by Kyle Stults on May 31, 2011
The 100th Indy 500 race was this past weekend, marking a major milestone for the race that has become an icon of American sports culture. While it was Jorg Gray ambassador and driver Alex Tagliani who started the race from the coveted “Pole Position”, it was Team Bryan Herta Autosport driver Dan Wheldon who took the checkered flag. In addition to his $2.6 million cash prize for winning the Indy 500 race, Wheldon was also presented with a limited edition TAG Heuer Formula 1 Indy 500 Centennial Chronograph (pictured below), the “Official Watch of the Indy 500.” And now you too can own this watch — the TAG Heuer Formula 1 Indy 500 Centennial Chronograph watch is available at Tourneau and other TAG Heuer dealers with list price of $1,650. Not a bad looking watch!
TAG Heuer Formula 1 Indy 500 Centennial Chronograph
Limited edition of 1,000 (individually numbered)
44mm stainless steel case, fixed polished bezel, 200 meter water resistance, brushed steel bracelet
dial: “brickyard” pattern, Indy 500 Cenennial logo
by Kyle Stults on May 30, 2011
Let the Only Watch 2011 Charity Auction Previews begin! The TAG Heuer Monaco Mikrograph is a very special watch featuring two of the very best elements of TAG Heuer. First is the “Monaco” watch design, a square case style with a strong racing heritage that TAG Heuer has so strongly revived in recent years. Second compelling element is the use of TAG Heuer’s new “Mikrograph” movement, the first movement capable of 1/100th second accuracy — an amazing feat for a mechanical watch. As of right now, this makes the one-and-only TAG Heuer Monaco Mikrograph the only other watch to use the new Mikrograph movement — the first being the TAG Heuer Carrera Mikrograph which was introduced a couple months ago at Baselworld 2011. Yes, it’s a pretty busy dial (see our sub-dial break-down bel0w), but I think this adds to the awesomeness of the watch.
TAG Heuer Monaco Mikrograph Watch for ONLY WATCH 2011
43mm steel case, “Only Watch 2011″ engraved rotor (see-through display back)
The complications of the chronograph, as described by Calibre 11, are as follows:
Image: Calibre 11
- 12 o’clock sub-dial: The Chronograph power reserve
- 3 o’clock sub-dial: Chronograph elapsed minutes with three hands (0/10/20) mounted on a rotating disc (in the photo above, 25 minutes have elapsed)
- 9 o’clock sub-dial: Watch elapsed seconds with three hands (0/20/40) mounted on a rotating disc (in the photo above, almost 50 seconds have elapsed)
- 6 0′clock sub-dial: Chronograph elapsed seconds (with a double-ended needle showing 0-30 seconds on the outer counter/ large needle and 31-60 seconds on the inner counter/ small needle)
- The flying central hand (with the open circle) indicates the 100th of a second which is read off the inner sapphire disc that reads 0-100. At the other end of the Flying central hand is a “/100″ engraving is laser-cut by hand
“Only Watch” is a biennial charity auction of one-of-a-kind watches created by many of the most renowned watch brands in Switzerland. This exceptional event is held every two years in Monaco during the Monaco Yacht Show and is under the patronage of HSH Prince Albert II. All the proceeds from Only Watch go to support Duchenne Muscular Dystrophy research which is why many of these watches go extraordinarily high prices.
Starting today Perpetuelle will begin its coverage of Only Watch 2011. Stay tuned in because over the next few months, you will get to see awesome “piece unique” watches from each of the participating brands for the 2011 event:
Click through to see our in-depth preview of each watch:
- Harry Winston Midnight GMT Tourbillon
- Patek Philippe Ref 3939A Minute Repeater
- Urwerk UR-103 “Phoenix”
- Romain Jerome “Rock the Rock”
- Hublot Oceanographic 4000m dive watch
- MB&F HM-4 “Flying Panda”
- TAG Heuer “Monaco Mikrograph”
- Bell & Ross Pink Gold “Casino”
- Louis Vuitton Tambour Diver Chronograph
- Blancpain Villeret Grand Decoration
- Piaget Altiplano Skeleton
- Breguet Reveil Musical Watch
- Audemars Piguet Gstaad Classic
- Jaquet Droz Petit Heure Minute
- Van Cleef & Arpel “From the Earth to the Moon” Watch
- Girard-Perregaux ww.TC
- Corum Golden Bridge Automatic Titanium
- Vulcain Anniversary Heart Watch
- Chanel J12 Marine Watch
- Franck Muller “Totally Switzerland”
- Ulysse Nardin Freak Diavolo
- Vacheron Constantin “Dove” Watch (M.C. Escher-inspired)
- Zenith El Primero “Destro” watches
- Montblanc Villeret 1858 Pulsograph
- Ikepod Red Hourglass by Marc Newson
- Bovet Fleurier, Celsius, Chaumet, Chopard, De Bethune, Delacour, De Witt, Frédérique Constant, Hermès, Laurent Ferrier, Maurice Lacroix, Richard Mille
Only Watch 2011 will be held September 24, 2011 and managed by watch auction house Antiquorum. But you don’t have to wait this long — because part of the excitement leading up to the September 24, 2011 event is the release of each participating brand’s special edition watch.
