Nooka ZAZ Watch Translucent See-Thru Display - Your Skin Provides the Contrast To Read the Time!
Published: October 14,
2009 | 13:24
Bars and blocks of liquid crystal line up over your skin with the Zaz, Nooka's latest alternative display binary wristwatch. And if in darkness, there is also the option to light up the see-through display in beautiful bright colors. Your only difficulty will be wondering if that arm hair makes it 8:45 or 8:50.
Actually, this reminds me of a stock answer I gave as a kid if someone asked me the time when not wearing a watch. I would look at my wrist and say "two freckles past an armhair". Who knew that could be true one day? Thanks Nooka!
"The ultimate form of personalization. The Nooka Zaz is the newest release in the brand’s line of luxury wristwatches, set to launch for Fall 2009. Featuring a completely translucent display, allowing the wearer’s own skin tone to show through. Time is marked with a display similar to the Zenv style, with blocks appearing on the transparent screen seemingly as a part of the wearer’s wrist. It is available with a silver face and three band options- black orwhite leather, and silver mesh.
Size: 35 x 45 x 8 mm / 22mm wide band Water resistant to 3ATM $380 here
Diesel Shows Their Bad Ass! Creative Director Wilbert Das Talks With The Watchismo Times
Published: July 23,
2009 | 13:08
BEHOLD THE BEHEMOTH!
Diesel, a brand that pushes envelopes, or rather sleeves with their constantly revolving motley crew of watches. Just introduced is the Super Bad Ass Collection. Above, the DZ7127 with laser blue crystal changing color from blue to yellow depending on the angle and FOUR separate timezones - one main chronograph, a digital display and two other analog clocks.
A watch that lets you keep tabs on the bedtimes of your illegitimate children around the globe. Comes in both Black DZ7125 and Brown DZ7126.
I had a Q&A with Wilbert Das, creative director of Diesel and asked him about the direction of Diesel Timeframes... Watchismo: Why and When did Diesel start producing watches? How did that begin? Das: Diesel launched the timeframe collection with Fossil in 1999 . Renzo Rosso, the founder of Diesel wanted to truly make Diesel a 360° lifestyle brand. Timeframes were the next step in making that a reality.
The other series of Badass watches are part of the Black Label Collection, the Three Time Zone with asymmetric case coming in the black dial steel bracelet (above) DZ9052 or brown Dz9053
Watchismo: Will Diesel continue to push the envelope with adventurous designs? Is it important to stand out in the watch world? Das: Diesel will always push the envelope when it comes to the design. We like to make people stop and think about the product. Of course, we love it when we are featured in the watch world but what’s more important is that Diesel stick to the brand DNA and continue to keep things new for our customers.
Also introduced are really adventurous new designs like the DZ9043 Hinged Triple Time Zone, the hardware allows for the watch to hug to the shape of your wrist and look good considering its massive size.
One of the more controversial models just announced is this (above) No Face watch DZ9044 & DZ9045 which at first glance looks to be a block of steel but is in fact, four separate watches located on the sides of the watch only (shown below). I would love to be a part of these brainstorming sessions at Diesel, they are obviously trying to challenge what a watch is and what it can be.
No Face Sideview Displays
And satiating my mechanical tastes, they are also producing some very beautiful skeletonized timepieces (watches with exposed movements). Up until recently, interesting mechanical watches were only for the rich but Diesel has introduced some really great designs with visible Automatic mechanics, rotors, balance wheels, the works!
Watchismo: With mechanical timepieces being more and more popular, will Diesel keep developing new higher-end automatic watches? Das: We'll definitely keep developing new higher-end automatic watches as we think it's the future!!!
Another remarkable mechanical watch is this Black Label DZ9017 Automatic Retrograde. The case is suspended on bars that penetrate all the way through the watch and the dial features two retrograde date displays (when they get to the bottom, they "jump back" instead of going in a full rotation) and an exposed balance wheel seen from the front and a rotor from the back. Really love how Diesel has been advancing their designs to reflect complexity in both mechanics and design!
And making a huge impact with people recently, the Freak of Nature DZ4160 aka "Frankenwatch". People either love it or hate it, nothing in between. What appears to be a touched-up photo is the actual watch, a Frankenstein timepiece cross-breeding two entirely different watches into one. A hybrid wristwatch fusing a steel oval case with a gold square surrounding a split-faced multi-colored chronograph dial. Best of all, check out the half leather strap, half metal bracelet. There is a tamer version too, the DZ4159.
Watchismo: What are some of the likely directions in the future for Diesel watches? Das: Diesel generally seeks a point of difference and wants to keep an edgy feel to their products. Thanks to the collaboration between Diesel and Fossil we want to keep on offering our consumer a solid know-how and a very creative touch, keeping on developing and introducing outstanding watches.
Ok, this is my favorite of the bunch, the DZ1242 Sonar Seconds Triple Time Zone. I don't believe it comes across in the photo but this is the Godzilla of the bunch. You don't wear this watch, IT WEARS YOU! Shot a little video of the radar style seconds in action below.
Watchismo: Diesel watches have always a spirit of both vintage and modern looks, what are the sources of inspiration for all the designs, especially the Black Label collection and the watches with side time-zones, hinges and see-thru dials. Das: Diesel is a unique brand that attracts people that are creative and have the same sensibilities. Diesel takes that idea and incorporates it into all aspects of the brand. We’re a global company and our customers are as well, hence the time zones on our watches. Vintage is also really important to our consumers, especially in the denim world which translates into their lifestyle.
