by Kyle Stults on August 28, 2009
Well, watch fans – it’s finally Friday! I thought I would go with something “light” today, but at the same time interesting, particularly if you like to know what kinds of watches certain other people wear. Initially I was going to ask you to identify not only the watch in the photo below, but the person wearing it as well – but I decided to play nice and just tell you that it is YouTube co-founder Chad Hurley. Although Chad is not a movie star or a politician or a pro athlete, he is in many ways a famous person, depending on how you want to look at it or which “circles you run in.” And after all, how many of You out there have NOT spent countless hours prorastinating at work enjoying the website that he co-developed and eventually sold to Google for a cool $1.65 billion dollars
Now, go ahead and have a look at the photo below and see if you can figure out which watch Chad Hurley is wearing:
Photo: YouTube. Chad Hurley sitting with Google VP Salar Kamangar
Think you know? Care to venture a guess? Feel free to tweet me on Twitter or post a comment below.
Of course I have a pretty good idea myself (at least as to the brand), and in fact I’ve been trying to get some confirmation from Google’s press office, but it seems that for some irrational reason they have better things to do.
A quick watch history lesson – did you know that the Jaeger-LeCoultre Reverso, a wristwatch that can be turned 180 degrees within the case thereby protecting the crystal and dial, was originally developed for polo-playing British army officers in India way back in 1931? Yes, it’s true! Naturally, a watch that was both elegant and yet sturdy enough to stand up to hard knocks and survive a polo match was bound for great things…or was it? Actually, the watch was ultimately abandoned and was not reintroduced until 1980! But today, the Reverso is powerfully symbolic of the Jaeger-LeCoultre brand, not to mention a huge success and a prized possession for many a watch enthusiast.
Of course, Jaeger-LeCoultre is today firmly associated with the sport of polo, which brings me to my next subject. The 1st Edition of the Julius Baer Argentina Snow Cup kicked off a couple weeks ago, in Chapelco, Argentina. The event was also sposored by none other than Jaeger-LeCoultre. It is the first snow polo cup to be played for the World Polo Tour Ranking in South America. Now I’m not a polo player myself, but I must admit this does look like fun.
The tournament was held in the base of the Chapelco Ski Resort, and the horse Pan Triste was named Best Playing Pony – Julius Baer of the final. For being named Best Amateur Player, Juan Cruz Adrogue received a Jaeger-LeCoultre REVERSO watch. Quite a fitting prize, wouldn’t you say?
by Kyle Stults on August 26, 2009
When Alinghi won the 31st America’s Cup in 2003 it made history returning the trophy to Europe for the first time since its conception in 1851. In July 2007, Alinghi won a second consecutive America’s Cup 5-2 against Emirates Team New Zealand in what was widely claimed as the greatest America’s Cup of all time. For last year’s 32nd America’s Cup, Alinghi was sponsored by Audemars Piguet. But for the 33rd America’s Cup, it is Hublot who will be the Alinghi team sponsor and join in the quest for another victory!
Hublot and Alinghi in HD Video
Alinghi president Ernesto Bertarelli and Hublot CEO Jean-Claude Biver held a joint presentation at the Alinghi base in Genoa, Italy, to announce the partnership. Said Mr. Bertarelli on the alliance:
I am often asked ‘what is more important the technology or the people?’ and I always say that there is no technology without people and the partnership that we are announcing today symbolises exactly this sentiment. Welcoming Hublot – and more importantly Jean-Claude [Biver] – to the team as a Sponsor is a tribute to the fact that technology is about the people; those that understand what it means. I welcome them into the Alinghi family and onboard for the 33rd America’s Cup,”
Of course, Mr. Biver was equally ebullient:
We had the chance to admire the yacht as it left the yard, and when it first took to the water on Lake Geneva. It is a magnificent boat and it represents the essence of Swiss expertise, with nearly 200 Swiss companies having worked on it. The “Swiss Made” label has never been more appropriate! The Swiss people – myself included – have shown no hesitation in displaying their admiration for Team Alinghi, and I am even more proud that we are the first brand to become one of the main sponsors of this incredible adventure. I am delighted to be able to help Switzerland win the Cup once more, this time against the USA.
Alinghi is currently training in Genoa, Italy, before transferring the team to Ras al-Khaimah, UAE, in the autumn to continue preparations towards the 33rd America’s Cup which starts on the 8 February 2010.
My only question at this point is, what will the Hublot Alinghi Limited Edition Look Like?
