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January 2011

SIHH 2011: Panerai Luminor Submersible 1950 3 Days Automatic Bronzo

At SIHH 2011, Officine Panerai launched a new diver watch with an unconventional case material, bronze. Bronze is an alloy made of copper and tin, or copper and another metal. In this case, Panerai used an alloy of copper and pure tin (CuSn8) , which is very resistant to corrosion. The new Luminor Submersible 1950 3 Days Automatic Bronzo (PAM00382) features an imposing 47 mm case, a case that over time will acquire a patina that shows its age, something collector's will surely appreciate. The movement is the in-house caliber P.9000, designed by Panerai in Neuchâtel. The caseback is sapphire, secured by titanium (because it is hypo-allergenic). A leather strap, with a vintage finish, and a titanium buckle is included. Limited to 1,000 pieces worldwide.

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Interview: Xetum Founder Jeff Kuo

1- Please tell us a little about your new brand Xetum. We launched Xetum's first collection in late 2009, with the objective of offering distinctive Swiss automatic timepieces in an accessible modern aesthetic. Each piece in our collection is designed to draw your attention in an understated and nuanced way. A watch is something that many men wear every single day, so it needs to really embody your personality. It has to do so in a way that is noticeable, but not distracting, and it needs to be suitable for many different situations (for example, professional and casual occasions). Mechanical watches, in particular, are something that people keep for a long time, so the aesthetic needs to have endurance, and not be driven by fleeting trends. At Xetum, we have tried to balance these, and many other factors into

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The URWERK UR-110

URWERK recently unveiled their newest timepiece, the UR-110. As usual, the design and case shape have the signature controversial ultra modern design, a genre they invented. Their timepieces generally look like some sort of spaceship, much like the work done at MB&F, and this new timepiece is no different. Beyond the crazy design is a fully functional mechanical timepiece, and to me, that is the real beauty of these watches - how they work that is. And of course, the unique way in which they tell time.

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Christophe Claret Adagio

After introducing the Dual Tow in 2009, under his own brand name, haute horology watch manufacture Christophe Claret has created another complicated limited edition timepiece, the Adagio. Christophe Claret runs an independent watch manufacture that develops and manufactures ultra high-end timepieces for clients such as DeWitt, Harry Winston and many others, but ever since 2009, he has also utilized a portion of his production capacity, to create ultra limited edition haute horology timepieces bearing the Christophe Claret designation.

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A. Lange & Söhne Saxonia Dual Time

A. Lange & Söhne introduced a number of innovative new timepieces for 2011, including the new top of the line Richard Lange Tourbillon Pour le Mérite, which I previewed in December. Lange also added a very unique new acoustic function to their popular Zeitwerk collection, the Zeitwerk Striking. These two pieces have received most of the press so far, but quietly within the redesigned Saxony collection, Lange has unveiled a beautiful new dual time zone watch for frequent travelers - the Saxonia Dual Time. This is A. Lange & Söhne's first dual time zone watch. The new dual time zone timepiece is simple and elegant, and instead of displaying the date, like many other dual time zone watches, Lange chose to go the minimalist route, and instead left the date completely off. Some people may complain about the lack of

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SIHH 2011: IWC unveils Portofino Collection and Santoni Straps

The headline for IWC at this year's SIHH show was their new Portofino watch collection, and accordingly, the IWC booth was decorated inside to look like Portofino, Italy. Portofino is a small Italian fishing village and tourist resort located in the province of Genoa on the Italian Riviera. The town crowded round its small harbour is considered to be among the most beautiful Mediterranean ports. The new Portofino collection, is available in four different models: the Portofino Hand-Wound Eight Days, Portofino Dual Time, Portofino Chronograph and Portofino Automatic. The pieces vary in case diameter from 40 mm to 45 mm. The automatic is 40 mm, the chronograph is 42 mm and the Dual Time and Hand-Wound Eight Days are both 45 mm. The automatic and chronograph have solid casebacks, and the Dual Time and Hand-Wound Eight Days have sapphire

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SIHH 2011: Vacheron Constantin Historiques Aronde 1954

At SIHH 2011, Genevan watch brand, Vacheron Constantin, who has been existence since 1755, unveiled a new timepiece within their Historiques collection. The collection consists of watches that are inspired by original timepieces from Vacheron Constantin's past. In this case, Vacheron Constantin chose to resurrect a beautiful rectangle timepiece from their archive, the Aronde.

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SIHH 2011: Audemars Piguet Royal Oak Offshore Chronograph

At SIHH 2011, Audemars Piguet unveiled three new versions within their iconic Royal Oak Offshore collection. The new design is more understated than the audacious Royal Oak Offshore Grand Prix, which was unveiled this time last year. The new Royal Oak Offshore Chronographs use flat pushers, like those on the famous Ruben Barrichello ROO timepiece. Three new versions are available, one is stainless steel, one in forged carbon and one in pink gold - all have a hard black ceramic bezel. The Offshore collection now has a sapphire exhibition caseback, like the Jarno Trulli ROO (hopefully, the sapphire caseback will become a standard feature). This allows the wearer to easily admire the beautifully hand finished 3126 in-house AP chronograph movement, including the signature partially skeletonized rotor. The Royal Oak Offshore Chronograph is a classic sports timepiece, and the 44

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HD3 Slyde Introduced at GTE 2011

HD3 Complications, a high-end boutique brand, that previously made hundred thousand dollar timepieces, has decided to completely change their product focus. After their movement supplier went bankrupt in 2009, a year when the entire luxury watch market was forever changed, Jorg Hysek had to think of a new product. Instead of continuing with ultra high-end timepieces, Jorg Hysek and his team at HD3 decided to enter a totally different watch category. The category they chose, did not actually exist, as nobody makes $5,000 digital touch screen watches. The new timepieces feature the quality and materials that you expect from a typical Swiss mechanical watch, but with a totally new type of dial and interface - a digital touchscreen.

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SIHH 2011: La Monégasque by Roger Dubuis

The Richemont Group's contemporary haute horology brand Roger Dubuis (which was purchased in 2008) has recently implemented a number of changes within their product lines, although, aside from evolutionary changes to the designs and movements, for the most part, the core collections have stayed mostly the same. For SIHH 2011, they did, however, bring one completely new timepiece collection to market, the La Monégasque Chonrograph. I actually had a chance to preview the case design of this new model during a recent tour of the Roger Dubuis factory, but previewing the actual timepiece is obviously more preferable, as you can actually see what it will look like, as opposed merely seeing an empty plastic case. I was pleasantly surprised when I saw the finished version of this new timepiece, as it is more appealing than I had imagined it

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