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Graham launches the NEW Chronofighter Trigger Tourbillograph

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(Graham Chronofighter Trigger Tourbillograp)

Extremely well known as “the father of the chronograph”, George Graham (1673-1751) has also been the man who had great ideas and invented the first wall chronograph or mercury pendulum.
Commissioned by the Greenwich Royal Observatory to create the master watch used by the astronomers, Graham became the first and great watchmaker of eighteenth century named by the Royal society. To continue with this spirit of extraordinary innovations and technical ability, Graham is nowadays a contemporary firm of watches dedicated to those who are enthusiastic about mechanic arts.

[Complete Graham’s history]


Graham debuts the Chronofighter Trigger Tourbillograph

Four years ago, Graham decided to make a timepiece in order to pay tribute to the genius of its namesake, famous British watchmaker George Graham. To achieve this goal, the brand joined with well-known movement manufacturer La Joux-Perret (with whom it partnered on the development of Graham’s chronograph foudroyante).
The result of years of making their best innovations, we are able to enjoy the result: the Automatic Chronofighter Trigger Tourbil-lograph, a combination of tourbillon and chronograph with a unique ‘British eccentric’ off-centre tourbillon.

The movement powering this timepiece is the Graham Caliber G1780, a tourbillon with column-wheel chronograph, known as ‘roue À colonne’ in French. Available in a 46mm 18 carat 5N red gold case, the new Tourbillograph features a domed sapphire crystal on the front and a flat see-through back. The frequency of its movement is 28,800, while the spiral, balance, escapement wheels and anchor are reinforced with an Incabloc anti-shock system. The Tourbillograph’s tourbillon cage weighs just 0.485 grams and is made of 48 pieces.
The Automatic Chronofighter Trigger Tourbil-lograph comes in five variations – Ruthenium, Havana, Raven Black, Carbon Black and All Black.

[Source: Europa Star Magazine Issue]

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Filed under: Brands History, Graham, Graham Chronofighter, Graham Chronofighter Oversize, Graham Launching, Graham Watch, Graham Watches, luxury watches, Mens, Watch, Watches, Watches Store & Jewelry Store, Womens

The History of Ulysse Nardin

Ulysse Nardin, born in 1823 in Le Locle, Switzerland, was an acomplished watchmaker having first been trained under his father, Leonard-Frederic Nardin and later perfected his skills with two master watchmakers, Frederic William Dubois and Louis JeanRichard-dit-Bressel.

Ulysse Nardin, the company, was founded in 1846 and remained under Ulysse’s control until his passing in 1876, when his 21-year old son, Paul-David Nardin took over.

Since the founding of the company, Ulysse Nardin was known for their high-quality and high-accuracy craftsmanship, so much so that they became known worldwide for their Marine Chronometers, the most accurate mechanical clocks ever made, achieving a precision of around a tenth of a second per day.

In exhibitions held at various locations, such as Paris, London, Tokio or Buenos Aires, Ulysse Nardin received a total of:
14 Grands Prix (First Prizes)
the “Prize Medal” (1862 – London International Exhibition)
the “Progress Medal”
10 Gold Medals
2 Prix d’Honneur
2 Silver Medals

Until 1967, one second was defined by the rotation of the earth, and because of this, competitive chronometer watches were calibrated and certified in an astronomical observatory. The Observatoire Cantonal de Neuchâtel was the main Swiss observatory where such certifications were done, and in 1975, when the accuracy of mechanical timepieces became irrelevant with the advent of quartz watches, it released a publication regarding the performance of chronometers from 1846 to 1975: of the 4504 certificates awarded in this period, 4324 went to Ulysse Nardin.

In 1983 Ulysse Nardin was purchased by a group headed by Rolf W. Schnyder, its current president. Mr. Schnyder brought in Dr. Ludwig Oechslin, a scientist, inventor, historian and watch-maker extraordinaire with whom they set out to design and develop complicated timepieces that had never before existed. The first example of this was the Astrolabium, introduced in 1985, part of the Trilogy of Time along with the Planetarium Copernicus (1988) and the Tellurium Johannes Kepler (1992).

The Ulysse Nardin Astrolabium, entered into the Guinness Book of Records in 1989 as the most complicated wristwatch ever made with 21 complications, indicates the position of the sun, the moon and the stars in the sky at any given hour as seen from Earth, as well as sunrise and sunset, dawn and dusk, moonphases, moonrise and moonset, eclipses of sun and moon, the month and the day of the week.

Filed under: Brands History, luxury watches, Mens, Ulysse Nardin, Ulysse Nardin Watch, Ulysse Nardin Watches, Watch, Watches, Womens

Piaget & Co Watches History

Piaget & Co. was founded in 1874 by Georges Piaget, a farmer who became a watchmaker in the village of La-Cote-aux-Fees. He decided to assemble watches in order to earn some extra money during the winters.

Not much is said about the company’s first years, only that his sons took over the business and run their father company through the First World War, the Second World War and the Great depression.

Before World War II, Piaget watches were sold through other companies which engraved their names on the dials. However, after World War II, Gerald and Valentin Piaget, the founder’s grandsons, took over the company and decided to give the company a turnover and place it in the marketplace following a plan. A new collection of wristwatches was released and caused an awesome sensation. The rest is history.

Foreign markets such as the United States opened up during the 1950s and this led to the establishment of branch offices in New York, Geneva and Germany. It helped that the company introduced a number of innovative movements during this period, such as the ultra-thin nine line “9P” movement. This allowed Piaget to create a popular series of elegant, ultra-thin wristwatches for both men and women. Another commercially successful movement was the “12P”, which was the world’s thinnest automatic watch movement until 1967.

In order to have a strict control of quality, the company bought up several case and bracelet manufacturers.

A few years late, Piaget’s market started to change its focus. The watches featured an appearance of fine jewellery.

