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February 2013

The Greubel Forsey Art Piece 1, Featuring Micro-Sculpture Inside

Introduced in Geneva last month, the Greubel Forsey Art Piece 1 is an amazing collaboration between watchmaker and artist. It features a 30° inclined double tourbillion, combined with a micro-scultpture, created by renowned artist Willard Wigan. The sculptures that Wigan creates are so small they are not even visible to the naked eye. So small intact, that Greubel Forsey had to build a microscope into the timepiece. This is unchartered territory, so it was no easy task to produce a microscope that has a large opening and enough light for a human eye to see in, without making the optic too big that it would ruin the proportions of the timepiece.

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TAG Heuer Baselworld Teaser

Yesterday, we sat down with TAG Heuer SA Vice President Guy Sémon, to discuss the brand’s high tech watchmaking efforts. Specifically, we discussed the brand’s highly complicated dual architecture timepieces: the Mikrograph, the Mikrotimer, the Mikrogirder and the Mikrotourbillon S. These cutting-edge ultra-high frequency timepieces act as a halo for the brand, they show off the technical prowess of TAG Heuer. But, Sémon was careful to mention that all of these efforts — although important for their image — are ultimately designed with the goal of being used in regular timepieces. With the idea that accuracy (or chronometry - the advancement of watchmaking) is what is most important. If you haven’t yet seen what a 5/10,000th of second chronograph hands looks like as it sweeps around the dial 20 times per second. The watch is mechanical, yet it operates at

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The Van Cleef Lady Arpels Ballerine Enchantée

In Geneva this past January, Van Cleef & Arpels launched a new Poetic Complication timepiece for women, the Lady Arpels Ballerine Enchantée. The dial features a ballerina, whose tutu, is actually a retrograde time indicator. Due to the massive amount of energy required to power the display, time is only available on demand. Meaning, you have to push a button at 8 o’clock to actually read the time. Once pressed the veil on the left rises to the current hour and the veil on the right rises to the current minute. Then, after holding in position, both veils fall simultaneously to their orginal starting position. (Watch it in action below.)

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Harry Winston Histoire de Tourbillon 4

Harry Winston (who was recently acquired by the Swatch Group) has just released a preview of the Histoire de Tourbillon 4. It is the fourth in a series of five highly complicated tourbillon watches, and it will be officially launched at Baselworld this April. The highlight of the Historie de Tourbillon is a tri-axial tourbillon — which I will explain below.

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TAG Heuer Carrera 1887 Titanium Racing Chronograph

In celebration of 50 Years of Carrera, TAG Heuer has released a number of new Carrera models (with more expected at Baselworld 2013). One of the most interesting new Carreras so far is the 1887 Titanium Racing Chronograph. This Carrera comes in a 43 mm diameter sandblasted black titanium case (grade 2 titanium with black carbide treatment) with a ceramic bezel and tachymeter scale. Curved double anti-reflective sapphire crystal. The caseback is in smoked sapphire, offering a view of the caliber 1887 column-wheel equipped chronograph movement. The numerals are counter focused, meaning instead of reading 1-12, they read 05-60. Visually, this is very sporty and focuses more on the chronograph than the time. The downside to this dial configuration is that it is harder to read the hour — but who cares — it looks great. Furthermore, the numerals are

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Ralph Lauren Sporting RL67 Chronometer

Ralph Lauren Watch Co. recently introduced a highly affordable new model within their Sporting collection — the Ralph Lauren Sporting RL67 Chronometer.

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Breitling Transocean Chronograph Hands-On

Breitling recently introduced a new 38 mm Transocean Chronograph. It has the same basic look as the current 43 mm Transocean Chronograph collection, however, there are a few notable changes. First, the dial of the newer model has a two register layout with a new date at 6 o’clock, versus a three register layout on the previously launched model. Second, the new case dimension (38 x 14.50 mm) is actually thicker than the larger 43 mm case. The previously introduced case (43 x 14.35 mm) is flatter due to a thinner case. I personally like the 38 mm diameter, however, because of the overall proportions, the 43 mm looks better on my wrist (there are wrist shots of both below, you be the judge). Definitely try on both before you buy. Breitling Transocean Chronograph 43 mm and 38 mm (left

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The Art of Marquetry by Parmigiani Fleurier

This year at SIHH Parmigiani Fleurier introduced three musical themed timepieces with intricately decorated marquetry dials. “Marquetry work” is ancient process that involves cutting out and assembling veneers — wooden veneers in this case — on a flat surface. The result is unique wooden veneer dial, with rich colors and a look that compliments the musical theme perfectly. Parmigiani created two Tonda Tourbillons, the British “Wooodrock” version (pictured below) and American “Woodstock” version (pictured above), each with a unique musically themed wood veneer dial. They also created a new 15 days clock, the Clock 15 Days Blue Note which also features a musically themed marquetry dial. “Each marquetry dial is the result of 10 days work and comprises more than fifty pieces of dyed wood. These have been designed, cut and then assembled with such meticulous care that the resulting

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The Audemars Piguet Royal Oak Offshore Grande Complication

The highlight at Audemars Piguet during SIHH was the Royal Oak Offshore Grande Complication — which features minute repeater, split-second chronograph and perpetual calendar complications. To exemplify their know-how in the area of highly complicated timepieces, AP exhibited 16 Grand Complication pieces from their museum in Le Brassus (pictured below).

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Jason Pitsch

REVIEW: What Rolex Submariner should I buy? New or Pre-owned.

Jason Pitsch

The Rolex Submariner is arguably the most iconic sport/dive watch ever made. And after wearing this one for a week, I’d have to say it is one of the best looking and most comfortable vintage watches I’ve worn. The dimensions are just right.

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