Friday, 24 September 2010

Grand Prix d'Horlogerie de Geneve 2010...photos of some of the pre-selected watches in the metal

Rafael Nadal's stolen RM27 found!!! or not :)
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as noted earlier the watches of the GPHG 2010 are in town (see 2 posts donw) and i went by to check em out. the lighting was pretty bad for some of the displays for the watches but i did my best to get reasonable captures and sharing them with you...

note that not all the watches were photographed and only those that i like or have some interest in are shown in this post.

for others that i like and have been photographed better before, their review/photos can be found here...
- Greubel Forsey DT30° Edition Historique
- MB&F HM 4 and Frog
- Thomas Prescher Triple Axis Tourbillon

on to the rest of the watches then...

this pic was not taken at the exhibition but is my mates watch... a beautiful dive watch from AP
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sporty lookin... i have a thing for the retro feel of the gulf colors
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A nice lookin dual time... they are getting better at getting this right all the time... better than the RO dual time with the same movement perhaps? hmmm...
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super light but extra heavy on the bank account... half a dollar and less than 30grams??!!Photobucket

the freak diavolo... i love the freaks :)

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monaco v4... gear driven and now in rose gold...

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hautlence... i prefered the aesthetic of their first watches more... these don't call to me much and i heard reliability is questionable...Photobucket

the Devon Tread 1... i will say it is interesting and congratulate the first owners of it in Singapore who will be getting it in October...Photobucket

good to see it and know that my take on it is right... i don't think much of it...Photobucket

sadly i couldn't get a decent pic of this voutilainen... it does look interesting...
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a lot of folks love the laurent ferrier releases... for me i think they are ok... the story is on the movement side i suppose... the front side is no great shakesPhotobucket

the journes caught my eye too... the battered resonance ;)

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a striking striking watch...

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chronometre bleu dark and...

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...lighted

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the vagabondage... nice name and an interesting look for a journe...
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i really really wish i had the opportunity to get better shots of the watches but some of the displays were just too dark. hope u enjoy the snaps.

have fun during the Singapore F1 week :) cheers, raph

Yes please. I do wish to look after it for the next generation :)

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quality... its an important word. people come to expect it of the expensive toys they pay for. from your exotic car to your pricey watches, one hopes that the big bucks put down for em mean that they are made to certain standards and are of a certain... quality...

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Patek Phillippe is a manufacture that knows what quality is about. some of their classic pieces down the years are made to very fine standards and have an excellent level of finishing. the one thing i wanted to point out though in this post is what struck me when i held the 5276... a new nautilus with the annual calendar complication released this year... it was the visible quality of the dial...

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now it shouldn't come as a surprise that the dials of Pateks are made to such standards as the Stern family that owns them now were once Patek's dial suppliers. they would then logically continue in their strengths on dial work. sometimes your mind doesn't think of these facts and its when you hold up a watch, the quality of how its made, how the light reflects off the surface of the dial and its appliqued indices... it makes u believe that all the money put down for it is all worth it and invariably puts a smile on your face :)

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just a lovely piece...

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the backs no slouch either... though it has the lamentable PP seal... as with all new watches since that replaced the geneva seal... Photobucket

Friday, 17 September 2010

check dis out... Grand Prix d'Horlogerie de Genève 2010 pre-selected watches

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For a list of the watches that should be on display (i haven't gone by to verify it yet) do check out the pre-selected watches at this LINK.

so if u wanna see some really really really expensive watches from a host of different brands do check it out :) cheers, raph

a bit more info...