Not only could the dials be found in a number of styles, but also the materials used became exotic. There were more jewellers than watchmakers employed by the House.

Nevertheless, though Piaget did not ignore the new quartz technology, it continued manufacturing mechanical wristwatches.

Companies such as Rolex and Omega began to dominate the sports watch field, Piaget took a very sensible decision: he decided to specialise in the dress and jewellery watches.

Piaget was recognized as one of the world’s most successful watch companies in the 1970s, thanks to successful model as the polo watches, which has an appealing solid gold bracelet.

Piaget successfully brought the counterfeiters in Hong Kong and Italy to court, putting an end to the problem.

Nowadays, Piaget is extremely well known for its ladies watches and solid gold dress watches.

Though complicated watches continue to be produced in limited quantities, most Piaget watches are jewellery-oriented. To wit, Piaget buys several thousand carats of the best quality gemstones, together with five tons of gold. It should also be mentioned that every component in a Piaget watch, besides the movement, is made of solid gold, even the dials.

Filed under: Brands History, luxury watches, Mens, Piaget, Piaget Watch, Piaget Watches, Watch, Watches, Water resistant, Womens

The History of Patek Philippe

Antoni Norbert de Patek was a brave and intelligent soldier who took part of the Polish rebellion against Russian domination in 1830. After that, Patek among other people were forced to leave Poland and it was in 1833 when this man settled down in Switzerland.

By this moment Patek started developing his artistic abilities and he began studying with the well known landscape artist, Alexandre Calame. Together with his passion for the art Patek bought his first watch movements and then sold completed watches to Polish clients. Soon he became a businessman buying and selling watches to an influential Polish clientele. Due to the growth on this business, he thought about performing his own watches company considering the possibility of having a partner and he chooses his friend Franciszek Czapek.

In 1839 Antoni Patek and Franciszek Czapek settled down a company named “Patek and Czapek”. At the beginning the company had no employees so they purchased movements from various companies specialized in the manufacturing of raw movements (ebauches), sent them to a case maker to be cased, and then finished them in their shop.

But in 1844 Patek met the young French inventor of the keyless winding mechanism; Adrien Philippe and he decided to start a new partnership leaving aside Franciszek Czapek. That was not an easy issue. Replacing Franciszek Czapek could mean loosing the current clientele and being in risk of bankruptcy. However, he made the decision. In 1845 Philippe became the head watchmaker and together with Vincent Gostkowski, Philippe and Patek signed an agreement. One of the clauses of the agreement stated that Patek was in charge of the general direction of the firm and for its marketing, Gostkowski of the accounting and correspondence, and Philippe responsible for the watchmaking. Patek was the only person entitled to make executive company decisions despite of the fact that Gostkowski and Philippe each received one third of the company’s profits. During these years the company bought unfinished movements from several companies, including Louis Audemars, Vacheron & Constantin, Breguet, Doloche, Dupan et Haim, Piguet et Fils, Le Coultre, among others for Patek & Cie, but they did not produce its own movements. Patek, being afraid Czapek would create a rival company, took his cautions in replacing Czapek in the partnership. But it was not enough because Czapek not only established a new company but also he made Patek`s clientele leave him. Soon Czapek`s company became a serious competition as well as Patek`s new partnership with Philippe started to succeed. Philippe introduced in 1850 the first ebauches distinct movements thanks to the machinery Philippe acquired for the company. The first ones were stamped with “PP” on the dial plate. After that, an important event would change Patek`s fortune. Queen Victoria was going to buy to Patek & Co. a small lady’s watch, about 30 mm. in diameter, which needed no key for win-ding or setting. This dated from 1857 when Queen Victoria attended the Universal Exhibition in London. And also did Prince Albert. With this immediately, Patek`s company gained prestige. Later, the company`s name changes to Patek Philippe & Cie. One by one, Patek`s financial problems began to disappear and he introduced his products on several markets such as Russia and also he supplied Rodanet of Paris, Peña in Madrid, Elimayer in Leipzig.

After world was divided into 24 time zones in 1870, most watchmakers tried to develop a device which would indicate the time in at least two different cities in the world. Later, Louis Cottier, an independent Genevan watchmaker created an ingenious universal time display mechanism that allowed watches to simultaneously indicate the local time in several cities. Cottier also created several series of universal time watches for Patek Philippe.

Patek Philippe constitutes one of the first watchmaking firms to enjoy business relations with the United States, signing an exclusive agreement with Tiffany & Co. New York. The firm is known in Latin America when business relations began with distributors Gondolo & Labouriau, in Rio de Janeiro.

Wearing a watch around the wrist was catching on, so watchmakers began challenging the integration of various complications into their new timepieces. Patek Philippe`s introduced his first perpetual calendar wristwatch in 1925. Apart from that, to indicate the day, date and month, considering the number of days of each month (29, 30, 31) and also the 29th of February in leap years, Patek Philippe`s displays the ages and phases of the moon. Patek Philippe`s general production introduced the first bracelet chronographs with or without a split-second mechanism and wristwatches with minute repeating.

The economic crisis of 1929 made the production to slow down throughout the 1930`s.

Although the economic problems, Patek Philippe`s continued developing its creativity and produced remarkable timepieces such as the “Calatrava” with triple date and perpetual calendar (with aperture), age and phases of the moon and minute repeating. This watch, the most complicated of its time, was encased in a new design named “Calatrava”.

The name Calatrava has historical origins that are dated from the middle-ages when a Spanish religious order defended the Calatrava citadel against the moors. At the end of the nineteenth century, Patek Philippe adopted the emblem of the brave Spanish knights as its brand symbol, which signs Patek Philippe watches today.

In 1932 the company was bought by two brothers: Charles and Jean Stern and since then the company became a family company; Mr. Philippe Stern, President and Mr. Thierry Stern, his son, Vice-President.