ABOUT WILBERT DAS
Diesel's long-time Creative Director Wilbert Das was born in Holland in 1963. He grew up working on his family’s dairy farm before departing at the age of 19 to study fashion design at the Academy of Fine Arts in Arnhem, a school which has produced many noted international designers. Upon completing his degree in 1988 Wilbert drove to Italy for an interview at Diesel. Company founder Renzo Rosso offered him a job on the spot and literally had Wilbert working that same afternoon. Thus started one of fashion’s longest-running and most successful collaborations. In 1993 Wilbert was recognized with the official title of Diesel Creative Director, with broad responsibilities ranging from directing all clothing & accessory design to following advertising & communications, retail & interior design.
Urwerk King Cobra CC1 Reintrepretation of 1958 Patek Philippe Cobra Prototype - Cylindrical Retrograde Linear Jumping Hour Display
Published: July 08,
2009 | 16:03
I started this blog nearly three years ago and the watch that started it all was the very obscure 1958 Patek Philippe Cobra -- A timepiece so advanced for its time, only one prototype was ever produced.
It has taken over half a century for someone to take it seriously and attempt a reinterpretation -- Urwerk, the coolest independent brand in the world has just introduced the "King Cobra UR CC1", an unexpected follow-up to their revolutionary Tarantula and Hammerhead series and a serious nod to the masterpiece originally created by Louis Cottier.
Geneva – September 2009
Time is usually - nearly always - displayed by a circular indication: one dial and two (or three) with the time displayed around a perpetual circle. However, this 360° representation of time goes against everything we learnt as we grew up drawing a straight line on a blank page and marking it Past, Present and Future. Why do we think of time as travelling in a straight line yet display it rotating around a circle? The answer is straightforward: mechanisms that continually rotate are much simpler to produce than those that trace a straight line then return to zero. In fact, the latter is so difficult that, until now, nobody has ever managed to develop a production wristwatch with true retrograde linear displays.
Linear. On the UR-CC1, there are two horizontal indications displayed by two retrograde cylinders: one for the (jumping) hours, the other for the minutes. And don't be lulled by the apparent simplicity of the displays; the UR-CC1 is the result of more than three years of research, development, production and testing to ensure that the rotation and instant fly-back of the large hour and minute cylinders was achieved without compromising accurate timekeeping.
Triple-cam. A vertical triple-cam operating a rack (visible through a window in the side of the case) rotates the minute cylinder. From zero to 60 minutes, the minute cylinder rotates through 300°. On arriving at the 60-minute mark the cylinder instantly (1/10th of a second) reverses back to its original position thanks to an extra-flat linear spring. The retrograde movement of the minute cylinder triggers the hour cylinder to advance (jump) one complete hour.
The triple-cam is crafted from bronze beryllium, a metal selected for its inherently self-lubricating properties and low co-efficient of friction, and takes the form of three small inclines. The precise shape of the curve of the incline is relayed to the pivoting rack, while the teeth on the end of the rack mesh with and rotate the minute cylinder. The triple-cam makes a complete rotation in three hours so that each of the three inclines takes 60 minutes, and 180 points of reference have been calculated on each of the three cams to ensure the precise and isochronic rotation of the minute cylinder.
Rack: The toothed segment at the end of the rack transmits and transforms the rotation triple-cam into the rotation of the minute cylinder. The toothed rack presents two properties that at first appear contradictory: absolute rigidity, so as to accurately transmit the motion of the cam to the minute cylinder; and extremely low mass to consume as little energy as possible and minimise the effects of gravity and accelerations/shocks. This vital component has been fabricated in nickel by Mimotec using their photolithography process. The honeycomb pattern of the nickel structure resolves the two apparently contradictory requirements of maximum strength and minimum weight.
Seconds disk: The dial of the UR-CC1 is animated by a rotating disk displaying the seconds both digitally and linearly – a world first! This incredible exploit was achieved thanks to Mimotec’s photolithography production technique, which enabled the component to be fabricated from ultra-light nickel; the procedure is even more precise than electro-erosion. To reduce mass to an absolute minimum, the minuscule numerals were even skeletonised. A small tab at 10 seconds bearing the URWERK logo precisely counterbalances the disk's single-digit numbers. This marvel of micro-precision weighs only 0.09 grams.
Rotor Fly Brake: UR-CC1 features URWERK’s pneumatic shock-absorbing Rotor Fly Brake automatic winding system, which minimizes rotor and mechanism wear and damage from shock and harsh movements. The operation of the Rotor Fly Brake is visible through a window on the side of the case. Technical Specifications:
Case: available in either grey gold with titanium case back (limited edition of 25 pieces) or black gold with titanium case back (limited edition of 25 pieces); brushed-satin finish
Indications: linear display for hours and minutes with jumping hours and retrograde minutes ; second display both digital and linear
Dimensions: 45.7mm x 43.5mm x 15mm
Dial and Bridges: ARCAP P40. SuperLumiNova treatment on hours, minutes displays
Genesis of a creation
1958. Messrs Gilbert Albert and Louis Cottier combine their talents to create a watch destined to revolutionize the horological world. Their idea is completely outrageous: it is the world’s first watch to feature a linear display. It is an extraordinary, avant-garde piece that fulfils none of the aesthetic criteria of the time. As for its linear indication, the idea may seem simple but the execution is a technical headache of monumental proportions. However Messrs Albert and Cottier believe in it and they stick with it, creating a prototype for Patek Philippe.