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Saturday, 11 September 2010

The Perfect Birthday Gift... My Tudor Monte Carlo :)

Brand New U're Retro... Brand New U're Retro... Easily one of the best releases for Baselworld 2010Photobucket

a short personal note: so i turn 35 today... and my wife has blessed me with a wonderful gift of a much desired timepiece... not just something u walk in to a shop and get mind you (well for now anyways :) as its one of the hottest watches for 2010... the tudor heritage chronograph monte carlo.
35 years... its pretty close to a mid-point in life plus this year also marks a key turning point. i closed one chapter of life yesterday and am looking forward to starting the next soon.
Life is full of surprises, ups and downs and but through this past year i have learnt to come to value certain things more and definitely look to do the right thing for me and my family's future. the recent past also has contributed some important lessons and new insights in both my personal and professional life and also in my relationship with my God. ok enuff of all that and to a review proper :)

baselworld 2010... a star of the show (for me at least)

something happened earlier this year at the basel watch fair... the buzz wasn't around the other fancy booths of the big brands with super huge marketing budgets and not even around the rolex display... the interest though was centred on the two new chronos that were shown to the world by a company owned by them.

the design is an evolution of the much desired vintage oysterdate chrono that most refer to as the monte carlo. any vintage rolex lover worth his salt knows this is a prized piece to have with its distinctive dials and colors. so the new monte carlo has landed and it is DA BOMB!!!

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some Tudor history: Founded in 1906 and sold to Hans Wilsdorf, owner of Rolex in 1936. Many early watches had Rolex oyster cases and bracelets.

wristshot... camera loves watch... wrist loves watch :)
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tudor delivered this one-two punch in the sub-CHF5000 price range which is significant.[Singapore list price is S$5,671 (or $5.3k + 7% GST... damn that GST), i think in switzerland its goin for CHF4200, In Australia its AUD5.3k. No US list as they do not distribute in US.]

this watch eats up the competition in this range and can knockout some of the ones above it. just a very strong desirability at its price and value point. for some who were fearful of getting into vintage rolex not knowing what you're gonna get with all the mixed up dial swops and movement exchanges and missing box and papers and questionable provenance and dodgy everything, this is a possible answer. hot vintage looks without any possible pain from going vintage.

Note: The S$4-5+k range is a very important one as its the kinda range that
(a) some partners budget to buy a nice gift for their man eg. as an engagement present to make up for the rock the guy got as an engagement ring, a present for an occasion (eg. anniversary, birthday etc)
(b) folks who just start working for awhile and are looking to buy their first 'real' watch


two of the best modern watches in the sub US$5k range... both are keepers more so than all other watches in my small collection, for sentimental reasons :) Photobucket
one more shot of my first real watch :)

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two versions were introduced. the black glossy dial which is more modern-ish looking and the matte grey dial which is all vintage loveliness. my sense is that most vintage rolex/tudor lovers will gravitate to the grey dial and more younger folks will be more keen on the black dials (just a BIG generalisation which may be totally off :)

at this price point, it and the submariner shown in this post are at the top of the 'to buy' list i would give to anyone looking for a brand new sub-S$6k watch. omega speedmaster, tag heuer gulf monaco, iwc eta based chronos - pilots and portuguese, panerai 000 base logo are some of the others to note.


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grey sub-dials on black... the black dial is more glossy and the grey one is matte...

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what I like about it
- very well made case and bracelet and clasp. solid and substantial feel to it. pushers are cool and the finishing of the case excellent.
- i like the fact that theres no bubble/cyclops over the date on the sapphire as i am no fan of it.
- the dial is gorgeous...
- the size at 42mm and 22mm lug width is perfect and somehow it even sits well with my thin wristed friends
- AR coating on the inner crystal only which means one doesn't have to deal with scratches or clouding to AR outside of it coz theres none...
- crown and chrono pushers sit on the same plane (not that it matters to me) and no digging of them into the wrist

a beauty of a dial

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i like the knurling and the case is wonderfully made... check out them lines...Photobucket

luminous beings are we
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enameled tops for the pushers
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what i don't like about it so much (but this is nitpickin yuh)
- the bezel shows 1-12 gradations, a tachy bezel with units per hour may have been more suited... not 100% sure until i see it realised though as it may make it too busy...
- the nato strap is similar to other nato straps but the ones i put on my 14060M submariner were thin and that was fine because the Sub wasn't real heavy and all, but this watch is pretty substantial and it should have come with a zulu strap(which is thicker) with the same color pattern... and uhm thats it ;)


with tachymetre bezel... hmm it may work better...

