Wear it with pride, Bubba!
When I first showed you Bubba Watson’s new wristwatch back in January – a high-tech, ultralight beauty from esteemed Swiss watchmaker Richard Mille – I knew that it was inevitable that golf fans and the broader media would eventually figure out that this was no ordinary timepiece. I also had a good sense (based on Rafael Nadal’s similar experience with his $525k Richard Mille RM07) that the majority of fans would be hatin’ on Bubba when they figured out he was wearing such an awesome and expensive watch. How right I was. During his valiant effort at this weekend’s Accenture Match Play Championship, Bubba gave us several good looks of his Richard Mille RM038 watch on his wrist – and many fans were also shell-shocked when they learned that Richard Mille does not make ordinary watches for ordinary men…
As I alluded to above, the watch is creating somewhat of a stir amongst golf fans. The $525,000 price tag is what seems to irk people the most — I’ve read snide comments on various websites, blogs and Twitter about Bubba and his watch — but most of them are uninformed. There is certainly no surprise here as I saw the exact same thing happen with Rafael Nadal and his $525,000 Richard Mille RM027. The reality is that Bubba Watson is wearing the watch as a result of his sponsorship by Richard Mille — that is, he did not pay $525k for the watch. But even if, the man makes nice coin and he can spend it on whatever he wants — so back off, haters!
Almost forgot — here’s the video of Bubba Watson wearing his Richard Mille. Yea, its brief and yea we don’t get much of a look, but hey, I’ll take what I can get. Particularly astute watch fans will also appreciate the partially visible “Richard Mille” logo on the left shoulder of Bubba’s sweater — I know I do:
(please pardon the advertisement – its NBC Video…)
(also, be sure to move your mouse-cursor off the video so that the control menu does not obscure the view)
by Kyle Stults on February 25, 2011
Audemars Piguet has been doing great things with its Millenary Collection…and here they go again! Serving as Official Timekeeper of the Tour Auto for the sixth year running (this year’s event is in April), Audemars Piguet is again launching a limited edition watch to commemorate the event. This year: a 150-piece limited, numbered Audemars Piguet Millenary Chronograph. With its distinctly retro touch, the 2011 Audemars Piguet Millenary Tour Auto Chronograph masterfully captures the vintage spirit of the Tour Auto race. It is also a nice changeup from last year’s Tour Auto watch, a Royal Oak Offshore.
Audemars Piguet Millenary Watch for Tour Auto 2011
150 numbered pieces
This new timepiece equipped with an extremely reliable chronograph movement has a 40-hour power reserve and a balance beating at 21,600 vibrations per hour. Its black dial is circled by a flange with a tachometric scale and features silver-toned hour, minute and seconds counters. The openworked dial area echoes a classic automobile theme, with circular-grained surfaces reminiscent of the finish on certain historical cars.
Representing the first generation of Millenary watches to be fitted with a steel case, this model is stamped on the caseback – like its predecessors – with the Tour Auto logo and bears the inscription “Millenary – Série Limitée”. Finally, the Millenary Tour Auto 2011 is fitted with a hand-sewn black leather strap with lozenge-pattern stitching and is delivered in a dedicated presentation box.
While it’s not the “Official Timekeeper of Formula One Racing“, Audemars Piguet enjoys well-established ties with the automobile world. It has been partnering of the Tour Auto for many years and the Audemars Piguet Gstaad Classic in Switzerland since 2009, while its circle of ambassadors includes several drivers such as Jarno Trulli (Audemars Piguet Royal Oak Offshore Jarno Trulli Chrono), Sébastien Buemi and more recently Michael Schumacher (announcement here).
by Kyle Stults on February 24, 2011
From the frozen Baltic waters of northern Finland…
A new and nicely decorated Breitling for Bentley is born. The watch commemorates a special version of the Bentley Continental GTC Supersports which recently set a new world speed record on ice by driving at the impressive speed of 205.48 mph (330.695 km/h). The event actually took place upon the frozen waters of the Baltic sea near Oulu, Finland. Extreme temperatures ranging from -30 to -20°C surely made for a fun time. The titanium-cased Breitling watch (worn by the driver during the feat) is set to be officially unveiled at Baselworld 2011, but I figured you might like a quick sneak-peek.
Be sure to check out the cool raw footage shot by Bentley, below.
