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May 2010

Victorinox Dive Master 500 Collection

Victorinox has recently introduced two new timepieces within their Dive Master collection. The Dive Master 500 Chrono and the Dive Master 500 Mecha. The chronograph is powered by a swiss quartz movement and the mechanical is powered by a swiss made ETA 2892-A2. The Dive Master Mecha was introduced last year, but they have added this deep blue version, which consists of a blue dial and strap. Both watches feature the black ice PVD finish that was introduced on last year's model (black ice PVD looks a shade lighter than most PVD).

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Blancpain Carrousel Sapphire

Introduced at Baselworld 2010, the Blancpain Carrousel Sapphire is quite an impressive timepiece. It features a rose gold case with a sapphire crystal on the front, back and on both sides of the case. It even features a sapphire crystal in place of the plates and dial, which creates the illusion that the movement is floating inside the case. It looks really cool in person. Another key feature, is the carrousel movement (a "carrousel" improves accuracy by negating gravity's effects, much like a tourbillon).

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Chronoswiss Hand-Skeletonized & Engraved Timepieces

Two beautiful limited edition Chronoswiss Zeitzeichen Skeleton watches that I photographed through the case at the Chronoswiss booth during the Baselworld 2010 show, made by engraver, Jochen Benzinger.

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Hands-On with the Jaeger-LeCoultre Master Compressor Extreme LAB2

The Jaeger-LeCoultre Master Compressor Extreme LAB 2 was introduced at SIHH 2010, in January. The Extreme LAB does not feature a tourbillon, perpetual calendar or a minute repeater. It does, however, have some very high-tech watchmaking functions and features, even if they are not considered "complicated" by traditional definitions.

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Jaeger-LeCoultre Reverso Squadra Chronograph GMT Palermo Open

Introducing the Reverso Squadra Chronograph GMT Palermo Open (originally announced at SIHH 2010). Developed in association with Argentinian polo champion Adolfo Cambiaso, this new model is the first Reverso with a rubber-coated 50.5 x 34.9 mm case combined either with stainless steel or pink gold (limited series of 500 timepieces). Powered by the Jaeger-LeCoultre Calibre 754 automatic movement (power reserve of 65 hours), the Reverso Squadra Chronograph GMT Palermo Open displays hours, minutes, seconds, large date, GMT (2nd time zone) and chronograph functions. Chronograph hours are displayed in the square subdial at 9 o'clock. Chronograph minutes are displayed at 3 o'clock. A 24-hour 2nd time zone is displayed in the subdial at 6 o'clock. An ultra-rugged high-tech fabric is used for the strap. Water-resistance 50 meters. Power-reserve 65 hours. Open-worked caseback. If you like the look of a classic

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Jaeger-LeCoultre Master Memovox International

The Jaeger-LeCoultre Master Memovox International was introduced at SIHH 2010, in January. It is based on the Memovox Wortimer, which was introduced 1958. Jaeger-LeCoultre also introduced a new version of the original Memovox, which I actually prefer because its a more simple dial. Originally, the Memovox was powered by a 489 Calibre, then the 916 Calibre, both new models are powered by the new 956 Calibre. The new calibre features improvements over the original, such as; a variable-inertia balance, fast-date setting, and ceramic ball bearings. The Memovox International, like the watch it replaces, features an alarm disc with 24 cities listed. This allows you to not only set an audible alarm to go off, using the crown at 2 o'clock, it also allows you to read the time in any of the 24 time zones. This is a great

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Jaeger LeCoultre Master Compressor World Chronograph

During my recent Jaeger-LeCoultre manufacture visit I had a chance to view and photograph the new Jaeger-LeCoultre Master Compressor World Chronograph, which was originally unveiled at SIHH 2010, in January.

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Jason Pitsch

The Jaeger-LeCoultre Manufacture

Jason Pitsch

In March, a day before Baselworld started, I had the opportunity to visit and tour one of my favorite manufactures, Jaeger-LeCoultre. About an hour outside of Geneva, in the French-speaking part of Swtitzerland, Jaeger-LeCoultre is situated in "the cradle of fine watchmaking" – the Vallee de Joux. Along with Jaeger-LeCoultre, the Joux Vallée is home to some of the world's top haute horology manufactures, including Audemars Piguet, Blancpain, Breguet, Frederic Piguet and more. In fact, on the way to the Jaeger-LeCoultre factory, coming from Geneva, you actually drive by Audemars Piguet and Frederic Piguet manufactures, which are all within minutes of each other. The Vallée de Joux consists of 10 villages in a valley of the Jura mountains. The Vallée de Joux Jaeger-LeCoultre Enamel workshop Custom engraved gold Reverso casebacks Jaeger-LeCoultre Special Hybris Mechanica collector's watch safe Hand-painted enamel timepieces

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U-Boat U-42 53mm Submersible Instrument

U-Boat watches are professional instruments and instrumentation. In a meeting with Italo Fontana, founder and designer of U-Boat watches, I learned that much of his inspiration comes from machines like racing cars, or jet fighters and the instrumentation found inside them. The successful Flightdeck collection and the lesser known Thousands of Feet series are examples of U-Boat watches that spawned from this passion. A second important source of inspiration for Italo's watchmaking career is a concept that his grandfather had proposed to the Italian Navy in 1942. The numerals and left handed configuration of U-Boat watches spurred from these drawings and were originally revived in 2009 by the giant, 65mm, U-1942. The limited edition U-42, unveiled in March 2010, is based on the U-1942 but scaled down to a 53mm size and to a more accessible price range. Italo Fontana's

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Hand Engraving and Hand Guilloché by Benzinger Watches

This is a high-defintiion video of master watchmaker Jochen Benzinger, who creates fully skeletonized hand engraved timepieces. In the video, Jochen Benzinger shows off his process for hand engraving a guilloché pattern on a movement. The video also features many of the watchmaking techniques that are used to produce a Benzinger timepiece. Including close-ups of hand engraving, skeletonizing, guilloché, flame bluing of parts, creation of frosted Breguet dials and more. Only about 100 watches leave the German workshop each year.

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