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October 2014

Hands-on with Platinum Frederique Constant Manufacture Heart Beat

Frederique Constant manufactured their first in-house mechanical movement in 2004. A feat that was not easily achieved. Ask anyone in the watch business how hard it is for an independent brand, or any brand for that matter, to produce their own movement in-house and they will tell you: it is very difficult. After beginning development in 2001, Frederique Constant succeeded in 2004, and now a decade later – they produce 15 calibers in-house. To celebrate 10 years of manufacture-status, the Geneva based brand has produced a collection of special edition Heart Beat models. Today, we are bringing you a hands-on look at the most exclusive piece from the collection: the Heart Beat Manufacture Silicium Jubilee edition “10 Years HBM.“ This 18 piece limited edition is presented in a mirror polished 42 mm diameter platinum case and is equipped with a

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Dark Knight: Romain Jerome Batman-DNA

To celebrate the 75th Anniversary of DC Comics’ Batman, RJ-Romain Jerome collaborated with Warner Bros. Consumer Products to create a 75-piece limited edition Batman wristwatch. The Romain Jerome Batman-DNA features the “Bat-Signal” applied in the center of the dial, filled with a black matt lacquer and surrounded with a black Superluminova C1 lume that glows blue. The hour and minute hands are black, skeletonized, satin-brushed and treated with a matching blue luminous material. A polished black RJ logo is at 12. The case is in black PVD steel and measures 46 mm in diameter. The lugs are faceted, and satin-finished in black PVD-coated steel. The bezel is faceted black PVD-coated steel, it has been polished and satin-brushed. The caseback features an engraved Batman medallion, with RJ’s signature “rough” finish.

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Auction Preview: Auctionata November 19th, 2014

As we mentioned earlier in the month, Auctionata has their first big New York City watch auction coming up November 19th, and here are some highlights of the timepieces. There will be over 100 pieces for sale, and the full catalog should be ready very soon.

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Lange 1 Tourbillon Handwerkskunst

Last week, A. Lange & Söhne celebrated the 20th anniversary of their most iconic timepiece by unveiling a special 20 piece limited edition Lange 1. The Lange 1 Tourbillon Handwerkskunst, is distinguished by a platinum case measuring 38.5 by 10.2 mm, a black enamel dial, and a one-minute tourbillon aperture visible at the lower portion of the dial. On the dial side, the tourbillon cock (bridge) is in steel and features a specular-polished finish, as well as a diamond endstone (a Lange signature on tourbillons). On the movement side, intermediate wheel and crown-wheel cocks as well as tourbillon bridge on the movement side in German silver, engraved by hand. The contour of the aperture for the tourbillon has meticulously polished chamfers. The Lange 1 Tourbillon Handwerkkunst has the brand’s patented stop-seconds mechanism, which was first released in 2008. According to

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Jason Pitsch

Rolex GMT Master II with black-blue bezel and black DLC case

Jason Pitsch

Personally, the GMT Master II with black and blue Cerachrom bezel is one of my favorite current production Rolex watches. And while I could never see paying extra money to coat it with a DLC treatment that effectively devalues the timepiece, and voids the factory warranty. The blacked out GMT Master II looks pretty badass, especially with the black and blue ceramic bezel. Rolex GMT Master II Black and Blue Ceramic bezel, introduced at Baselworld 2013 (Ref. 116710BLNR) Similar to Bamford, Ember Watches takes a factory Rolex and turns the 904L stainless steel surface to black with their own special coating. According to Ember, their process involves staining, polishing, sand-blasting and pearl-blasting the surface to achieve the black color. They can also customize the dial.

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H. Moser & Cie Venturer Small Seconds Bucherer Edition

Last week, H. Moser & Cie introduced the Venturer Small Seconds Bucherer Edition which pays tribute to Bucherer, the famous Swiss watch retailer which has been around since 1888. The watch is presented in an 18K white gold case that measures 39 mm by 12.5 mm and features an all-new midnight blue fumé dial, as well as an exclusive balance wheel and hairspring, created especially for this model. Applied indexes and hands in white gold create the perfect juxtaposition with the midnight blue sunburst pattern fumé dial, which is protected by a highly curved sapphire crystal. Inside, is hand wound caliber HMC 327, which was created with the help of sister company Precision Engineering AG which assists “with the in-house expertise necessary to design, develop, produce and assemble the highly-specialised technical components such as the balance wheels and hairsprings. This

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Hands-On with Piaget Vintage Inspired Black Tie

Yesterday, we got an exclusive preview of a new 1960s inspired timepiece that Piaget will launch at SIHH 2015. The Black Tie timepiece comes in a thin 40 mm by 45 mm 18K white gold cushion case, with a distinctive multi-stepped bezel (similar to the Piaget Beta 21) that has both satin-brushed and polished surfaces.

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The Patek Philippe Grandmaster Chime

Last week, during Patek Philippe’s 175th celebration in Geneva, the prestigious watchmaker launched 10 new references. The highlight was the Grandmaster Chime Ref. 5175. Watch the video to truly appreciate what went into this unprecedented, horological work of art. The Grandmaster Chime features rotating lugs to switch between the two dials and is presented in an 18K rose gold case measuring 47.4 mm by 16.1mm. The case is made up of 214 components and the entire exterior is decorated with intricate engravings, that were completely done by hand. The movement itself, caliber 300 GS AL 36-750 QIS FUS IRM, measures a whopping 37 mm by 10.7 mm, and consists of 1366 components, including 4 main spring barrels. It took 7 years to develop, 2 years to produce and is the source of six patents. And, with 20 complications in

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Breitling Transocean Chronograph Edition

Breitling has announced a new limited edition version of the Transocean Chronograph with a special two-tone dial and a double caseback. The 43 mm diameter stainless steel case has the same dimensions as the regular production version of the Transocean Chronograph. However, the crucial element that distinguishes this Transocean Chronograph from regular production models, is the unique officer’s caseback (double caseback). It has two casebacks: a solid steel caseback hinged on top of a sapphire crystal caseback. A configuration that offers the protection of a solid back and the ability to view the movement. Additionally, the inside of the solid caseback provides a place for a personalized inscription. The cream colored dial has two vintage style counters at 3 and 9 o’clock, with a date window at 6 o’clock. It is protected by a convex sapphire crystal with double glare-proofing.

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Ulysse Nardin Marine Chronometer Series "Blaktop"

Last week, Le Locle-based manufacturer Ulysse Nardin announced a the “Blaktop” Marine Chronometer. The newest addition to the Marine Chronometer Series comes in a 45 mm steel case that is coated with a black amorphous carbon layer that is hypoallergenic and highly scotch resistant. It is limited to 99 pieces, and will be available exclusively at mono-brand boutiques. The dial is matt black with a sunburst finish, and with hours marked by anthracite colored, applied Roman numerals. The skeletonized hour and minute hands are black with anthracite luminous material on the end of each. A matching skeletonized hand indicates continuous seconds in the subsidiary dial at 6 o’clock. A small dial at 12 o’clock displays the power reserve, along with a red indicator for when the mainspring is nearly out of energy. The flange has a printed minute track with

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