1959. A patent is deposited by Louis Cottier, detailing the technical scale of the achievement. Then – nothing. The prototype is put on to one side. Does the watch even work? Today nobody knows for sure. It took its place in the corner of the Patek Philippe museum and proceeded to arouse curiosity from time to time.
1998. With pencil and paper Martin Frei, co-founder of the URWERK brand and an aesthete at heart, sketches the first outline of his future creation: a watch in which the hours and minutes are indicated by two straight, parallel lines. But he hesitates. With Felix Baumgartner, master watch-maker and co-founder of URWERK, another idea springs to mind – the concept of the hour satellite, presented for the first time at Basel. The earlier project is postponed, sine die.
2006. URWERK is henceforth known and recognized for its mechanical hour satellite watches in which orbiting hour satellites indicate the minutes. But the idea of developing a different way of telling the time continues to fascinate Felix Baumgartner. In the end it is the Alfred Hitchcock film “The Birds” that gives him the decisive nudge in the right direction. In one of the most famous scenes from the film, the heroine seeks refuge in an old Dodge. The image lasts only a few seconds but it is crucial – a close-up of the dashboard and its linear speedometer. Yes. That’s it! A continuous line with which to mark time. Felix and Martin work non-stop on this new project. Their research leads them to the discovery of Gilbert Albert and Louis Cottier’s watch. It will be their “muse”.
2009. Three years of research. One year of testing. URWERK’s “King Cobra” is unveiled. ‘CC’ for Cottier Cobra, a homage to the genius of Louis Cottier, inventor and creator. Once more, URWERK redefines our vision of fine watchmaking and pushes back the frontiers of the possible.
The original 1958 Cobra
Original Prototype Movement
Watchmaker Felix Baumgartner
I am not big on nostalgia, but I have always loved the linear speedometers found on old cars. My older brother had a 1960’s Volvo and it was that which gave us the first idea for a horological linear indication. I recently watched the film ‘The Birds’ by Alfred Hitchcock, and in it the heroine took refuge in an old Dodge with a linear speedometer- it is one of my favourite scenes. There are very few wristwatches with linear indications. One of them, if not the first, was ‘The Cobra’, which was developed in the late 1950s by Mr. Louis Cottier. It is sensational! Although it was created over half a century ago, it is still very contemporary. Unfortunately, it only exists as a single prototype and was never put into production. Now, 50 years after he filed his patent (1959), URWERK pays homage to the work of Louis Cottier by creating its own interpretation of the Cobra. -Felix Baumgartner
Designer Martin Frei
I am interested in the perception of time. Physicists tell us that time can be warped or stretched, and our daily experiences are with the circular cycles of the days, seasons and years. But I am also intrigued that time can be ordered, even straitjacketed, to flow in a linear direction - a straight line from the past, through the present, to the future. And, because this can represent an individual’s lifeline, I feel that this linear format can be a very human way to look at time. That plus the fact that I think it looks really cool! -Martin Frei
Eris Planetary Sphere Watch by Pierre Junod - Post Neptunian Object Inspired Swiss Timepiece
Published: July 06,
2009 | 15:48
Named for the largest known (and newly discoved) dwarf planet in the Solar System and the ninth-largest body known to orbit the Sun directly, Eris is approximately 2,500 kilometres in diameter and 27% more massive than Pluto. The spherical Eris watch is considerably smaller that that, in fact I broke my calculator trying to determine its 32.2mm percentage of the former planet. Eris would have been our tenth planet if Pluto hadn't been shamed into oblivion.
Either way, this watch, designed by students from l’Ecole d’Arts Appliqués Genèva is a 100 % Swiss made product by Pierre Junod Switzerland and can be worn as a pocket watch, pendant or used as a small desk clock. The Materials are white hour hand & orange minute hand, anthracite anodized aluminum case, laser engraved figures, mineral glass, Swiss quartz movement, each watch is sold with a natural rubber strap to hang from your neck, a wall, anything you wish to have time fly by.
The time is displayed with two pointers (extended from hidden hands) floating around the "equator" of the globe. The minutes indicated on the upper hemisphere and the hours highlighted down below.
white hour hand & orange minute hand,
anthracite anodized aluminium case,
laser engraved figures, mineral glass,
swiss quartz movement, each watch is sold with a natural rubber band
Dimensions: Diameter: 33,2 mm Thickness: – mm Weight: 36 g Battery Ref: Renata swiss made 364
Cinco De Nooka - Five New Models from NOOKA! String Theory, Sky Pyramid, Hyper Space & UNDRCRWN
Published: July 06,
2009 | 14:56
Nooka announces the release of a brand new collection of graphically inspired watches for Summer 2009. The four new additions to the Nooka line of timepieces feature bold geometric designs inspired by the simplistic shape of a triangle.
This new series of designs inspired by higher dimensional physics and our utopian optimism that the planet will once again embrace space as a necessary next frontier! They were designed in-house by futuretron infinity of dinosaur island. Above is the brand new Sky Pyramid ZenH model
Designer Matthew Waldman's personal touch was the decision to have the pattern in the models overprint the whole face.
This Black "String Theory" model consist of a light-weight aluminum case and soft, polyurethane band.