Breitling for Bentley (Ice Record Edition)
Bentley Continental GTC Supersports Ice Speed Record Video
The record-setting driver, Juha Kankkunen – with watch and car!
by Kyle Stults on February 22, 2011
Beautiful blue IWC Ingenieur
For the fifth time, Schaffhausen-based IWC introduces a watch to benefit the Laureus Sport for Good Foundation. The first “IWC for Laureus” watch I wrote about was the IWC Portuguese Automatic for Laureus (the 2009/2010 model), but prior to this there was the the Portuguese Chronograph Automatic in 2006, the Pilot’s Watch Chronograph Automatic in 2007, and the Da Vinci Chronograph in 2008. This year’s model is inspired from IWC’s Ingenieur Automatic of 1955. Crafted in a stainless steel case, powered by the IWC-manufactured 80111 calibre, the IWC Ingenieur Automatic Laureus Sport For Good Foundation Edition is most remarkable for its robust blue dial. Limited to 1,000 watches, the caseback of the watch features the winning design of the children’s drawing competition that IWC uses to also support the cause.
IWC Ingenieur for Laureus Sport for Good Foundation (2011 Edition)
This year, the jury chose the illustration by 8 year-old Sohel Abrar Khan from Mumbai, who is part of the Laureus supported Magic Bus project. The young boy interpreted the theme of the competition, “Time for Unity”, with a picture showing seven young people who have gathered for a game of football. Magic Bus, supported by the Laureus Sport for Good Foundation, provides an outdoor education for children living in poverty throughout India, including children from the Bombay Port Trust slum in Mumbai – one of the world’s poorest. The image depicts his idea of how to create unity in the slums.
Did You Know?
Magic Bus is an outdoor education programme that uses sport to reach out to children. From the age of 7 to 18, children engage in weekly two hour sessions, day trips and outdoor activity camps. A tailor-made curriculum takes them on a journey of self-discovery throughout their childhood, with young leaders from their own communities making them aware of their unique abilities and the world around them. This awareness turns into a belief among the children that they have value and can make a difference, which provides them with purpose in life.
Magic Bus currently works with 150,000 children per year living in poverty. In the next three years it aims to expand across India, by training young leaders to deliver its programme, reaching out to one million children and young people each year. For more information visit:www.magicbusindia.org
Here’s a sophisticated new watch from Hermes that will be hitting the market later this year- the Grand Arceau Moon Phase. Known for its saddle/leather goods and uber-expensive silk ties and scarves, Hermes has really stepped up its watch game the past few years (check out the Hermès Carré H or the Hermes Clipper Chronograph Titanium for a couple examples), though it still maintains a relatively low profile among watch aficionados. Available in black or silver dial, the Arceau Grande Lune watch is a complete calendar watch featuring day and month apertures. The dial stamped with a herringbone motif identical to that found on saddle rugs (see close up photo below).
Hermès Arceau Grand Lune
43mm steel case, automatic mechanical movement with Dubois-Dépraz 9313 moon phase module, comes on a matt black alligator strap
close up of the opaline silver-dial model:
Did You Know?
by Kyle Stults on February 18, 2011
In 2011, Bell & Ross will be adding a two new models to its Vintage Collection: the Vintage Original Carbon (BR 123) and Carbon Chrono (BR 126). Last year we saw the “carbon” case (steel with black PVD treatment) used for the popular Vintage Heritage watches (live look here), and this year the carbon case goes to the standard aka “Original” Vintage collection. While nice looking watches, the one thing I will say is that these watches really, really need a strap upgrade – the plain brown leather strap is just pitiful. Otherwise, an attractive set of watches if you are a B&R fan.
Be sure to keep an eye on our Official Baselworld 2011 Feed as more of the newest and hottest watches of 2011 are unveiled between now and the end of March.
Bell & Ross Vintage Original Carbon
41mm “carbon” (steel black PVD) case, Swiss “ETA” automatic mechanical movements, 100m water resistance
It’s been a busy week or so for Hublot and its wunder-CEO Jean-Claude Biver. First it was New York for where the Hublot Big Bang Black Magic amFar was unveiled, followed by another high profile Hublot sports partnership with NBA Superstar Dwyane Wade early this week. And now CEO Jean-Claude Biver (whose seemingly endless globetrotting never ceases to amaze me) has popped up in India to unveil this, the new Hublot F1 King Power India.
This impressive timepiece commemorates what will be the first Grand Prix held in India (October 2011) and is the fourth in a string of impressive and highly sought after watches that began with Hublot’s March 13, 2010 announcement that it had become the Official Watchmaker of Formula 1. If you are not up to speed on all the Hublot F1 action, be sure to check out the Hublot China F1 here, the Hublot Monza F1 Red Sapphire here, and the Hublot Korea F1 King Power Red Gold here. More details on the Hublot King Power India watch here and below the jump:
Hublot F1 King Power India
200 Individually Numbered pieces
48mm “King Gold” case, Hublot Calibre 4100 automatic movement, orange colored lume, adjustable black Nomex strap with orange, white and green stitching (black rubber inner)
It was Sameer Gaur, CEO of Jaypee Sports Intl. Ltd. (owner/manager of the Formula One India track and event) along with Hublot CEO Jean-Claude Biver who revealed the new watch at the Oberoi Hotel Gurgaon in Delhi. Hublot says that this is “the first time a luxury Swiss watch manufacturer has launched a watch dedicated to an international sport coming to India.”