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quick fact: they called the 1st gen the home plate as well cause of the baseball home plate shaped indices. this version the 70330 resembles the 1st gen monte carlos the most with the home place indices. the bezel is different though

and the stuff that some may care about that i don't care about
- its an ETA 2892 with a Dubois Depraz chrono module on it and some wish it was integrated. (hey the DD chrono modules work for the AP ROO ok ;) and the ETA 2892 is a workhorse i tells yer. and honestly RSC will be servicing it and will do a bang up job so why moan?

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movement images from user 'AddictX' timezone.com

what happens after the novelty wears off from being one of the first couple of folks in the world to get these? or after it becomes more... how should i put it... common ;)

i realise i have a head for remembering useless information but i forgot the rest of this movie except this one scene and even then the words i remember may be somewhat off (which doesnt really matter as i like it this way more) but here goes... a movie with sean young and gil grissom, i mean will petersen. 2 guys at the party spot sean walking by...

Guy A: Now that... is a gorgeous woman.
Guy B: Ah (dismissively)... you take away the make up, take away the fancy clothes and what do u have?
Guy A: Gorgeous Naked Woman...

Now how can u disagree with that? :) ok so the point i was trying to make is this. after the 'its so cool i got it first before so many others and there are sooo few of them around' aura has faded, u will be left with a gorgeous watch and that is no bad thing :)

Note: the earliest delivery i have seen is Jun in other markets. for Singapore the earliest deliveries was in early Sep this year.

Features:
- Homeplate style indices similar to the first generation Monte Carlo dial
- Rotatable bezel which can be used as a 2nd timezone reference - read the hour off the bezel indicator and minute as per normal
- Unique 45-minute counter
- ETA 2892 movement with a Dubois Depraz chrono module
- 42mm (without the crown), lug width 22mm and 50mm lug to lug length
- Knurled winding crown and enamelled screw pushers
- No Cyclops – Yes!!
- Automatic two register chrono with date at 6 o'clock
- Steel Oyster bracelet and inter-changeable NATO nylon strap

quick factiod 2: the car in the ads is a rare Porsche 910 aka Carrera 10. Only 15 of them were made in 1966/67. the dude in the pic is tim wheatley and other than modelling the watch i uhm know absolutely nothing about him :)

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but it goes well with other car makes too yuh ;)

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Home plate? more like Home Run ;)
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what does it mean for the vintage tudor monte carlos then?

1st auction since it started really hitting the markets is the antiquorum auction on sep 15 and in this auction lots 294 and 295 were the heritage chrono and 296 the vintage oysterdate chrono...

and the results are as follows
294 - new MC Black dial - estimate US$3-5k - Sold at US$4250 ~ S$5700
295 - new MC Grey dial - estimate US$3-5k - Sold at US$4500 ~ S$6050
296 - old MC Ref 7032 with homeplate indices - estimate US$6-10k - Sold at US$19375
* Note all prices include 20% buyers premium

so what do the results mean? the new monte carlos are selling for about list as the folks in US figure they can travel out to get it at list (over time) so why pay more?

the vintage price is still healthy which is a good thing :)

Lot 296 Vintage MC
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image courtesy of antiquorum.com

now how about 'em heritage snowflake submariners? hmmm :)
vintage-y lookin super luminova a la panerai may work better though
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Tuesday, 7 September 2010

Two releases of note... Peter Speake-Marin Marin 2 and UN Freak Diavolo LE

Stylistically I wanted this watch to be very recognisably mine. It follows very closely many of the features first seen in my original Foundation pocket watch, e.g. the topping tool inspired wheel (displaying the seconds), bridges in German silver, circular graining and large sweeping curves. I am not Swiss, French, or American and my style is very representative of myself especially as I had no constraints imposed by existing movements components or constructions I was able to design this movement exactly as I wanted. This is the great advantage of starting with a blank sheet" Peter Speake-Marin.

The Marin 2 Mk1 "Thalassa" by Peter Speake-Marin. LE of 30 pieces in WG
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The nautical ambience generated by the blued-steel of the outer dial, hands and seconds wheel inspired the name "Thalassa", a primordial sea goddess from Greek mythology and the personification of the Mediterranean Sea.