This new series of designs inspired by higher dimensional physics and our utopian optimism that the planet will once again embrace space as a necessary next frontier! Designer Matthew Waldman's personal touch was the decision to have the pattern in the models overprint the whole face.
They also come in snazzy custom packaging! the only word that comes to mind is "dope".
Nooka and UNDRCRWN have come together to create a fun and colorful collaboration. The watch features a striped polyurethane band with a black ZenV display. Only 200 will be produced! The basketball and Hip-Hop-centric brand known as UNDRCRWN team up with Nooka on an upcoming watch release. The colorful striped design features a multi-colored polyurethane band designed by founder Dustin Canalin.
Barbed Wire & Butterflies - MB&F HM2 Piece Unique by Artist Sage Vaughn for Only Watch 2009
Published: June 08,
2009 | 12:23
There is a butterfly trapped in the movement of the latest watch to emerge from MB&F (Maximilian Büsser & Friends). And it has no hope of escaping, because the complicated movement is wrapped in barbed wire. This emotionally charged piece, a one-of-a-kind interpretation of MB&F’s Horological Machine No.2, is signed by the American artist Sage Vaughn.
Video from the New York WENY presentation (July 16th, 2009)
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 auction is held every two years and brings together the cream of Switzerland’s haute horlogerie watchmakers. Each contributes a unique watch, or the number one from a limited series, to be auctioned without a reserve price. All the proceeds from Only Watch go to enabling the Monegasque Association against Duchenne Muscular Dystrophy (AMM) to support international research projects into that disease – a field in which the Association has been actively involved since 2005.
"State Penn" by Sage Vaughn
The inspiration for the watch
Büsser and his team were, as he says, “shocked into” creating a piece of horology for the Only Watch event, and were determined that their timepiece should convey that emotion. But horology has its limits. How could it be used to express the beauty and vulnerability of childhood, and the valiant struggle of a child who may well be in a wheelchair before he is twelve?
There are no coincidences in life, and at the time, a new gallery in Geneva was given over entirely to the work of Sage Vaughn, an American painter and former graffiti artist whose solo show in New York last summer had been one of the art world’s most talked-about events. This young artist has fought and conquered his own demon – a seven-year heroin addiction – and the pain of that struggle is felt in the emotional power of his work. The images of gaily-dressed children or bright birds or butterflies putting on a brave front against bleak urban backgrounds had haunted Max Büsser. He had bought one of the art works, a baseball bat adorned with a collage of butterflies, pinned down by nails. Here was the tension between light-hearted innocence and something darker that he was seeking.
Sage Vaughn in his studio
A trip to the US proved him right. Sage Vaughn understood the mission at once and immediately proposed to donate his time and talent. Max Büsser came back with the initial sketch for the watch, and the result is faithful to it. The entire upper face of the watch – the surface of the rectangular case and the two projecting portholes – is crafted in sapphire crystal, revealing the HM2’s complex engine. The hundreds of minute components display the meticulous hand finish that is MB&F’s hallmark. But they are imprisoned in barbed wire. A blue butterfly struggles to escape from the same fate, but its wings are clipped. In the finished work, the barbed wire is handcrafted in blackened gold and the butterfly in blued gold. But the scene has all the emotional power of the first rough by Sage Vaughn – a pencil sketch of the movement criss-crossed by barbed wire drawn in red pencil.
The watch is a unique interpretation of Horological Machine No2, launched as limited series in 2008. HM2 typifies the radical approach to high-end horology taken by Max Büsser and his Friends. It is a high-tech time machine of the twenty-first century and an incredibly sophisticated micromechanical work of art. It houses the world’s first mechanical movement – “engine” in MB&F language – to offer an instantaneous jumping hour, concentric retrograde minutes, retrograde date hand, a bi-hemisphere moon phase and automatic winding. The case alone contains more than 100 parts – more than many complete movements – and is the most complex case in watchmaking history. Altogether the watch has over 450 components.
"Reseda Butterfly" by Sage Vaughn
About Sage Vaughn
Sage Vaughn was born in Jackson, Oregon in 1976 and grew up in Reseda, California. He now lives and works in Los Angeles.
As a child he developed his talent for art in the company of his father, the artist Richard Smitty Vaughn Junior. His father would take him to the Los Angeles zoo, where they would sit all day, sketching the animals. His hippie parents had little money for toys, but they encouraged him to draw and to develop his own style. Later, he became an avid participant in the graffiti culture.
Today he favours painting, but the city of his graffiti days is ever present in his work. It is shown in its least flattering light, in the grey walls and stylised cityscapes and freeways that form an austere backdrop to his vibrant foreground figures. He has also preserved the same free and easy touch and energy. This is most visible in the paint runs used in certain areas of his work.
“I try to utilise animals in the same way that Aesop did in his fables”
Sage Vaughn’s paintings question the human condition and the difficulty of living in a contemporary environment. The bright birds and insects serve as an affirmation of life, but they also remind us of our strategies for survival in a modern society. Imperceptible at first glance, black tattoos in the birds’ plumage spell out the names of gangs or codes. They evoke the individual’s need for recognition, but also a subculture, linked in the collective conscience to violence and rebellion in the streets.
“It is easier for an observer to project into the countenance of a child”
Sometimes, children replace the birds in the foreground. Not yet formatted by society, they seem to have the energy to survive and reinvent the world. Sporting masks and brightly coloured costumes, they look like superheroes. Yet there is nothing joyous or innocent about them. Each is desperately alone, abandoned in a hostile setting.
