proceeded with my travels to my original intended destination, i could not but help think of another trip i would have to make down to this same time and place... i will also have to bring more of the money of the time, if i am able to synthesize it accurately from the few samples i collected this round... it will definitely be a journey in which i will not leave empty handed ;)
[note all pictures taken, wif apologies for the quality, were done so with my iris-cam ;) and thanks to the kind folks at l'atelier for allowing me to view these 'time machines' :)]

Saturday, 25 July 2009

friday i'm in love... a fine nite with JLC, Aston Martin and uhm MB&F

"I don't care if Monday's blue, Tuesday's grey and Wednesday too... Thursday I don't care about you... It's Friday, I'm in love" the cure...


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pop home from work friday evening and whats in the mail? rosemarie at the hour glass had sent over some info on mb&f horological machines in the form of the GMT "Great Magazine of Timepieces" catalogue (on a separate note, do check out the article on pg 6 of the current Asian edition of GMT XXL yuh... the author may be familiar to you ;) some thoughts about how i respect max for what he's doing flit across my mind before i head out into the evening... not knowing what lay ahead...

belting down the highway to my destination...
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enjoying the power and ferocity of my ride... the aston martin dbs... as i ride her... hard ;)
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unfortunately the speed cameras caught me in motion...
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but i managed to arrive all in one piece... engine cooling down from the high revs... just in time for dinner proceedings...
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snap out of fantasy and back to reality :) i don't own no aston martin and definitely didn't drive down in no DBS ;) haha... the raphmeister was just invited down to the JLC aston martin dinner to check out their amvox dbs transponder watch and the wonderful cars from aston martin at their showroom (my thanks to the team at JLC, aston martin for the invite to this event) some pics of the cool JLC watches showcased at the event...

achtung... uhm i mean "amvox baby"...
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polaris
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master compressor depth gauge
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squadra ladies...
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master minute repeater squelette
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hannibal lecter... damn the real name eludes me...
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master tourby
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and the dbs... u get the car for a buck and the watch at S$50+k
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quite a strong turnout... a lot of people around that nite
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new friends found... fine dinner company including the affable & smart sybil
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and catchin up with an old friend after sometime... my college mate kenneth
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"i've been looking so long at these pictures of you that i almost belive that they're real... i've been living so long with my pictures of you... that i almost believe that the pictures are all i can feel" (the cure once more...)
a coincidence then? my chance encounter with an imagination machine whilst i was thinking about horological machines the past couple of weeks? or a sign?... stay tuned...
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Wednesday, 22 July 2009

what about pam?

one 'fiddy' to rule them all? ;)
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a great pam 127 picture above by Martin Wilmsen @ wristwatchphoto.com

i haven't thought about panerais in a bit but as the new pams are getting delivered and theres a lot of interest in some sites on it, i thought of having a look and checking out the hype. now on a popular panerai forum site, they have been very good at building up interest in pams and creating "SUPERHOT" pieces at different times... the 127s (fiddy in the pic above) went through it, the 217s, the 249s, most black PAMs, pams with pigs... and the evergreens that are always cool 203s, 195s, bases etc

with the new arrival of the in-house p9000 movement for the entry level in-house models, the 312s, 320s are now in focus. the 312s getting the heat as pieces are being delivered. now its very easy to get swept up in hype but pause a moment and instead of baa-ing 'its coooollll...' lets just have a level headed look at it shall we...

PAM 312 ~ list price in sing is S$9,850
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the new p9000 movement
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note this is all just a personal opinion and you may have different views or you may even own or want to own this watch. its all good yuh, u're entitled as am I :)

what i like about it
- the 312 is much nicer in my opinion than the eta based 104...
- nice 1950s case and sandwich dial is cool in my books