In 1976 Patek Philippe introduced the Nautilus sports watch collection and in 1993 the Gondolo collection.

The beautiful Patek Twenty~4® ladies watch was launched in 1999 and it is a modern interpretation of the Gondolo timepiece

Today Patek Philippe continues researching and developing new inventions and techniques for the watchmaking industry.

Patek is considered for many the best watches ever made.

Filed under: Brands History, luxury watches, Patek Philippe, Patek Philippe Watch, Patek Philippe Watches, Watch, Watches, Water resistant, Womens

Lancaster Ceramik Watches

In 1992, the first collections of LANCASTER ‘SWISS MADE’ watches come out.

These collections of mechanical watches, which included several new complications, were created by four Swiss ‘Maisons d’Horlogerie’ togl’.

In 1995 Lancaster completely modified its manufacture and business tactics.

The brand had only been regarded as a watch that only had some pieces which were produced and sold to the Italian market. Therefore, Alvea comes to the decision of having an industrial distribution.

In just one year and due to a strong advertising campaign, Lancaster mechanical watches, which turn into analogical, are able to reach the Italian market with more than 1.000 retail shops.

The brand decides to work towards new objectives such as establish new shops and search new markets.

In 1997 Basel Fair triumphed and its huge achievements allow Lancaster to sign distribution contracts in Lebanon, Greece, Kuwait, Saudi Arabia, Spain, France, Columbia, Spain, and Egypt, amongst others, introducing some sport watches collections with an excellent price/quality relation.

In 2000 Lancaster experienced a crucial year due to the change in fashion as regards watchmaking. Anyway, Lancaster decides to beat its competitors producing new ‘Fashion’ collections which were entirely different from the great mass offers which were available in the market at that time.

The first “Intrigo’ aluminum collections which featured colored dials and straps emerged, surpassing any competitors and being the center of attention and an article of imitations.

At the present time, Lancaster watches is an exceptionally popular brand in the field of watch brands, and, due to the success accomplished in 2000, began to boost the activities so as to help the Brand developed quickly.

Filed under: Brands History, Lancaster Ceramik Watches, luxury watches, Mens, Watch, Watches, Water resistant, Womens

Audemars Piguet History

Audemars Piguet long history dates back to 1875 when a then 23 year old Jules Audemars joined forces with a 21 year old Edward Piguet, also a trained watchmaker, both of them having learned their trade after finishing public school in their hometown of Le Brassus. At the time, Jules was fabricating complicated “ebouches” (blank watch movements, to be finished and fitted by a watch manufacturer) from a workshop he had set up at his parents farm, while Edward was working as a self employed “repasseur” (a master watchmaker who performs the final regulation on a watch). Thanks to orders pouring in from Geneva Audemars was forced to engage more watchmakers, one of whom was Edward Piguet, whom he knew from schooldays. Soon after, they decided to cease to work as suppliers to established firms and instead manufacture and market the complicated watches that were their mutual passion. Audemars, Piguet & Cie was thus born.

Almost from the beginning, Audemars was in charge of production and the technical side, while his partner Piguet focused on sales and management. This formula worked so well that it was maintained after the death of the founders: prime responsibility for technical matters lay with members of the Audemars family, while commercial affairs were in the hands of the Piguet family.

Audemars Piguet is the oldest watch manufacturer still owned by the founding family. A member of the Audemars or Piguet families has always sat at the board of directors since the company’s birth in 1882 and, thus, directly contributed to the destiny of the company.

Audemars Piguet’s watchmaking history timeline:

1899
A “Grande Complication” pocket-watch emerges from the Audemars Piguet work-shops. It is equipped with grand and small strike and minute repeater chiming on three gongs, with an alarm striking on independent gongs, perpetual calendar, deadbeat seconds, and chronograph with jumping seconds (fifth of a second indication,) and split-seconds hand.

1915
Audemars Piguet sets a world record that remains unmatched to this day, by creating the smallest five-minute repeater movement of all time.

1921
Audemars Piguet creates the first jumping-hour wristwatch driven by calibre HPVM10.

1946
Thanks to calibre 9”’ML which is a mere 1.64 mm thick, Audemars Piguet creates the world’s smallest hand-wound movement for a wristwatch.

1955
Introduction of the first Audemars Piguet wristwatch equipped with a perpetual calendar mechanism (calibre VZSSQP): this time-piece displays the “regular” irregularity of the months, while taking account of the leap years.

1972
Audemars Piguet creates the Royal Oak (calibre 2121), the first high-end steel sports watch, instantly recognizable thanks to its guilloché dial, its octagonal bezel secured with eight hexagonal screws, and its integrated bracelet. The watch is designed by Gerald Genta.

1986
A new world first: Audemars Piguet makes the first ultra-thin self winding tourbillon wristwatch (calibre 2870). The tourbillon carriage is the smallest ever made.

1989
Audemars Piguet creates the Dual Time, the first wristwatch to display the time in a second time zone and yet driven by a single self winding movement (calibre 2229/2845).

1993
Audemars Piguet launches the Royal Oak Offshore, designed for extreme sports. It features rubber clad pushers and crown, a massive (for the time) 44mm case and its water resistant to a depth of 100m. The watch is an instant hit.

1994
Whereas this mechanism had thus far only been integrated within pocket- watches, Audemars Piguet fits it within a wristwatch and presents the first hand-wound movement with grand and small strike and quarter repeater sounding on two gongs (calibre 2868).

1995
The Manufacture adds a split-seconds chronograph to its Triple Complication launched in 1992, thus giving rise to the first “Grande Complication” self winding wristwatch (calibre 2885).

2000
Celebrating the 125th anniversary of the company founding, the Jules Audemars Dynamograph wristwatch (calibre 2891) “Chiming Grand Strike” is added to the Audemars Piguet Classic Collection. It is characterized by a new qualitative indication: that of the torque supplied by the mainspring.