Stockholm-based Halda Watch Company Is Reborn with the Launch of The Halda Space Discovery
While I am still reading up on the details and history of the Halda Watch Company, I wanted to share some quick background and a few photos. What first grabs my attention and tells me that that this Sweden-based watch company may have something interesting on its hands is a) its movements are produced by reknowned watchmaker and AHCI co-founder Svend Andersen (yes, the same person who produces the movements for the Linde Werdelin SpidoLite Skeleton dial) and also b) its first announced watch, the Halda Space Discovery, is is scheduled to be worn and tested in space by ESA astronaut Christer Fuglesang. Also, the Company will be offering a modular instrument-based approach – i.e. both electronic and mechanical instruments that are swappable depending on the particular needs at hand (see pics below).
First In Watches will be back with more soon…
by Kyle Stults on August 22, 2009
First In Watches Brings You Up Close and Personal With A Spectacular Watch
As you will see below, the limited edition Linde Werdelin SpidoLite skeleton dial with Svend Andersen movement (Ref# SPD.SA) is a truly amazing and unique watch. Linde Werdelin is a brand I recently raved about for a number of good reasons (see “Related Posts” at the bottom of the post), and after spending some time with its marquee, “attention getting” watch, I am even more excited for the future of Linde Werdelin.
Now, if you don’t already know, the “watch review” philosophy here at First In Watches is that “photos are nice, but video is nicer” – and so I am also excited to bring you this exclusive review of the Linde Werdelin SpidoLite in full HD video! One quick note before the show – one item discussed in the review is the magnificent “blue rotor” that comes with this watch, but unfortunately the particular watch you see in the video had not yet been fitted with one – so be sure to check out the photo gallery posted below the video for a look at this and other pics of the watch.
Pretty cool watch, eh? In a nutshell, the SpidoLite SA is a limited edition watch (44 pieces) powered by an automatic movement that has been modified by highly respected watchmaker and AHCI co-founder Svend Anderson and that is packed into an ultra-light and stealthy-looking titanium case with 1,000 feet (300 meters) water resistance. Oh yea! There really is little, if anything, not to like about this watch.
Linde Werdelin SpidoLite Skeleton Dial Photo Gallery
Photos: K. Stults for First In Watches, except “Blue Rotor” photo is courtesy of Linde Werdelin.
As for the brand, I would like to see them start making their own movements, but yes I know – this is easier said than done. All in good time! Either way, Linde Werdelin is making some spectacular watches right now that any watch enthusiast or collector should give a serious look. And keep in mind that the SpidoLite Svend Andersen you see here is one of the most expensive watches LW offers (list price is about $12,000), but other collections/models can be yours for somewhere in the $4,300 – $9,700 range. You can see them all at LindeWerdelin.com, or get in touch with North American distributor Totally Worth It, LLC – firstname.lastname@example.org or +1 724 263 2286 / +1 212 828 7749 if you are interested in making a purchase.
In closing, if you want to leave feedback on this review or have any questions about the watch, you can click through to our YouTube channel and rate and comment on the video, or feel free to post a comment or query below. You may also contact me at kyle [at] perpetuelle.com. I hope you enjoyed the review.
“The Watch Magazine Redefined”
The first issue of Watch Journal is scheduled to hit store shelves in September. I have been eagerly awaiting its launch. As you may know, Watch Journal is what was formerly known as InSync magazine, which was acquired by Adam Sandow and his Sandow Media Co. in August 2008. At the time of acquisition, Sandow hinted at plans for “a major investment in the magazine’s distribution, editorial, design and marketing, as well as a statement that “a chief component of the new push includes a proprietary distribution strategy to reach ultra affluent consumers.” Here’s what the new magazine “journal” looks like (I believe this to be the inaugural cover):
Certainly I have no doubt that a major investment has been made in distribution, editorial, design and marketing, though I remain curious to learn more about this “proprietary distribution strategy” that is referenced. As for how the magazine will be positioned in an arguably saturated watch magazine market (and a sluggish ad market), a statement at www.watchjournal.com reads:
Watch Journal is the first luxury magazine built around watches. We have reinvented the traditional watch publication by reaching a wider audience of ultra-affluent readers through innovative editorial, a visually-stunning format, and a proprietary distribution strategy.
Sounds good, although I do find the first sentence to be, well, a bit provocative – does anyone else think that Watch Time or Revolution or iW (International Watch) magazine might have a different point of view as to who can claim rights to “the first luxury magazine built around watches”?
“Evolution of the Watch Magazine”
No matter the circumstances, one thing is fore sure – First In Watches is excited to see the new Watch Journal and we are proud to be one of the first to publicly “welcome” it into the watch world!
Bring it on Watch Journal!
I have covered several of the unique watches being presented for auction at the Monaco Yacht Show’s “Only Watch” event coming up in September (which you can click over to from the Related Posts section at the bottom of this post), and today I thought it time to take a closer look at the piece from Blancpain.