Sporting the famous F1 logo and colours of the Indian flag on its dial and bracelet, the F1King Power India features several unique aspects made from an array of high-tech materials directly inspired by Formula 1 (some of which have never before been used in watchmaking) such as a ceramic bezel with a circular-grained satin finish adorned with multiple holes to represent a high performance brake disk, a strap made from rubber and Nomex, a synthetic fibre developed by Dupont De Nemours and used – thanks to its very low combustibility and thermostability – to make the suits worn by F1drivers as well as the Start, Reset and Split push buttons, the latter for the split second function and a 30-minute counter at 3 o’clock. Ref. 703.OM.1138.NR.FMO10
Lastly, here’s a night time look at the new India Formula One Circuit, constructed by Jaypee Group Intl:
by Kyle Stults on February 17, 2011
You are in luck today as I have scooped a couple looks at another new 2011 model from Glashütte Original. The new watch is currently presented exclusively as a Basel preview in Berlin at the 61st Berlinale where Glashütte Original is the co-sponsor for the first time this year. Details are scant at the moment, but as you can see (and as the name implies) the watch takes its design cues from the 1970′s. I also know that the sunburst dial will come in color variations – black (picture below), silver, and blue. Stay tuned.
Glashütte Original Panorama Date Seventies
And here’s a look at the beautiful folding clasp with “Double G” engraving:
I knew this announcement was coming. How did I know? Jean-Claude Biver himself said so just last week on “What Time Radio” hosted by Jerome Pineau. Not to forget that I spied D-Wade wearing Hublot in May of last year (see here and scroll to the very bottom). NBA Superstar Dwayne Wade joins the select group of Hublot ambassadors, true legends in their own time and discipline: Jet Li in martial arts and cinema, Diego Maradona and Manchester United in football, Maria Riesch, Bode Miller and Dario Cologna in skiing, Ayrton Senna’s family in Formula 1, and Facundo Pieres in polo.
“I am honored to join the esteemed list of Hublot ambassadors, an international collection of the best in sports,” said Wade. “Hublot and I share a common commitment to excellence, which I strive for on the court, and they express on countless wrists of the world’s most fashionable.”
And now we wait for the Hublot King Power D-Wade edition!
Dwyane Wade Posing With His Hublot King Power Watch
Hublot CEO Jean-Claude Biver had this to say: “When I first met Dwyane, I was in awe of the energy and drive he exuded, not just because of his incredible presence and performance on the court, but also in the way he spoke of the Wade’s World Foundation and the goals he nurtures for supporting community-based organizations, promoting education, health and social skills for kids in at-risk situations. It’s when people reach beyond what a special talent helps them achieve that their true character is revealed. I’m particularly proud our paths met and it’s an honor to team up with Dwyane. Working with Dwyane and his foundation also comes naturally to Hublot because we’re already partners with Bode Miller and his Turtle Ridge Foundation, with the Instituto Ayrton Senna as well as Unicef and the Manchester United Foundation. After all, sharing a passion for time is also about making time count.”
Hublot King Power Watch
Baselworld 2011 Preview…
You may recall that it was about this time last year that I showed you the new Tissot Seastar 1000 which was being reintroduced by the brand after a short absence from the marketplace. Although I rarely cover Tissot due to my preference for higher-end mechanical watches, the feedback on this watch from You the readers was overwhelmingly positive (comments and counting), so I am glad to follow it up again this year.
Tissot Seastar 1000 Chronographs
Although I’m not exactly sure, it looks like these new Seastar 1000 chronographs will join last year’s 3-handed models in what is shaping up to be a very nice family of Tissot Seastar 1000′s. What really caught my eye (aside from the very nice and sporty looks of the watch) was the addition of a helium-escape valve in addition to other dive-watch credentials such as 300m water resistance, unidirectional rotating bezel, and luminous hands and markers. There is one disappointment, however — and it is a big one, in my book — the case size is an absurdly large 48mm :-( If not for this, I would confidently say that if these new chronos work as well as they look, Tissot will be selling these things like hotcakes. Price will be somewhere north of $1,000, but I don’t have a firm quote as of now.
close-up of blue-accented dial:
close-up of orange-accented dial:
So…what do you think?
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