The message could thus be seen as a bitter one: the American dream of bucolic happiness is shattered.
Sage Vaughn likes to cloud the issue, however, and scramble what might be seen as clear cut. His paintings do not stop at that admission of failure. To live is, of course, difficult but the simple fact of being alive brings hope. In the wake of Melville, whose novels the painter admires, Vaughn knows that even during war, birds do continue to sing and children to play.
Being Maximilian Büsser And Friends
The founder of MB&F says that he created a business model around his neurosis. He was an only child who grew up longing to surround himself with people that he could admire. His parents – his father Swiss, his mother Indian – were “too much in love” to provide the company that he craved, and, left to himself, he developed a rich imaginary life. This led to constant injunctions, at home and at school, to be more reasonable and responsible, and the little boy grew up imbued with his father’s rigorous principles and sense of duty.
It was only when his father passed away, seven years ago, that he felt free to become unreasonable again. “There are two occasions when you become conscious of mortality”, he says. “When you have a child, and when a parent dies.” That prompted him to leave what he admits was a dream job, as head of Harry Winston Timepieces, and form MB&F (Maximilian Büsser and Friends), a company dedicated solely to designing and crafting small series of radical concept watches in collaboration with talented professionals. Or, as he says: “Letting my guts speak instead of my head”. That spirit is shared by all the independent craftsmen, engineers and watchmakers who collaborate on his projects.
Joining the battle to save children from muscular dystrophy
Duchenne Muscular Dystrophy is a serious genetic disorder that affects one in every 3,500 boys. It is characterised by a progressive weakening of the muscles, resulting in respiratory and cardiac problems that become fatal as the child gets older. In Europe there are around 30,000 sufferers of the disease.
As yet there is no cure for the disease, but considerable progress is being made. One of the most important breakthroughs is the development of Saut d’Exon – a surgical technique that enables the cellular machinery to “forget” to read that part of the gene that carries the abnormality of the illness. This technique was developed by Luis Garcia, Head of Research at CNRS, and his team. Mr Garcia is a key player in the field of Duchenne Muscular Dystrophy. He and his group are among the 20 research teams that have benefited from AMM’s financial support.
The role of childhood in MB&F’s creations
Maximilian Büsser knew that he would participate the moment he spoke to Luc Pettavino, the President of AMM. “At my age,” he says, (he is 42), “if I contract a serious illness I can say that I have already lived a full life, but for a child just starting out, it is a tragedy”.
Whilst he would never claim to understand the suffering of a child with this disease, childhood holds a special importance for him. For all their sophistication, the lovingly crafted time machines that he dreams up and creates with his Friends have their roots in his earliest years.
The case of Horological Machine No2 is the most complex case in the history of watchmaking, but its modular structure is inspired by the meccano model kits that were his toys. The 22-karat gold automatic rotor has the jewel-like hand-finish reserved for the elite of traditional watch movements, but it owes its iconic sickle shape to the double-headed battleaxe wielded by his childhood comic hero, Grendizer. All the great sci-fi TV series – Star Trek, Thunderbird, Dr Who and Star Wars – have played a role in MB&F’s creations. It is the tension between fascination with that imaginary world and a love of high-end horology at its purest that gives the machines their vitality.
Movement: Jean-Marc Wiederrecht/Agenhor designed functionality regulated and powered by a Girard-Perregaux oscillator and gear train. Blued 22K gold Battle Ax automatic winding rotor Balance oscillating at 28,800 bph
Number of components: 349 including 44 jewels
Functions: Left dial: Retrograde Date and Bi-Hemisphere Moon Phase Right Dial: Jumping Hours and Concentric Retrograde Minutes
Sage Vaughn sculpture: Blackened 18K gold barbed wire which imprisons the movement, symbol of the illness capturing the body. Blued 18K butterfly on movement bridge, symbol of innocence and childhood.
Case: Piece unique – 18K white gold/titanium with sapphire “double dome” glass Dimensions (exclusive of crown and lugs): 59mm x 38mm x 13mm Water resistant to 30 meters (3 ATM)
Sapphire crystals: Dial side with anti-reflective treatment on both faces. Display back signed by Sage Vaughn.
Dials: Brushed sapphire for minutes and date, Black disks for hours and moon phase.
Number of parts (Movement & Case): 439 parts
Strap & Buckle: Black hand-stitched alligator with 18K gold and titanium custom designed deployant buckle.
How does Only Watch work? Swiss haute de gamme watch companies each produce a unique watch or the first (No 1) of a limited series to be offered (without a reserve price) at this exceptional auction. Patrizzi & Co Auctioneers will be taking these watches on a promotional preview tour during late summer/early autumn 2009.
The Only Watch auction will then take place on 24 September 2009 in Monaco during the 19th Monaco Yacht Show. Participating watch brands 2009 Audemars Piguet, Blancpain, BNB Concept, Bovet Fleurier, Breguet Montres, Cartier, Corum Montres, De Bethune, Delacour, Franck Muller, Frederique Constant, Glashuette Uhrenbertrieb, Hermes, Hublot, Jaquet Droz, Louis Vuitton, Maximilian Buesser & Friends, Mont Blanc, Omega, Patek Philippe, Piaget, Richard Mille, Swatch, Tag Heuer, Tourneau Timepieces, Ulysse Nardin, Urwerk, Vacheron Constantin, Van Cleef & Arpels, Zenith International. Source: Patrizzi & Co Auctioneers www.patrizziauction.com
The Pita Windmills (Molinos) Prototype from AHCI Watchmaker Aniceto Jiménez Pita of Barcelona
Published: May 14,
2009 | 16:39
I'm honored to be the first watch blog to share the brand new prototype from Pita Barcelona. The Pita Molinos (Windmills) project presents a watch with no hands and no crown. Floating hour and minute gear wheels rotate around the dial to indicate the time. Shown above, the time is 12:15. The finished models should be ready by September-October 2009 and they are already taking reservations at www.pita.es
I'm already a fan of Pita's undeniably original and minimal one-handed and carousel automatic ball-bearing movement watches. See the rest of his collection here.