ONLY WATCH 2009
If you are interested in looking back, I covered the Only Watch 2009 auction extensively including blogging about several of my favorites inlcluding: Piaget Emperador Coussin, MB&F Sage Vaughn HM-2, Bovet 3-in-1 Mona Lisa Watch, Tourneau Jump Hour, Louis Vuitton Tambour, Chanel J12 Joallerie with pink sapphire, and Blancpain 500 Fathoms. The Only Watch 2009 auction was hosted by Patrizzi & Co.
by Kyle Stults on May 29, 2011
[not quite] a million dollar Rolex!
Hi everyone, hope you all are enjoying your Memorial Day weekend. Just wanted to close the loop on my earlier post about the Rolex Split-Second Chronograph (Ref. 4113) that recently went up for auction by Christie’s auction house. As discussed, there was much speculation whether this would be the first “million dollar Rolex”, and yes indeed the record setting Rolex wristwatch sold for $1,163,340. But let me be a bit of a spoiler and note that this price included the buyer’s premium (the fee the Buyer pays to the auction house) of roughly $206,000 (~21.5%). The actual hammer price was $956,750 — just shy of the $1 million mark. Either way, this is the all-time high price paid for any Rolex at auction. Here’s a close-up look at the record setting Rolex Ref. 4113:
Lot Description: Rolex. An extraordinarily rare, oversized stainless steel split seconds chronograph wristwatch Signed Rolex, Chronographe, Antimagnetique, ref. 4113, case no. 051318, manufactured in 1942 Cal. Valjoux 55 VBR 17 2/3”’ nickel-finished lever movement, 17 jewels, silvered matte dial, applied pink gold Arabic and baton numerals, outer minute divisions, blue telemetre and black tachymetre scales, two subsidiary dials for constant seconds and 30 minutes register, oversized circular case, fluted lugs, snap on back, split seconds chronograph mechanism operated through two rectangular chronograph buttons in the band and one round chronograph button in the crown, case, dial and movement signed; 44 mm. diam.
If you want to see how the record setting Rolex sale went down, here is the 3 minute “action-packed” auction in its entirety:
[this video temporarily removed]
Actually it is quite boring, right? But if you’ve never seen a watch auction before, now you know!
Check out this new Hydroscaph Central Chronograph watch from Geneva-based Clerc SA. The watch is “signature” Clerc in its overall aesthetic, with a few unique features and design elements added to give it extra appeal. In addition to the “central chronograph” functionality (described below), the watch also has date and 24 hr GMT function. Design-wise, the hand-set on this watch is very original and exciting — the primary hands are done in a multi-colored “tuning fork” style design whilst the subdial hands have a cool triangular shape. Overall, the orange and white accents on various components is very appealing. Fit it on a rubber-lined hornback leather strap and you have one badass looking dive watch ready to be wristed. Price is likely north of $10,000.
Clerc Hydroscaph Central Chronograph Watch
Limited Edition of 500
45mm steel, black DLC (pictured), or 18K rose gold/black DLC steel case, 500 meter water resitance, fitted with rubber or rubber-treated hornback leather straps with folding clasps
As the name clearly states, this watch is a “central chronograph” meaning that instead of the oft-seen 3 subdials on a chronograph watch, the chronograph timing on this watch (minutes and seconds) is recorded via two center-set hands (orange hand for seconds, white hand for minutes). At 3 o’clock is a non-chrono seconds subdial and at 9 o’clock is a 24 hr/GMT function.
Editor’s Note: Clerc SA was an advertiser on this blog at the time of publication of this article.