The Blancpain 500 Fathoms Only Watch N°1/1 is water-resistant to 1000 metres and and is generously sized at 48 mm-diameter. Most interesting to me about this particular watch is its anthracite grey, semi-translucent dial which is is adorned with a carbon fibre centre. I really like how the date disc is slightly visible through the use of a translucent, sapphire blue ring on the dial – it is almost as if the date disc is submerged below a layer of deep, blue ocean water – with just enough penetrating light that you can still get a glimpse of it. Great design work that fits well the theme and history of Blancpain’s dive watches!
You can see what I mean in this closeup of the dial:
The watch has a sapphire crystal case-back for viewing the self-winding Calibre 1315, as well as its entirely hand-decorated oscillating weight shaped like a boat propeller (wish I had a picture of this!). Here is a pic of the entire watch:
Again, this is a one-of-a-kind piece and all proceeds will go to support medical research for Duschenne Muscular Dystrophy – so all you deep pocketed, deep sea watch collectors out there who will be at the event – bid high!
by Kyle Stults on August 19, 2009
Tokyo Watch Fair Opens Aug 20th to Aug 25th, 2009
Several leading prestigious brands will be in attendance at the Tokyo Watch Fair which begins tomorrow (or today, depending on where you live), August 20th in Tokyo, Japan. The event will take place at the Tobu Department Store Ikebukuro, one of Tokyo’s largest department stores. Most brands will be using this show as an opportunity to show off their new models announced at Baselworld 2009, many of which are appearing in stores now. A sampling of the brands expected to be in attendance include: Audemars Piguet, Baume & Mercier, Blancpain, Boucheron, Bovet, Breitling, Bulgari, Carl F. Bucherer, Cartier, Girard Perregaux, Jaeger-LeCoultre, Omega, Oris, Perrelet, Piaget, Rolex, Vacheron Constantin and more!
Among the many, many fine watches sure to be on display at the show, here are a few of my favorites:
Glashütte Original Senator Sixties Square Chronograph
Patek Philippe 5960 Annual Calendar
(Shown: Platinum/Rose Gold)
A. Lange & Söhne 1815
Glashütte Original Senator Chronometer
Breguet Tradition 7027
Breilting B01 iPhone Application Now Available for Download
First Bell & Ross, now Breitling. I assume this is free to download on the Apple iPhone App Store, but still need to confirm it. These watch brand phone apps look cool but seem to have have limited utility. But if you are a die-hard Breitling fan then I suppose this is sure to please. Also interesting that this one appears to be for a specific Breilting model rather than Breitling in general. Guess there’s only one way to find out more – time to head over to the App store!
Oh – almost forgot – here is Breitling’s “official” statement on the new App:
Using the specific features of the iPhone 3.0 version, Breitling offers the Chronomat B01 application for iPhone and iPod touch, designed to provide a functional and detailed presentation of its latest chronograph. A precise description, technical data, a portfolio, a video and 360° views give an extremely clear idea of the exceptional nature of the new Chronomat B01. The application is also equipped with a unique configurator serving to visualize hundreds of possible customized versions of the model. The point-of-sale location-tracking system enables all devotees of mechanical chronographs to locate the nearest authorized Breitling retailers.
Update: Watch brands Glycine and Victorinox Swiss Army also launched similar iPhone apps earlier this year.
by Kyle Stults on August 18, 2009
TAG Heuer “Authorized E-Tailers” Now Number 8, a 4-fold Increase Since the Program’s Inception
This is “Part 1″ of a 2 Part Series. Today I will give an overview of TAG Heuer’s growing “Authorized E-commerce” program, and then I will share further analysis and insight in a follow up post.
First, the genesis of this discussion. Browsing TAG Heuer’s website a few days ago I noticed a significant increase in its “Authorized E-Tailers” list. Although I would consider it still to be a “pilot program”, TAG Heuer now has EIGHT (8) “Authorized E-Tailers” – quadruple the number it had less than a year ago when it began its e-commerce pilot program with Tourneau and Barmakian Jewelers (as I covered here). Interesting, eh?!
The current lineup of TAG Heuer Authorized E-Tailers
The way that TAG Heuer’s authorized e-commerce program works is that, basically, TAG Heuer allows some of its Authorized Retailers to set up storefronts on a Tag Heuer-hosted website, and each “E-Tailer’s” website is identical except for the swap out of the the name, logo, and contact info. There is also a link to the retailer’s actual website. Now what’s not clear is which of TAG Heuer’s authorize dealers are allowed to participate in the program, but more on that later. Here is an example “authorized” storefront:
While its entire “Authorized E-Commerce” program is an interesting strategy by TAG Heuer, and in fact probably prompted its close rival Raymond Weil to consider online sales (as we uncovered several months ago), I do see a few inconsistencies and oddities with TAG Heuer’s approach.
But, as I am hoping to get a few questions answered and some clarification from TAG Heuer, I will reserve additional comments for a follow-up post.
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