Pita Molinos (Pita Windmills) - prototype status - by AHCI watchmaker Aniceto Jiménez Pita
No hands timepiece. Floating hour and minute wheels telling directly the time, without hands. Wheels and cannon pinion elegantly maximized with embedded precious stones (laquered finish in shown prototype) to indicate the time, in an unprecedented and ethereal manner.
Symmetric case, no crown. Pita-005 movement featuring patented Pita-TSM System (Time Setting Mechanism), replacing remontoire and winding systems developed by Pita.
Designed and handmade in Barcelona Spain. Short and numbered series.
Fully customizable. Unlimited assortment of dials, hands, straps and buckles to choose from.
Available in 18 ct. yellow / white / rose Gold, or Platinum 950.
A. Lange & Söhne Zeitwerk - Mechanical Digital Jump Hour
Published: May 07,
2009 | 12:01
The Lange Zeitwerk watch 140.029 A. Lange & Söhne - White gold
Often, it is a new face that ushers in new times. That was the case after the rift in Europe had healed and the LANGE 1 paved the way for the comeback of A. Lange & Söhne. Fifteen years ago, it enriched the realm of horology with a fundamentally new concept and unprecedented technical finesse. As a design icon, it has long conquered its place at the pinnacle of timelessness. Now, with a mechanical, precisely jumping hour and minute indication of singular clarity, Lange presents another milestone. So yet again, a new face ushers in the next era in timekeeping. Its name: Lange Zeitwerk.
The Lange Zeitwerk watch 140.032 A. Lange & Söhne - Pink gold
“I shut my eyes in order to see” – the creative maxim of famous French painter Paul Gauguin was adopted by Lange’s calibre engineers and designers as they resolved to explore uncharted territory and, from an unbiased viewpoint, devise a watch that would be evolutionary and progressive in every respect. Ultimately, progress is always a result of curiosity. The question at Lange was: “Can the principles of a mechanical watch and a modern time indication format be persuasively combined?” The answer is the first mechanical wristwatch with a truly eloquent jumping numeral display. It is a watch that reinterprets time in an era of change. It not only endows time with a new face but also defines a new direction in watchmaking. It is a timepiece that embodies the spirit of time and simultaneously transcends it. Indeed, it is a watch that lets its owner experience a totally new sense of time.
The Lange Zeitwerk watch 140.025 A. Lange & Söhne - Platinum
A fresh design concept underscores the paradigm shift: The German-silver time bridge unfolds its wings across the entire width of the dial to prominently frame the large numerals of the laterally aligned windows that present the hours and minutes. It extends down to encircle the subsidiary seconds dial as well, uniting all three levels of time measurement in a harmonious setting. With its easy-to-grip bevelled flutes, the knurled crown points up and away, predicting an upswing movement. And in the upper third of the dial, the continuous power-reserve indicator reliably tells the owner when it is time to re-energise the movement.
With its emblematic name, the Lange Zeitwerk is a watch that stands for uncompromising clarity. Thanks to the unparalleled size of its numerals, it tells the current time at even a cursory glance. With a whispered click and within fractions of a second, the minute display advances step by step until the watch initiates the big jump at the top of the hour. At this point, all three numeral discs switch forward simultaneously and instantaneously by exactly one unit. Here, timekeeping is elevated to the status of an event. The perfect moment for the showdown is at 11:59 – “high noon” in a widescreen format. The seconds hand embarks on its leisurely trajectory along the periphery of the subsidiary dial. Time seems to slow down as its course is deliberately observed. Thirty seconds to go. Mounting suspense. Then: ten… three, two, one – click – 12:00. One small step for a watch, but a giant leap for horology.
Beneath the extraordinary face, an equally revolutionary movement with a diameter of 33.6 millimeters fully occupies the space inside the 41.9-millimeter gold or platinum case.
The significant amount of energy required to simultaneously advance all three numeral discs once every hour is delivered by a newly developed barrel with an extra-strong mainspring. Its patented design literally turns the venerable wind/unwind principle upside down. Thus, the mainspring barrel bearing with the higher friction rating is involved when the watch is being wound, but the barrel wheel always turns in the minimized-friction bearing as the mainspring gradually relaxes. This makes more torque available for powering the watch as well as the ensemble of discs with the hour and minute numerals.
A constant-force escapement between the barrel wheel and the balance
A constant-force escapement, also patented, between the barrel wheel and the balance acts as a pacemaker for the jumping advance of the hours and minutes – in its compactness, the mechanism is quite likely unprecedented. The forces that occur when the numeral discs are accelerated and braked are far beyond the magnitude normally encountered in a movement. To absorb them, a fly governor was integrated in the mechanism. As it rotates, its vanes must displace air like a fan; it is this resistance that dissipates much of the energy and assures gentle switching.