I recently put my hands on a spectacular watch from a little-known brand called Dodane 1857. For five generations now the brand is owned and operated by a French family of the same name — Dodane is prounounced “do-dan” with a long “o” (like “no”) except with a smooth French accent (which I lack). In addition to supplying its watches to French air force pilots, the company also produces cockpit instruments for the French air force (learn/see more on Dodane’s website). I reviewed the Dodane Type 21 Flyback Chronograph, the brand’s signature model, and what to say except that I sooooooooooo want to own one of these watches. The look, the feel, the “character” of this watch is immense — you really feel like you have something special on your wrist when wearing this watch. The Dodane Type 21 Flyback Chrono price is about $4,000, and Alexis at Totally Worth It will hook you up if you want to buy one. Now…on to the review!
Dodane Type 21 Flyback Chronograph (Video Review)
Dodane Type 21 Flyback Chronograph (Photos)
by Kyle Stults on May 26, 2011
I only stray from featuring wristwatches here on the Perpetuelle blog when an item is something really cool and worthy of my readers’ time, and today I have such an item: the Ikepod Hourglass, designed by world renowned designer Marc Newson. As you can see below, these hourglass timers are more a works of art than anything else, and boy are they impressive objects to settle your gaze upon. Each beautiful hourglass is hand blown in Basel, Switzerland from one piece of glass. Coated “nanoballs” — not sand — fill each piece and provide for the awesome visual effect as you can see below in the vid captured by my friends at Hodinkee. Available in nickel, copper, and yellow gold “nanoball” versions, the Ikepod Hourglass price start at $13,300 and go on up. Buy your own Ikepod Hourglass here or at any Ikepod dealer.
It’s worth mentioning that Ikepod also offers some truly amazing watch designs, too — check them out at Ikepod.com!
The Making of the Ikepod Hourglass Video (courtesy: Ikepod.com)
Ikepod Hourlgass in Action (courtesy: Hodinkee.com)
This special edition Bulgari Diagono X-Pro is perhaps my favorite of the many special edition watches being produced for the upcoming celebration of “Purists” 10 year anniversary celebration in Las Vegas. I really like the overall look of the regular Diagono X-Pro (see it here), and the blue color accents on the dial of this special Purists edition make it particularly appealing to me. More broadly, I find the X-Pro to be a respectable offering from Bulgari as compared to its more tradional Bulgari Diagono’s which have bezel’s emblazoned with huge BVGLARI lettering that I find to be obnoxious and gaudy. Price it: $16,250. Buy it.
BVLGARI PuristS 10th Diagono X-Pro Watch
Limited edition 50 pieces
45mm steel+titanium case, special blue color accents on the dial, rubber-coated chrono pushers and crown, automatic mechanical movement (Bvlgari Calibre 312 which is a Valjoux 7750 base customized by La Joux-Perret Manufacture with an additional GMT module), on rubber strap with pin buckle
“PuristS 10th / One of Fifty” text on caseback
Bespoke…Tour de force…
Perpetuelle readers new and old — behold, the “Vladimir”. Like the awesomely bespoke Vacheron Constantin Philosophia watch that I gave you a special first look/sneak preview of late last year, the Vladimir comes to us from Atelier Cabinotiers, Vacheron Constantin’s custom-built watchmaking workshop.
For those of you unfamiliar with Atelier Cabinotiers, a quote from my September 2010 Philosophia review should do the trick:
“Eventually, you reach a point when you want what others don’t have,” says Dominique Bernaz, director of Vacheron Constantin’s Atelier Cabinotiers.
Indeed. Vacheron’s Atelier Cabinotiers is the manufacture’s special-order division established in 2006 to serve its most exclusive clients (more on Atelier Cabinotiers here). For the right price, the watch of your dreams can be conceived, named, constructed and delivered. So here we are today, looking at the newly unveiled “Vladimir”. Like the Philosophia, the name “Vladimir” was chosen by its owner, and this bespoke watch is a real tour de force, representing the precise desires of its owner. This watch is so incredible it’s hard to know where to begin! Let’s take a closer look, shall we?