whats not so cool
1) its not so in-house - its a valfleurier for panerai movement. i don't subscribe to the whole in-house for in-house sake thing so this is not important to me. if the price goes crazy then it gets to be an issue if its for a watch i like though :)
2) movement could have been better couldn't it? considering what they've done before?
- 3 days power reserve... the 233 has 8 days (handwind) and the other in-house movement i believe is 10 days so just 3 days for the latest?
- its black its red, what is it? the answer is that is a power reserve indicator... for the 320, they have a black 'alls well' and a red 'scotty we need more power' indicator on the back of the watch... a normal 'fuel gauge' style indicator would be better and achievable i would think, yes even with the rotor...
- on the 320, the gmt hand doesn't do a 24 hour indication for the gmt timezone which is fine if it had an am/pm indicator but there isn't one. i guess its good that the gmt hand can be hidden behind the hour hand since its a 12 hour indication though...
3) Purely personal nitpicks... they're both not really here nor there...
- the 312 is not simple enough with the date. i would have liked it so much better with the 3 and without the date and with a domed sapphire (baby fiddy anyone? :)
- the 320 is not gadgety enough with its lack of a proper 24 hour gmt indication (or am/pm) and lacks a proper PR indication and has a piffling 3 days PR...

the pam 320 was looking mighty fine to me... but it has its shortcomings ~ list is S$11,850
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pam 320 pictures above by Martin Wilmsen @ wristwatchphoto.com

so the verdict from me then...

they're both nice especially looking at some of the fine pics above but i think they could have been better... and therefore these are not so much for me. actually i kinda think panerai may sometimes plan to come up short on some models to come out with a better iteration the next round but what do i know ;)

i do recognise some good things about them both but the pricing is the key thing putting me off them. it may be that the only pam i can buy is the simple zero as it has the looks and does cost about S$5k pre-owned (i believe, havent checked in a bit) panerai price inflation is i guess the biggest issue i have with the brand and wish that they had stuck to making nice looking big watches at a reasonable price and more accessible to the pam fans out there.

simplicity may be the best thing for pams...
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pam Zero and 2A picture above by Martin Wilmsen @ wristwatchphoto.com

something cool to note...

some of the pix above have been noted as taken by one martin wilmsen. he has taken some amazing panerai pix and has shared photography tips as well... all this can be found at wristwatchphoto.com so do check it out. thanks to martin for use of the pix above. he also does some great posts, check out the one comparing the 233 and 312 here.

... and uhm something totally irrelevant...

in my google searches for PAM info/images, one PAM just kept on popping up over and over again and so this image to share for the big watch loving boys out there who may like other stuff BIG as well ;) haha... its jus for fun kids. cheers, raph

PAM 'thanks for the mammaries' andersen
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Sunday, 19 July 2009

some of the most beautiful watches ever invented and made...

i love this watch... if the resonance is the ultimate Journe than this is the ultimate version of the ultimate Journe... the black mother of pearl(bmop) resonance... (a limited edition of course :)
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(Before going into this post, i would like to thank bs22fly at PuristsPro.com for allowing me to feature photos he has taken of these wonderful watches. He is undoubtedly a supremely bad influence as it was viewing the Journe pieces he had brought to our gathering, in the metal, that made me fall in love with these watches and led me to buying mine... will the raphmeister buy another some day? perhaps...we'll see :)

invenit et fecit... a great living watchmaker inventing and making some of the most innovative timepieces of our age. other than the technical excellence of these pieces, they are ridiculously good looking or as derek zoolander would put it more appropriately... really, really, really, really, really, really ridiculously good looking... (ok i added a couple of reallys ;)

so other than the gorgeous beauty of the bmop resonance, what other beautiful Journes are there... take a deep breath and come along this journey through the looking glass...

boutique only dead seconds tourbillon...
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platinum white gold dial remontoir d'Egalite avec Seconde Morte
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the lovely warmth of RG and the beauty of Journe's dials... the simple Chronometre Souverain and the lovely resonance...
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a view of the back... resonance on the left and CS on the right... these movements should be in rose gold cases... it just looks right...
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ruthenium and rose gold resonance movements... one older style with the barrels showing...
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the breathtaking boutique resonance...
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the unique textures of the black mother of pearl can be seen here under some brighter lights...
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and final shot reserved of course for the beautiful bmop resonance... if u had a lot of money and are looking for something special and beautiful... than do have this on your list ;)
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