At the same time, the constant-force escapement makes an important contribution to stabilizing the rate of the movement: across the entire 36-hour autonomy period, it drives the balance with nearly uniform power, regardless of the state of wind of the mainspring and unaffected by the energy-consuming switching cycles that take place in one-minute intervals. Incidentally, a balance wheel with eccentric poising weights and a hairspring manufactured in-house constitute the high-precision beat controller.
As progressive as this watch with the “A. Lange & Söhne” signature may be, it remains a staunch advocate of classic horological values. A glance through the sapphire-crystal caseback reveals the lavishly decorated L043.1 manufacture calibre that in addition to all its technical novelties of course also features a three-quarter plate, a hand-engraved balance cock, and screwed gold chatons – each element is an endearingly familiar and regal asset of every Lange watch.
With its graceful appearance and intrinsic values, the Lange Zeitwerk is not only a seminal timepiece, it also makes a strong statement about the personality and the style of its owner. It delivers a new experience in time – whether with eyes wide open or shut.
Jaquet Droz 'La Machine à Ecrire le Temps' (The Machine that Writes the Time)
by Maximilian Büsser via MB&F's Parallel World "Baselworld 2009 has just finished and, amongst the flurry of new horological creations, the timepiece that really impressed and amazed me wasn't a wristwatch at all, but an incredible horological machine in its own right.
Jaquet Droz's 'La Machine à Ecrire le Temps' - The Machine that Writes the Time.
Manuel Emch, president and head of artistic creation at Montres Jaquet Droz, has done a superb job in reinventing the brand over the last 8 years.
18th century automates from Jaquet Droz: the Draftsman, the Musician and the Writer
Jaquet Droz was one of the most celebrated creators of automatons in the past and in developing this modern time writing machine, they have created one of the most amazing "horological sculptures" to date, as well as added to the brand's rich heritage.
The project was the brainchild of Manuel Emch who had, amongst other objectives, the idea to create an automaton that relates to the 21st century. The result is as impressive as it is poetic. La Machine à Ecrire le Temps is an incredible blend of tradition, kinetic art, high-tech horology . . . and magic.
The development and construction of La Machine à Ecrire le Temps took the best part of a decade. It contains more than 1,200 components, including 84 ball bearings, 50 cams and 9 belts, and took thousands of hours to construct and regulate.
The masterpiece is housed in an unusual cage, whose aluminium frame is fitted with a liquid crystal glass, allowing the owner to mask or unveil the whole movement at will. A light touch activates the mechanism and a stylus writes the time in hours and minutes."
Some antique Jaquet Droz Automaton videos "The Writer" & "The Artist";
Stepan Sarpaneva Presents Redesigned Gold Korona K3 Moonphase at Baselworld
Published: April 06,
2009 | 15:59
SARPANEVA KORONA RG (rose gold) AND KORONA WG (white gold)
It was quite a while since the first Stepan Sarpaneva watch, the TIME TRAMP was created, using a pinion gear from a Harley Davidson motorcycle. At that time no one knew what the future would hold for watches created in Finland, certainly not for mechanical watches created with a different vision and such a distinctive Finnish design pedigree. Now, some 10 years later, Sarpaneva Watches has started to establish itself as the renegade alternative to the ‘Swiss-only’ mentality, offering collectors and watch lovers something new and different from the rest whilst keeping all the best qualities of watchmaking tradition. For Stepan this is definately something worth celebrating in an exclusive manner.
2009: THE FIRST SARPANEVA WATCHES IN 18-CARAT RED OR WHITE GOLD
For the past 10 years, the Sarpaneva workshop has been creating a name for itself producing unusual, limited series of watches – exclusively in different types of steel. There were a number of reasons behind this concept.
Stepan Sarpaneva: “I have always liked, even preferred the ‘essence’ of steel cased watches, as it fits with my desire for simplicity and the beauty you can find in essential and basic materials and designs – whether inspired by man made or natural elements. With my hobby and passion for motorcycles from an early age, steel is also a material I know and love intimately. So I never felt that steel was less interesting or less valuable to me than any other metal.
So what was behind this new development for the workshop?
Stepan Sarpaneva: “One reason was that I made my first watch exactly 10 years ago: the TIME TRAMP – and back then I never thought it might mark the beginning of where I am today. In addition a number of clients have been asking me regularly for a gold watch, so all this meant that the time was ripe for it now. Another reason was a more emotional one for me. My father designed jewelry, and in the back of my mind I still have plans to also create some jewelry, either stand alone items or combined with watches. So that means that the next step has got to be working in precious metals of course.”
A NEW CASE DESIGN
However, this didn’t mean that the new KORONA would simply be the same watchcase, merely in gold. Stepan took the decision to review the design; the case, with its slightly smaller 42 mm diameter compared to the previous KORONA K3 models of 44 mm, is just right for today’s tastes. The evocative scallops that are such a part of the exterior edges visual look are now cut right through the case from front bezel to back bezel, making the case even more distinctive. This, in combination with the skeleton dial has the effect of making the watch appear bolder and more uniquely Finnish in its design imagery, without it being perceived as either too large or too small.
Stepan Sarpaneva: “With this new, fuller case design, the lugs have also undergone some slight changes that allow me to use a shaped strap. This means the case and strap form a fluid line, giving a real visual and physical continuity between the watchcase and strap design, resulting in a truly relaxed fit. You can almost forget you have it on.”