2002
For its 30th anniversary, the Royal Oak treats itself to the Concept watch. Its aesthetics are resolutely futurists; the materials used for its case, titanium and 602 alacrite, stem from cutting-edge technological research; and its original movement (calibre 2896) reaches new peaks of sophistication.

2004
Launch of the fourth piece in the Tradition d’Excellence Collection. Limited to 20 pieces, this Royal Oak hand-wound tourbillon chronograph has a double ten-day power-reserve indication and a 30-minute counter. The watch is equipped with the 2893 calibre. The case back and the bracelet are made of platinum 950.

2005
Audemars Piguet presents the Edward Piguet Moss Agate Tourbillon. This tourbillon is the world’s first watch to be equipped with a plate in moss agate, a natural semi-translucent mineral graced with a fine mottled pattern reminiscent of plant-life motifs.

Jules Audemars & Edward Piguet Audemars Piguet “Miniature Minute Repeater & Perpetual Calendar” Made for Cooke & Kelvey, London. Audemars Piguet Wristwatches with jumping hours – 1921. Audemars Piguet Royal Oak – 1972 14202ST.0.0944ST.01 1986 First self-winding ultra-thin tourbillon wristwatch – 1986. Audemars Piguet Royal Oak Dual Time 26120ST.OO.1220ST.02 Audemars Piguet Jules Audemars “Chiming Grand Strike” Audemars Piguet Royal Oak “Concept” 25980AI.0.0003KE.01 Audemars Piguet Royal Oak Tourbillon 25969PT.OO.1105PT.01 Audemars Piguet Edward Piguet Moss Agate Tourbillon

Filed under: Audemars Piguet, Audemars Piguet Watches, Brands History, luxury watches, Mens, Watch, Watches, Water resistant, Womens

The History of Graham

Extremely well known as “the father of the chronograph”, George Graham (1673-1751) has also been the man who had great ideas and invented the first wall chronograph or mercury pendulum.

Commissioned by the Greenwich Royal Observatory to create the master watch used by the astronomers, Graham became the first and great watchmaker of eighteenth century named by the Royal society. To continue with this spirit of extraordinary innovations and technical ability, Graham is nowadays a contemporary firm of watches dedicated to those who are enthusiastic about mechanic arts.

Open minded and with a great interest for interchanges among people working on the same field, Graham had undoubtedly approved the Swiss idea of re-establishing the British traditions of high watchmaking and recovered its rich patrimony.
The “British brand made in Switzerland” creates amazing wrist watches giving special attention to the design as well as the functions of the watch.
The Graham watches evoke a powerful fascination among experts and collectors who are moved by aesthetically funny objects, which convine exclusivity, originality and vanguard together with the excellence of traditional knowledge.

Filed under: Brands History, Graham, Graham Watch, Graham Watches, luxury watches, Mens, Movement, Watch, Watches, Womens

The History of Bulgari

Bulgari is one of the world’s leading manufacturers and retailers of luxury products. Since the very beginning, Bulgari traditionally focused on creating the highest quality jewelry and watches, expanded later into the production of perfumes, silk scarves and eye wear.

Bulgari’s history began in 1884 in Italy when Sotirio Bulgari, a Greek immigrant, opened his first shop on Via Sistina in Rome. Sotirio descended from a family of silversmiths. In 1905, with the help of his two sons, Costantino and Giorgio, a second shop was inaugurated on Via Condotti. The store quickly became a place where the aristocracy, the rich and the famous, came for unique high quality jewelry designs that integrated Greek and Roman arts. During the first decades of the 20th century, the two brothers developed a passionate interest in precious stones and jewels becoming the finest professionals in this craft. Giorgio devoted his life to the creation of a “Bulgari style”. Costantino compiled his studies and experiences in a book “Argentieri, Gemmari et Orafi d’Italia”, creating the most authorized and serious reference on Roman silver.

During the 1940’s, Bulgari introduced their first timepiece, the snake-watch inspired by the Art Deco period of the 1920’s. It was unique and extravagant, with bold coils of gem studded gold. Bulgari snake-watch quickly became an unmistakable attribute of jewel-watches.
In the 1960s Bulgari’s clientele included Italian nobility, South American political figure Evita Peron, American businessmen, like Nelson Rockefeller and Woolworth’s founder Samuel Henry Kress, and the U.S. Ambassador to Italy Clare Boothe Luce. In the 1970s Bulgari opened its first international store in New York, and later in Paris, Geneva and Monte Carlo. Bulgari re launched the snake-watch with the “Tubogas”, a flexible elastic gold bracelet entirely hand-made.
Although the company had created and sold pocket, lapel, and wrist watches for men and women throughout its history, Bulgari did not introduce a major collection of its timepieces until the late 1970s. The year 1977 saw the creation of the Bulgari Bulgari, with a double engraved logo on the perfect cylindrical section, which became the company’s most recognized and highest selling watch. In the 1980s, Bulgari remained in the high position of the jewelry market, expanding itself by opening several other stores throughout the world: Munich, London, Milan, Hong Kong, Singapore and Tokyo.

Most of the Bulgari watches have more then 200 pieces, some of which are 0,3mm, which demands extremely professional knowledge and skills of the master watchmaker. Bulgari is one of the few watch manufacturers able to produce timepieces with high-complicated movements. The Bulgari watches are made in the heart of the “watch valley” in Switzerland and are subject to the toughest tests to insure the highest standards of quality of their movements. Bulgari’s strategy of continuous search of perfection, technological development, spiritual beauty and original style led this company to be one of the finest and top selling watch-building companies in the world.

