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May 2011

Duomètre à Quantième Lunaire Limited Series

Jaeger-LeCoultre has just announced the Duomètre à Quantième Lunaire in a limited series of 200 pieces. The Jaeger-LeCoultre Duomètre Chronograph was the first Dual-Wing movement watch. The Quantième Lunaire uses the same Dual-Wing concept (originally introduced in 2007), except, instead of a chronograph function, it features a date and moonphase function. Jaeger-LeCoultre's Dual-Wing movement uses two separate power supplies. One power supply is entirely dedicated to displaying the time (hour, minute and seconds hands), the date and moonphase, the other is dedicated to and regulated by the escapement and balance. Both are synchronized through the jumping seconds hand mechanism (foudroyante) driven by the escapement. The Duomètre à Quantième Lunaire Limited Series comes in a 42 mm polished and brushed 18k white gold case with a matte black dial with applied numeral and matte black alligator leather strap with 18k white

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Most Wanted: Watches at Baselworld 2011

I. Breitling Montbrillant Navitimer The Breitling Montbrillant Navitimer Caliber 01 is a vintage inspired timepiece that looks like a chronograph from the 1940s or 1950s. The case is downsized 40 mm case, for a more vintage feel. It has the old Breilting "B" logo on the dial. Breitling has fitted this special timepiece with their in-house column-wheel chronograph movement, the Caliber 01. Retail from $8,540, Breitling Ladoire Mr. Race The Black Widow Mr. Race is the newest version of Ladoire Geneve's beautiful regulator watch. It is not a traditional regulator, instead of hands for displaying the hours, minutes and seconds, it uses patented rotating discs (the seconds disc rotates backwards). There is also a GMT function, controlled by a huge hour corrector on the side of the case. The pusher is ultra smooth, which is a sign of superb craftsmanship.

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Carl F. Bucherer Patravi Travelgraph Baselworld 2011

Introduced at Baselworld 2011, the Carl F. Bucherer Patravi TravelGraph combines two popular functions, a chronograph and GMT. The movement is an ETA, however, CFB has invested over a million dollars in the development of in-house GMT and chronograph modules which have been added to the base movement. The resulting caliber is called the CFB 1901. The caliber 1901 has a second time zone function (GMT) that is displayed by the red hand and a bi-directional 24-hour bezel (similar to a number of GMT watches, the TravelGraph displays a third time zone). The local time is displayed by the central hour hand, and can be set without affecting the timekeeping because the movement continues to run even while the setting mechanism is used (the date also moves in relation to hour hand). The 1901 not only features a GMT

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Hands-On With The De Bethune DB22

The DB22 is a beautiful piece of modern haute horology from Swiss watchmaker De Bethune. De Bethune was originally founded 9 years ago, and since then has already produced 11 in-house calibers, resulting in 9 patents. This is an impressive feat for any watch brand, especially one of this size.

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"Blackout" Rolex Explorer

The Explorer II is one of the best Rolex watches to buy for the money. And aside from the Steve McQueen Explorer, and a few other references, Explorer IIs are still fairly easy to find. This could change soon though. Especially, with the introduction of a brand new Explorer II at Baselworld, which has definitely caused a lot of controversy. The predecessor was 40 mm, which is perfect according to purists, but the incoming model is 42 mm, something purists hate. Either way, there are going to be plenty of people who like the new models, and plenty that like the older models. I'm personally in the latter category.

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1950s Breilting Split Chrono Ref. 783

Tomorrow, in Geneva, Antiquorum will be auctioning off six pre-owned Breitling timepieces. Of the Breitling lots, the circa 1950 Breiltling Split Chrono Ref. 783 (shown above), lot 52, is the most rare. And accordingly it has the highest estimate of among Breilitng pieces at $11,000-$18,000. I'm not sure exactly how hard this particular model this particular reference is to find, but I have found one other Ref. 783, which sold for $13,570 May 2009 at Christie's. Both versions are similar, however, the one that previously sold at Christie's has painted hands and markers, whereas the one coming up for sale tomorrow has solid pink gold hands and markers. The pink gold hands and hour markers are preferable to me, especially now that they've aged so nicely.

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MB&F HM3 Black Frog Zr

During Baselworld, MB&F allowed me to preview and photograph their newest timepiece, the HM3 Frog Zr (however, the images/text have been embargoed until today). The Frog Zr is a limited edition variation of the original HM3 Frog. The new variation features a zirconium (Zr) case that has been given a black PVD treatment and a flamboyant purple rotor. This rare HM3 Frog Zr is a limited to 18 pieces and available exclusively from MB&F's retail partners in Los Angeles, Greenwich, Mexico City, Paris, London, Interlaken, Kiev, Singapore, Kuala Lumpur, Bangkok, Taichung and Macao.

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Jason Pitsch

Interview: Laurent Picciotto of Chronopassion

Jason Pitsch

JP: How did you get started in the watch industry? LP: I started in the watch industry because my father gave me an interest in watches because he was a watch addict. When I was 27 I opened my shop as the shop of our dreams, only watches and only the brands I like. It was a mixture of institutional, historic brands and niche brands right at the beginning with an opulent choice.

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Ulysse Nardin Freak Diavolo Rolf 75

The late Rolf Schnyder turned 75 last year, and to celebrate Ulysse Nardin created the Freak Diavolo Rolf 75. The Freak is Ulysse Nardin's most important halo timepiece collection, and a project that Mr. Schnyder took great pride in ever since the original Freak was introduced in 2001. Here is a quote from the late UN founder, "I fell in love with this grand old brand and our new innovative direction. To celebrate my 75th birthday, I've chosen the Freak because it was an historic breakthrough for Ulysse Nardin and for the watch industry in general, and it is by far our most important piece." In a tribute to the Freak's importance, and to the importance of Mr. Schnyder to the Ulysse Nardin brand, one of these watches remained on Rolf Schnyder's wrist during his cremation.

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Baselworld 2011: Breguet Classique 5717 Hora Mundi

Breguet introduced Classique 5717 Hora Mundi with the world's first mechanical instant-jump time-zone display system with synchronized date, day/night and city indications. This complication allows the wearer to preselect, from among the 24 time zone cities listed, two cities for which to display the local time. The wearer can then change from one to the other by simply pressing on the combined crown/pushpiece at 8 o'clock, which triggers an instant jump.

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