The Jaquet Droz Bird Repeater was launched in 2012, featuring two birds and their young created in remarkable detail by the hands of Jaquet Droz artisans. The following year, The Charming Bird watch marked the brand’s 275th anniversary with a new interpretation of the bird in an ultra-modern decorative setting and this time singing. Now, the story continues with a new version of The Bird Repeater – a more streamlined, contemporary-looking model that has nonetheless retained intact the animated features that made it a success: a duo of birds feeding their fledglings, the spreading wings, the tumbling waterfall and the hatching egg.
RJ-Romain Jerome, in a deal with DC Comics, pays tribute to Gotham City’s Super Hero with a timepiece inspired by the Dark Knight: the Batman-DNA. This is part of Romain Jerome’s “Collaborations” collection which includes other partnership/license deals such as Space Invaders, Pac-Man and Delorean. The watch reflects Batman’s heroic personality, with a 46 mm black PVD-coated steel case, an angular black bezel recalling the contours of the “Batmobile”, and a black-lacquered Batman emblem applique placed at the center of the dial. The rest of the dial has undergone RJ-Romain Jerome’s special “rough” finish, giving the watch a dark and edgy look. The legendary “Bat-Signal”, shines at night thanks to an engraving, filled with black Superluminova, which outlines the hero’s famous symbol.
Limited to 75 pieces at a price of $18,500 per, the Batman-DNA celebrates the Dark Knight’s 75th anniversary.
We have here a nice new piece in Baume & Mercier’s Clifton collection, featuring a manual wind caliber with 8-day power reserve produced by IWC (essentially to the calibre 59210 in IWC’s Portofino 8-Day watch), in gold case. This is a 185-piece limited edition in celebration of 185 years since the founding of the brand (that’s 10 more years than Patek Philippe, for what it’s worth).
Overall, Baume & Mercier really has a winner going with its new Clifton line which debuted last year (my Perpetuelle was the first to report on the new line, in Nov 2012, before its official launch in 2013). The design on these watches and the dials in particular really resonate with me. Even if the 45mm case size is a bit large for my preferences and tastes in general these days.
A Pre-V Remake With An In-House Movement…
In addition to the newest additions to the Radiomir 1940 case family unveiled a few weeks ago, Officine Panerai is introducing a special edition box set featuring the Luminor Daylight 8 Days Acciaio and Luminor Black Seal 8 Days Acciaio DLC (acciaio = steel). These special “Pre-V” remakes are being offered as a set and given Panerai reference PAM 785, with total production limited to only 500 sets. Panerai timepieces made before the Panerai was bought by Vendome Group (the predecessor of Richemont) are known amongst Panerai cognoscenti as “Pre-Vendome” watches. For obvious reasons, Pre-Vendome/Pre-V Panerai’s tend to be highly collectible — and very expensive — timepieces. More on this, and a look at the watches, below.
Between 1993, the year of the first collection of watches not made exclusively for military use, and 1997, the year when the brand was acquired by the Richemont Group, Officine Panerai created just a few hundred watches which over the years have acquired an extraordinary value, becoming cult objects for many enthusiastic collectors.
Panerai describes the PAM 758 set as follows:
…consisting of two models inspired by two of the watches most representative of the pre-Vendôme era, made to order in 1996 for the American actor Sylvester Stallone, a great enthusiast and spontaneous advocate of the brand, who was at the time involved in the film Daylight: the Luminor Black Seal and the Luminor Daylight.
The PAM 785 set comes in a pear wood box which also contains a model of the human torpedo (Siluro a Lenta Corsa or Slow-speed torpedo) on a teak base and a rare publication about the military equipment of the special forces of the Royal Italian Navy, naturally including Panerai watches and instruments.
The two models are both 44mm stainless steel, though the Luminor Black Seal is distinguished with its DLC (Diamond-Like Carbon) finish, hence its black color. Another perhaps obvious difference between the two models is the design of the dial. The Luminor Daylight is white with numeric hour markers and a detailed minute track while the Luminor Black Seal has a black dial with numerals at only the cardinal points in. Both watches have the small seconds dial at 9 o’clock; another element taken from the past by Panerai which over the years has become a distinctive characteristic.
Collectors should take now, however, that the “Slytech” notation as found on the original Pre-V models is not present on the modern day remakes. And also, despite their historical inspiration, Panerai has of course opted to update the mechanical calibers in each watch: both have Panerai’s in-house P.5000. The P.5000 is a manual-wind caliber with power reserve of eight days.
The closed back of the case is engraved with the inscription “Officine Panerai Firenze” and the OPlogo (not pictured). The watches are shown on Pre-V style straps with sewn-in buckles (two identical, spare straps are also included). Good looking watches with a nice box and assorted accessories — great for the Panerai die-hard.