Filed under: Brands History, bulgari, bulgari watches, Bvulgari, luxury watches, Mens, Watch, Watches, Womens

The Beginnings of Breitling

Breitling was founded by Léon Breitling in 1884 in St Imier with the specific purpose to develop chronographs and counters for scientific and industrial applications. In 1892, to face up to the unstoppable growth of his company, Léon Breitling decides to relocate his workshops to La-Chaux-de-Fonds, metropolis of the Swiss watch industry in those days. Louis Breitling dies en 1914 and leaves his son Gaston Breitling in charge. One year later, Breitling creates the first wristwatch chronograph. Later, he continues to make several significant developments in this area and supplying the first wristwatch instruments to aviators. By 1923, Breitling develops the independent chronograph push piece. Gaston’s son, Willy Breitling takes over control of the company in 1932 and in 1934 Breitling adds a second push piece to the chronograph enabling either cumulative or incremental time recording giving the chronograph its current configuration. In 1936 Breitling becomes the official supplier to the Royal Air Force. Breitling introduces the Breitling Chronomat in 1942 – the first chronograph to be fitted with a circular slide rule. The company also widens its professional clientele to include the American armed forces. 1954 sees the creation of the Breitling Navitimer, a wrist instrument equipped with the famous “navigation computer”. This exceptional chronograph becomes the favourite among the pilots across the globe. By that time, Breitling was already supplying the major international airlines with cockpit clocks. In 1962, the astronaut Scott Carpenter wears the Breitling Cosmonaute chronograph during his orbital flight aboard the Aurora 7 space capsule. Along with Büren and Heuer-Leonidas, Breitling invents the self-winding chronograph in 1969. This technical feat represents a major breakthrough for the entire Swiss watch industry. Will Breitling dies in 1979. The company was subsequently bought by Ernest Schneider. Breitling launches, for its 100th year anniversary, the Breitling Chronomat which would later become Breitling’s best selling line in the collection. In 1985, the Aerospace, a titanium multi-function electronic chronograph, attracts the attention of a large number of pilots and 10 years later, Breitling presents the Breitling Emergency, with a built-in micro-transmitter transmitting on aircraft emergency frequency. In 1999, Breitling ends the century with the ambitious bet of subordinating the totality of its production to the Swiss Official Chronometer Control. In 2000, Breitling opens in Grenchen, Switzerland, its new headquarters. A year later, with the introduction of the Breitling SuperQuartzTM , Breitling proposes a mechanism ten-fold more precise than the standard ones due to its electronic mechanisms which are the only that fulfill the criteria of COSC. Today, Breitling is still established in La Chaux-de-Fonds, the town where Léon Breitling opened his first chronograph factory 110 years earlier.

Filed under: Brands History, breitling, Breitling History, Breitling Watches, luxury watches, Mens, Ref., Watch, Watches, Womens

The History of Chopard

By the middle of the 16th Century the watchmaking industry started developing in Switzerland when the Huguenots, French Protestants who were members of the Reformed Church, established in the region. Geneva and later the region of the Jura soon became the epicenter of the watchmaking industry .

During the windy months of winter in the region of the Swiss Jura, the country people dedicated their time to manufacture movements for Swiss precision pocket watches. Peasants received orders from Geneva through the Comptoirs, selling organizations which provided the peasants with the components of watch mechanisms in order to have them assembled. In spring they collected the finished movements and started trading. Until 1830 only watches with key mechanisms were produced in the region. In 1860 Louis Ulysse Chopard founded his company in the small village of Sonvilier. There is no record of the first years production but we know that since then it has produced watches that meet the highest standards of quality and precision. The first Chopard watch we know is a thick pocket watch with the signature Chopard e Sonviller.

By the middle of the 16th Century the watchmaking industry started developing in Switzerland when the Huguenots, French Protestants who were members of the Reformed Church, established in the region. Geneva and later the region of the Jura soon became the epicenter of the watchmaking industry.

During the windy months of winter in the Swiss region of Jura, the country people dedicated their time to produce movements for Swiss precision pocket watches. Peasants received orders from Geneva through the Comptoirs, selling organizations which provided the peasants with the components of watch mechanisms in order to have them assembled. In spring, they collected the finished movements and started trading them. Until 1830, only watches with key mechanisms were produced in the region. In 1860 Louis Ulysse Chopard founded his company in the small village of Sonvilier. There is no record of the first year’s production but we know that, since then, it has produced watches that meet the highest standards of quality and precision. The first Chopard watch we know is a thick pocket watch with the signature Chopard e Sonviller.



In order to identify his production from the rest, L.U Chopard focused on quality and precision and devel
oped the finest watches in Sonvilier. From the beginning of the 20th century on, domestic traditional watchmakers started disappearing gradually due to Industrial Revolution. Chopard decided that there was still a clientele for his watches and left to Eastern Europe. He visited Hungary, Poland and Russia and his watches reached CZar Nicholas II’s court. In 1920 the company moved to Ginebra. The period between the two World Wars was critic for many watchmakers and jewelers, but not for L. U. Chopard, his son and their watches. Louis Ulysse Chopard’s grandson, André-Paul Chopard, was the head of the firm until 1963 when he met Karl Scheufele III -member of a family with a great reputation in the jewelery business- and, finding himself with no descendants, decided to leave the company in the young man’s hands.

Filed under: Brands History, Chopard, Chopard History, Chopard Watches, luxury watches, Mens, Ref., Scratch Resistant Crystal, Stainless Steel, Watch, Watches, Water resistant, Womens

The History of Cartier

Cartier Louis-Francois Cartier took over the jewelry workshop of his master, Adolphe Picard, at 29, Rue Montorgueil in 1847. Due to his success he decided to move to a new establishment in the Rue Neuve-des-Petits-Champs, and then to the Boulevard des Italiens.