I prefer the look of his enamelled dialled watches with the blued hands without super luminova but will reserve my views on this till I see it in the metal. the movement though, is just wonderful.
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Extract from press release: The SM2 is a totally original calibre with 100% cent of the components specifically made for this movement. It is the result of an Intransigent approach to movement architecture focusing on ease of servicing and maximum reliability and longevity, as well as beauty. The movement is hand-assembled and finished. Unless for technical reasons all surfaces, visible or not, are finely decorated with an attention to detail usually reserved for very high-end complications. Sensual, long-flowing gothic curves form the untreated German silver plates, a material that is more demanding to work than conventional plated brass, but offers increased rigidity. Furthermore it slowly oxidises over the years to a high contrast patina highlighting the large jewels and polished steel surfaces.
Like virtually every other component in the movement, the large diameter (10.9mm) chronometer balance was designed by Peter Speake-Marin as the part he wanted did not exist.
it also required the development of a new mainspring, mainspring barrel, new barrel bridge, new train bridge, new main plate and a new setting mechanism combined with the calendar mechanism.

"I believe there are very few contemporary watchmakers and brands that have created an original style and adhered to an underlying philosophy of constant improvement, longevity, beauty and quality of product that will live beyond their own time. My goal is that in years to come I will be viewed as one of them." Peter Speake-Marin
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The UN Freak is probably the only watch from UN that I would buy. The Diavolo is the evolution of the Freak line and I think its a good thing overall. An LE to commemorate owner and president Rolf's 75th birthday is a bit interesting though. Its a lovely looking Freak nonetheless :)

UN Freak Diavolo Rolf 75
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Ulysse Nardin, the Swiss watchmaker acclaimed for its thousands of “firsts” in watchmaking, takes the lead in ingenuity, once again with the new Freak Diavolo Rolf 75, a progression of the groundbreaking 2001 Freak.

Due to the ultramodern, minimalist and unconventional design of the Freak’s tourbillon
carrousel – one that possessed no true dial, crown or hands – and being the first timepiece to successfully present escapement wheels constructed of silicium, a revolutionary material at the time, the Freak forever changed the course of haute horology. Now, like its siblings – the Freak DIAMonSIL®, Freak Diamond Heart and Freak Blue Phantom – the Freak Diavolo Rolf 75 pays tribute to the original Freak’s pioneering spirit by expanding its use of silicium and taking its tourbillon to new heights. The Freak Diavolo reveals another development in the Freak family -- a flying tourbillon that indicates the seconds, as well as two new ball-bearing systems and a balance-wheel concept and design.

Its tourbillon carrousel (developed entirely in-house) does one complete rotation around the center in 60 minutes. The Freak Diavolo’s frequency of 4 Hz (28'800 A/h) in association with its 8 mg*cm2 inertia balance wheel make this instrument exceptional, as no other tourbillon is regulated by such a powerful oscillator and benefits from such a long power reserve (more than eight days). Its outstanding performance is the result of the perfect application of new technologies, such as photolithography, and the use of the best and latest-developed materials, like silicium and LIGA nickel, at core locations.

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Ulysse Nardin’s expertise in watchmaking is further exemplified by the Freak Diavolo’s seconds indicator, which is nothing else than a flying tourbillon replacing the usual oscillator of the other members of the Freak family. Its cage is equipped with an arrow indicating the seconds on a yellow half-circle, rotating in one minute on itself, with the zero position holding steady on the axis of the minute indicator.

The two specially conceived ball bearing systems enable the “flying” function of the minute movement and of the seconds-indicator tourbillon without the need for a supporting bridge.

So simple and user-friendly, the Freak Diavolo can be wound by turning the lower bezel, and the time can be adjusted by turning the upper bezel; while the direct gear link crafted
between the three “hands” averts dephasing, or the throwing of hours, minutes and seconds out of step when adjusting or readjusting time.
Proud Parents of The Freak!
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