Vacheron Constantin Atleiers Cabinotiers Vladimir Watch
47mm pink gold case (hand engraved sides) white gold dial (hand-guilloched), manual winding Vacheron Caliber 2750 (58 hour power reserve)
hours, minutes, second (on tourbillon), minute repeater, perpetual calendar, power reserve, second time zone, moon phase indication, striking-mechanism torque, perpetual time equation, sunrise, sunset, celestial map, week indication
The Vacheron Constantin Vladimir supersedes the complexity of the Vacheron Constantin Tour de l’Ile which was launched in 2005 by VC as “the most complicated wristwatch in the world”. The Vladimir boasts a whopping 17 complications (at VC’s count) and 891 components:
To begin with the supreme example, the very refined 60-second tourbillon mechanism stands out at 6 o’clock, while next to it at 3 o’clock appears the moon phase on a blue sky with a precision moon in gold, smiling or serious depending on the phase and hand-engraved by Atelier Cabinotiers craftsmen. To its right, a smaller counter with a small blued hand indicates the striking mechanism torque, i.e., whether the minute repeater mechanism is engaged. In addition to the hour and minute hands – one-of-a-kind pieces made especially for this watch –that travel around the slightly off-centre minute markers, the front side of the main dial provides a second time zone with day/night indicator at 11 o’clock. The power reserve indicator is located in the 9 o’clock sector, also enhanced by a 52-week indicator.
As another sign of the personalisation evident throughout the entire creative process, the guilloché pattern on the dial was also chosen by the collector of this exceptional timepiece.
The back is no less admirable than the front, having a wealth of information that is pleasantly arranged, exciting, subtle and surprising, according to Vacheron:
On the upper portion, the perpetual calendar dials are arranged in a triangle, displaying the days of the week, month and date from left to right. A small window at 1 o’clock shows the leap-year cycle. In the centre of the dial, a blued hand sweeps over a small sector devoted to the equation of time, the variable difference observable between true (solar) time and the time marked by clocks, which for convenience is divided into equal intervals. Two other pieces of astronomical information are conveyed by hands traversing two sectors at 4 o’clock and 8 o’clock: the time of sunrise and sunset. The list of functions ends in a blaze of glory with a precision sky chart of the northern hemisphere, as one rarely sees it.
the back side of the Vacheron Constantin Vladimir watch
Of course, for a bespoke timepiece of this magnitude, even the side of the case is highly customized — the note the relief engraving on the sides of the pink gold case which depict the Chinese Zodiac, a task which (according to VC) took six months to finish. Vacheron tells us:
The motifs and the bas-relief technique (which is extremely rare in watchmaking) used here were both done by request of the owner. Before getting to the heart of the matter with regard to the subject and materials, the designers showed the purchaser many sketches. The decision was then made to depict the signs of the zodiac on both sides of the case, which itself is made of 18-carat pink gold. In the end, the twelve figures – from the dragon through the rabbit and the rooster to the snake – were made to stand out slightly from the main body of 18-carat pink gold. It was a colossal task for the engravers – the twelve figures alone took more than six months – and required that a very special case first had to be made with extra-thick sides, from which the superfluous material was removed, carving roughly at first and then in very fine detail.
the sides of the Vacheron Constantin Vladimir watch
My very special thanks goes out to Vacheron Constantin and its Ateliers Cabinotiers for this very special look at this “once in a lifetime” watch.
With watches like this new 2011 Perpetual Double Hairspring, I continue to be a huge fan of the little-known yet exceptional watch manufacture H. Moser & Cie. Switzerland-based H. Moser & Cie, whose watches I profiled twice last year, is known amongst high-end watch collectors for its graceful watch designs and well-finished movements, as well as its commitment to post-purchase service. H. Moser watches price at $10,000 on up. This particular model is based on the Perpetual 1 model (seen in my video below), upgraded with a palladium case and and a “double hairspring” in the movement for enhanced accuracy. While it looks simple on the dial, make no mistake that this is a highly complicated watch with a perpetual calendar (day and month shown on the dial) that can be adjusted both forwards and backwards through the crown. The leap year display is on the back of the watch. In a nutshell, I would rate this watch as insanely elegant and beautiful….even if the “month” hand is a bit small (the tiny center-set arrow)! More on the H. Moser website.
H. Moser Perpetual Double Hairspring
40.8mm palladium case, “fumé” dial with power reserve display, perpetual calendar via date window and small center-set month display hand (using the twelve hour markers to represent each month)
manual-wind movement with 7-day power reserve, featuring a Double Hairspring escapement with two Straumann hairsprings, perpetual calendar, Moser company seal, crown winding system, with two fixed stops for the date adjustment and time adjustment position
H. Moser Perpetual 1 Watch (VIDEO)
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