Paris was in the whirlwind of festivities and luxury which characterized the Second Empire. Princess Mathilde, a first cousin of Napoléon III, gave Louis-François Cartier a prestigious clientele, attracted to Paris by the 1867 Universal Exhibition.
The international elite was seduced by the brilliance of the creations of “a jeweler unlike any other”. Alfred Cartier, Louis-François Cartier’s son, helped his father. He was a clever businessman, an expert in precious stones, who quickly acquired fame throughout Europe.
A long friendship with the couturier C. F. Worth was beneficial for Alfred Cartier’s fame, and his eldest son Louis-Joseph married the Worth granddaughter and established a shop at 13, Rue de la Paix in 1898.
Russian nobility and eastern aristocracy became passionate devotees of the Cartier art and style. Every royal family visited the salons; the Prince of Wales, later Edward VII, proclaimed Cartier “Jeweller of Kings and King of Jewelers” and encouraged the establishment of Cartier London in 1902 under the responsibility of Jacques-Theodule Cartier, the younger son.
Louis Cartier created jewels and “objets d’art”, but he also retook watchmaking traditions which had been lost for over a century with pieces like the legendary mystery clocks, high fashion wristwatches, carriage clocks and jewelry watches with oriental Art Deco designs, including the daringly colorful “Tutti Frutti” jewels.
The accessory timepiece became one of the predominant forms of the activity and prestige of Cartier.
Quite early, Cartier took an interest in watchmaking. It was not long before a large number of fob and chatelaine watches appeared. In 1888 Cartier account books mentioned the first ladies’ wristwatches. In 1904, he created the Santos watch for his friend and client the Brazilian aviator, Alberto Santos-Dumont, although it did not go on sale until 1911. This success was to be followed by other models such as the Tonneau watch (1906) and the Tortue watch (1912).
By that date, Louis Cartier had begun the exclusive production of the first wristwatches at his establishment in Paris helped by Edmond Jaeger.
The third Maison Cartier, for which Pierre-Camille, the second son, was responsible, was founded in New York in 1909, moving to its current location of 653 Fifth Avenue in 1917.
After the First World War, Louis, with innate intuition, predicted the manners of a reborn woman during the period known “La Belle Époque”. Soon, the international elite returned to the salons in the Rue de la Paix, New Bond Street, and the Fifth Avenue. vThe Cartier Tank watch was introduced in 1919 and became Cartier’s most famous model. Louis
Cartier was inspired by the tough new war machine the Americans introduced to the fighting in Europe, the tank, to design a rugged yet beautiful watch that became a classic.
The early Cartier men’s wristwatches were all handmade in France, with movements by Jaeger, Cartier Paris and the European Watch and Clock Co, who manufactured complicated movements such as chronographs, minute repeaters, and digital wristwatches.
Louis Cartier achieved innovation, supported by the exceptional people who worked with him, who were joined by Jeanne Toussaint, who conducted the “S” department, a prefiguration of the “Les Must de Cartier”, which brought out original creations in enamel, silver and leather.

Cartier had a substantial influence in persuading the Parisian aristocracy to accept the idea of wristwatches for men, though the classic pocket watch was considered the only timepiece a gentleman should carry.
Louis Cartier undeniably laid the foundations of a new concept in luxury goods.
In 1925, the “Exposition des Arts Décoratifs” assured Cartier’s superiority in all the disciplines which made his fame.
The Wall Street crash in 1929 marked the beginning of austerity in design.
Louis Cartier entrusted Jeanne Toussaint with the responsibility for Haute Joaillerie (high jewelry design) from 1933 on. She controlled a universe of lapidaries, stone setters and designers. Under the influence of the Orient, she brought gold back to the reigning fashion. That same year Cartier obtained the patent for the “invisible setting” (called “serti mysterieux”).
When the Second World War began, Louis Cartier left France and Jeanne Toussaint took over in the interim at 13, Rue de la Paix. Two creations demonstrated just how she proved to be the perfect alter ego of Louis Cartier: the “oiseau en cage”, the symbol of the occupation, then the “oiseau liberé”.
Louis Cartier and Jacques died within six months of each other in 1942. Pierre died in Switzerland in 1964. With the death of the three brothers, the Cartier Empire split up.
In 1968, Robert Hocq, the first maker in the world of gas cigarette lighters, created a luxury lighter which he licensed under the brand name of Cartier. It quickly revolutionized the market.
Four years later, a group of investors brought together by Joseph Kanoui took control of Cartier Paris and placed Robert Hocq as President. Hocq was fascinated by the past of this fabulous Maison, and became immersed in it, but at the same time brought a breath of youth and modernism in the organization and its new creations.
In 1973, he finished “Les Must de Cartier” in cooperation with Alain Dominique Perrin, who was then in charge of the Cartier lighter, and to whom he gave the responsibility of the development and management. That same year, the first “Must de Cartier” boutique was opened in Biarritz, followed by one in Singapore.
The Cartier watch created to honour the aviator Santos Dumont was redesigned in 1978 and t was redesigned in 1978 and called Santos de Cartier. 1979 saw the historic culmination of the reunification of Cartier’s interests throughout the world, with the creation of Cartier Monde, reuniting and controlling Cartier Paris, Cartier London and Cartier New York. After the accidental death of Robert Hocq in December of the same year, Joseph Kanoui was appointed Chairman of Cartier Monde.
During the 1980’s Cartier added approximately 100 different models to its line and always remained one step ahead of the competition. Cartier’s first perfume was created in 1981: Must de Cartier. In 1982, Micheline Kanoui assumed responsibility for jewellery design and launched her first collect ion “Nouvelle Joaillerie”.
In 1984, Alain Dominique Perrin founded the “Fondation Cartier pour l’art Contemporain” (the Cartier Foundation of Contemporary Art) by forming an association between th e firm and living artists.
The next year as a tribute to power, Cartier create d the Cart ier Pasha watch.
The Cartier group purchased the greater part of Piaget and Baume & Mercier holdings in 1988 and, in 1989, saw the triumph of the first great “l’Art de Cartier” exhib ition at the Petit Palais.
In 1991, aiming to increase the influence of High Watchmaking, Alain Dominque Perrin established an international foundation, “Comite International de la Haute Horlogerie”. In April that same year the 1st Salon International de la Haute Horlogerie was held. This place in Geneva became the annual meeting point for professionals in High Watchmaking, which now cou nts 1 6 watchmaking brands.
In 1992, Cartier held its second great “l’Art de Cartier” exhibition at the Hermitage museum in Saint Petersburg. The same year the publication of the book entitled ‘l´Objet Cartier” bore witness to the wealth and diversity of the objects created by Car tier for almost 150 years.
October 1993 saw the creation of the “Vendôme Luxury Group” bringing together the brands of Cartier, Alfred Dunhill, Montblanc, Piaget, Baume & Mercier, Karl Lagerfeld, Chloé, Sulka, Hackett, Seeger, and J ames Purdey and Sons.
In 1994, the Cartier Foundation moved to the Rive Gauche and opened their new headquarters, an architectural work of art designed for them by t he ar chitect, Jean Nouvel.
In 1995 the Cartier Pasha C watch was created to celebrate the 10th anniversar y of the Pasha de Cartier.
1996 was a very important year for Cartier. The Cartier Tank Francaise watch was created.
Cartier began the new century: the Cartier Roadster watch was born in 2002 and, in 2004, Cartier creates the Cartier Santos 100 watch to celebrate the 100th anniversary of the Cartier Santos watch created by Louis Cartier in 1904. Finally in 2005, the Cartier Pasha 42mm watch was introduced.
Shaped watches, simple or complication watches, all evoke a know-how and love of the craft that the jeweller-watchmaker has always succeeded in renewing and enriching. Watches that go down in history, forming the heritage of a Maison that is recognised throughout the world and that seems to em body an eternal aesthetic.
For the future, Cartier wishes to develop and nurture its specific style, and perpetuate its unique expertise.