A WORLD WITH THREE MOONS
The Moonphase indicator of the KORONA RG and WG, with its eternally somber face has become a hallmark of the entire series of KORONA watches, and perhaps Finland itself.
Stepan Sarpaneva: “You know, here in Finland, we are not a very extrovert kind of people. Maybe it has to do with our past history, as well as the cold combined with the extremely long winter nights and the extremely long summer days. You have to learn to remain in balance. So everyone here floats around with an aura of slight melancholy – I don’t know how else to describe it. So for me a smiling moon was out of the question, also because a Moonphase smiling all the time is too much like those yellow smiley faces they put in emails. This Moon has an aura of aristocratic melancholy; with a bit of indecision as to whether he is basically happy or sad in nature. The expression of the Moon on my watches just ‘is’ – same as the Finnish people here.”
Creating these Moonphase discs is as complex as the realization of the watch’s Moonphase mechanism. The first dilemma concerns the dimensions, as the face is only 0,4 mm thick yet contains four levels of elevation. The first step requires creating a drawing six times actual size, followed by cutting a rough model from plate stock, one piece corresponding to each level of elevation of the oversized model. These parts are then fixed together to form the model plate for the pantograph, which will mill the various shapes into a small piece of copper the actual size of the Moonphase. This copper version, which will serve later as an electrode, is then cleaned up and ‘fine-tuned’ by a master engraver before the contours are electro etched into a steel-pressing block, thus creating a negative image of the face. Last but not least, the eyes are modeled by hand into the negative image and the whole is finished by a master engraver and diamond polished before undergoing hardening, followed by yet another polishing.
The Moonphase of the watch requires two of these Moon faces to be created, but the winding rotor, responsible for helping automatically wind the watch with each movement of the wearer’s arm, also needed special treatment in order to be in harmony with the dial side view.
Stepan Sarpaneva: “Since the KORONA RG and WG are such special Moonphase watches, I felt that the rotor also had to be part of this special atmosphere. So I added another Moonphase on the rotor. It has the added effect of providing additional weight for the rotor, and it is always trapped in orbit around the watch’s center. Here again you sense my custom motorcycle building background – I see no reason why even the more functional parts can’t be attractive and nice to look at. So in total this is a Moon phase watch that has actually has three Moons on it, all in the same 18-carat gold as the case of the watch, either red or white”.
DIAL & ROTOR
The skeletonized dial and rotor in every KORONA RG and WG look so simple that one can easily forget the amount of work involved in producing them. Once the dial and rotor have been correctly sized in all dimensions, 260 individual holes need to be cut out of the dial, whose thickness measures a mere 0.3 mm. After this, each individual hole must be filed and finished, from both sides, therefore even the side that you will never see.
Stepan Sarpaneva: “This seems like a small thing, but if you don’t do it this way there is chance that light will catch in some holes and not in others, producing an uneven visual effect.”
The production of a completely assembled skeletonized dial and rotor, with all the additional parts and Moon faces installed takes a total of about a week of work to complete.
The watch’s base caliber is a new independent movement from the well-known and highly regarded Swiss manufactory Soprod S.A., who also provide movements and watches to several haute horlogerie brands today.
The base caliber is then further modified at the Sarpaneva workshop and fitted with new parts, all of which are manufactured in Finland. The entire movement is also re-finished, starting from the main plate, which receives gilding after hand finishing. The entire Moonphase mechanism gearing and parts are all designed and made in Helsinki as well. It includes quite a few parts with very small tolerances to insure perfect functioning, the smallest of which being only 0.15 mm thickness.
Different from other Moonphase calibers, the Sarpaneva design features correction via the crown, thus eliminating the need for any pushers on the case, greatly simplifying any correction if necessary. However, it should be noted that if the watch is regularly wound, the next correction for the Moonphase would only be in another 122 years!
Although the workshop is small and independent, the philosophy is for long-term results. For this reason a well-tested caliber was chosen for which there are always spare parts available, or parts that can be manufactured right in the Helsinki atelier.
SCOPE OF DELIVERY
For the new gold watches a special presentation box was designed and created by Stepan Sarpaneva, and is also manufactured in Finland. This wood and aluminum creation, embodying all the stylistic directness and raw energy of the timepieces, are also made by hand in small numbers that follow the limited production of the KORONA. An instruction booklet and guarantee certificate is included with each timepiece, covering a guarantee period of two years from the date of purchase.
Sarpaneva Watches is Finland’s only mechanical watchmaking company, solely dedicated to the design and production of mechanical wristwatches. Located in the country’s capital Helsinki, the workshop was started in 2003 by Stepan Sarpaneva after years of training in both Finland and Switzerland that covered watchmaking in all its varieties, including hands on experience at several of Switzerland’s major houses with highly specialized work on complications. The Sarpaneva workshop’s philosophy towards watchmaking is firmly anchored within Stepan Sarpaneva’s deep desire to express himself in more ways then solely through the purely mechanical side of watchmaking. For this reason his firm’s foundation is to unite a long-term and timeless visual design concept together with that of high quality mechanical watchmaking. Unlike the majority of brands on the market today, this is a fundamental aspect that sets Sarpaneva Watches apart from the rest; here is one man with the ability to create novel wristwatch designs as well as unite them with the mechanical know-how of a master watchmaker.
Photos by Ian Skellern at 2009 Baselworld for Horomundi