Filed under: Brands History, cartier, Cartier History, Cartier Watch, luxury watches, Ref.

Tag Heuer Watches History

TAG Heuer is one of the leading watch manufacturers in the world and the fourth most important watch vendor in the wristwatch market. Its company motto “Swiss Avant-Garde Since 1860” characterizes the company’s spirit, which is the fascination with excellence in design and advanced technology. Progress, precision and innovation always were the expression of the very core of TAG Heuer’s philosophy.
It was in 1860, when Edouard Heuer established his first workshop in St. Imier, Switzerland. It gave birth to the world’s reference of the most reliable and prestigious sports watches. In 1869, Heuer invented and patented the first stem-winding system. In 1911, Heuer launched his first dashboard chronograph developed for automobiles called “Time of Trip”. Five years later, Heuer patented Micrograph, the world’s first wristwatch with chronometer function, capable of measuring 1/100th of a second. In 1920, for the first time, the company officially time-kept the Olympic Games competitions.
In 1933, Heuer introduced the Autavia, the dashboard timer used for automobiles and airplanes. Afterwards, the Monte Carlo and the Master-Time were launched. In the 1950-70s, Heuer timepieces were utterly popular in auto sport.
The Autavia chronograph was launched in 1962. Two years later, after Juan Manuel Fangio’s triumph during the “Carrera Panamericana Mexico” races, Jack Heuer launched Carrera chronograph watch paying tribute to this excellent race car driver from Argentina. Due to its exceptional success, the Carrera chrono converted into the company’s icon.
Again, in 1966, the Heuer company confirmed its status of pioneer in time measuring by manufacturing the world’s first chronograph, capable to measure the 1/1000th of a second.
In 1971, the Heuer Monaco watch became highly famous after Steve McQueen wore it in a movie “Le Mans”. That line was called “Steve McQueen Monaco Edition”.
The TAG Group Holdings SA bought the Heuer company and became TAG Heuer in 1985. The acronym TAG stands for Techniques d’Avant Garde.
In 1992, TAG Heuer turned into the official timekeeper of Formula 1 races, that rose its status even more. The year 1999 brought important changes: the TAG Heuer company was purchased by the LVMH (Louis Vuitton Moët Hennessy S.A.), a leading luxury goods company.
TAG Heuer opened its first shop in New York in 2002. Two years later, TAG Heuer introduced its revolutionary Monaco V4 with a belt-driven movement, and a newly patented world’s first chronometer, capable of measuring the 1/10,000th of a second.
At the same time, TAG Heuer introduced to the world its completely new haute couture collection, including the fine Diamond Fiction wristwatch, which has approximately 900 diamonds. It shows time by lighting an LED from behind of thousands of tiny diamonds. With that superb collection TAG Heuer attested to its ability of the luxury-oriented first class company.

To promote its watches TAG Heuer employed several brand ambassadors, among them: Tiger Woods, Brad Pitt, Maria Sharapova, Lewis Hamilton and others.

Filed under: 2000 Series, Aquaracer, Brands History, Carrera, Formula 1, luxury watches, Porffesional Golf Watch, Ref., TAG, tag heuer, Watch, Watches

The Baume & Mercier Watches History

Coming from a small town in Switzerland, Paul and Jean Baume founded, in 1610, on of the biggest Swiss watchmaking companies. Baume & Mercier trade mark was officially registered in 1920 at Geneve. The company comes into being with the encounter of two men: William Baume, a talented watchmaker and grandson of the founder, and Paul Mercier, the son of a Tsarist officer and a great art-lover.

The Baume family settled in Montagne des Bois (Swiss Jura) coming from a small town Baume-les-Dames. In 1610, Paul and Jean Baume found the parish of les Bois nearby La Chaux-de-Fonds, which has nowadays become one of the principal Swiss watchmaking localities. Thanks to a longstanding watchmaking tradition, Louis Victor and Pierre Joseph Célestin Baume establish, in 1830, the “Société Baume Fréres” which they officially registered in 1834. Their pledge to quality and innovation remains uncontested at the beginning of the third millennium.
In 1855 The Baume Brothers introduced the Lépine calibre in the Jura region. Because of their interest in state-of-the-art innovations, the Baume brothers quickly understood the merits of the new calibre
developed by Jean Antoine Lépine in 1760. Thinner, more elegant and more precise, it is still the basis of the calibre that is currently used. In the period of 1890’s the Brume’s company distinguished itself at chronometer competitions organized by the Kew Observatory in England. In 1887, it obtained the highest score for a split-seconds chronograph. 1893 was an unprecedented year with a 91,9 out of 100 score awarded to a Baume chronometer with a tourbillion movement. Until 1910, Baume watches continue to receive numerous awards, including 5 gold medals won at diverse universal exhibitions. Baume & Mercier trade mark is officially registered in 1920 at Geneve.
The company comes into being with the encounter of two men: William Baume, a talented watchmaker and grandson of the founder, and Paul Mercier, the son of a Tsarist officer and a great art-lover. On 10 March 1921, less that one year after registering the brand, the Geneva Canton awards Mr Baume and Mr Mercier with a diploma certifying that their watchmaking house holds a record for the highest number of stamped Hallmark pieces by the Official State Bureau. Baume & Mercier creates international well known models, such as the Marquise. The concept of being a bracelet before being a watch has inspired the brand once again in 2002 for its new collection, a watch and a bracelet dressed in gold and diamonds.
In 1972 Baume & Mercier creates the
Riviera. 12 sides for the 12 hours, this dodecagonal watch originated a revolution according to the watchmaking aesthetics criteria of its time. In 1987, the Linea watch was created, a genuine watchmaker’s jewel. This watch, that firmly inscribes itself as a worthy asset to the brand’s heritage, continues to be the most sought after models. In 1994 Baume & Mercier produced the Birth of the Hampton model. It success made of it a watch a myth in less than a decade. Faithful to its traditions, Baume & Mercier launched the CapeLand in 1998, which strongly affirmed itself among the highest quality automatic chronographs. In 2000, the Hampton family enlarged with the birth of a new gold watch that featured a more curved shape camber, the Hampton Milleis.
The big-scre
en era, doted with a panoramic 16/9-watchcase format, the new Hampton Spirit pays tribute to the all-pervading presence of media and television screens in 2002.
The
Hampton City collection introduced an innovative design inspired directly by the latest architectural creations achieved in major cities in 2003. 2004 was the 10th Anniversary Special Hampton collection.
The
Hampton line celebrated its 10th birthday with the creation of the “Special Hampton 10 years’ Collection’, which highlighted the ties among the four Hampton families: Classic, Milleis, Spirit and City. For over 150 years, the Baume brother’s watchmaking legacy has been enhanced with the introduction of a great number of models that have each identified their time. Today, Baume & Mercier remains firmly dedicated to its secular know-how to enter with the same standards into the third millennium.

Filed under: Baume et Mercier, Brands History, luxury watches, Watch, Watches

Rolex Submariner Watch

THE SUBMARINER

In 1954 Basel, Rolex presented the Submariner model, Rolex pride. The model number 6204 watch was waterproof to a more realistic 200 meters (or 660 feet). It was sold as the watch that was the diver’s friend. When the development of the SCUBA (Self Contained Underwater Breathing Apparatus) diving as a sport really began to take off toward the end of the fifties, a reliable watch was needed as much as a reliable oxygen tank. Rolex developed the Submariner 6204, which had simple parallel hands and it had no protective shoulders by the winding crown and the rotating bezel had only five minute markers. Two years later, this model was replaced by two Submariner models. Theses ones were: the 6538 model (waterproof to 660 feet) and the 6536 model (waterproof only to 330 feet), commonly known by collectors as the “James Bond” models. Then, although the model was redefined it kept the same model number and it introduced a more robust case with bezel markings for the first 15 minutes and a red triangle at the 12 position. Besides, it featured a larger “Triplock” style crown which had the “Brevette” sign under the crown or patented around the circumference. The watch had an officially certified chronometer powered by the new 1030 movement.
When model 5512 was launched in 1959, the new case featured the protective shoulders which defended the weakest part of the watch from inadvertent knocks and harms underwater. The new Submariner was launched on the back of Jacques Piccard’s latest adventure where he dove into a new record depth of 25, 798 feet (10.916 meters). The watch was exposed to pressures of over seven tons per square inch, the watch was found in perfect conditions with no evidence of moisture inside the case.
In 1965, when the 1565 calibre movement was fitted to the Submariner divers had the joy of combining the benefits of both chronometers movements and date function in one watch. The new model’s number was: 1680.

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Filed under: Brands History, Mens, Rolex, Rolex Accuracy, Rolex Chronograph, ROLEX HISTORY, Rolex Oyster, Rolex Perpetual, Rolex Prince, Rolex Submariner, Rolex Watch, rolex watches, Watch, Watches, Womens

Rolex Explorer Watch

THE EXPLORER

With black dial, large luminous triangle marker at 12 and luminous Arabic numerals for the other quarters, The Explorer is one of the most recognizable Rolex watch together with the Datejust. An explorer watch is the one that has its dial described. It was first designed and made in honor of Edmund Hilary and Tenzing Norgay, the first to reach the summit of Everest wearing Rolex watches. The Explorer was design for explorers and so it had a high visibility dial, an extra strong case and, under request, they could even be lubricated with a special oil which could withstand temperatures between -20ºC and + 40 ºC without changes in its viscosity. The Rolex Explorer line was designed with extremely challenging conditions in mind. This Rolex watch line was the one that received first the triangle marker at the top of the dial.

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Filed under: Brands History, Mens, Rolex, Rolex Accuracy, Rolex Chronograph, Rolex Datejust, Rolex Explorer, Rolex Oyster, Rolex Perpetual, Rolex Prince, Rolex Watch, rolex watches, Watch, Watches, Womens

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