Here’s a nice one-off piece from Armin Strom. Armin Strom is for the second year in a row one of the main sponsors of the Menuhin Festival, an annual classical music event based in Gstaad, Switzlerand. The event was actually founded in 1957 by Lord Yehudi Menuhin, a man who is considered to be one of the greatest violinists of the 2oth century. Today the Menuhin Festival Gstaad has become one of the most important classical music events in all of Switzerland, with some 50 concerts played over seven weeks. Interesting, eh? At least for a useless trivia buff such as me
Anyway, Armin Strom has designed this limited edition Armin Strom Manual Fire Limited “Menuhin Edition” with a specially decorated bridge to celebrate the event whose theme of “Fire and Sun” is in tune with the Armin Strom “elements” concept (Earth/Fire/Water/Air). Aside from the special decoration, this piece is very similar to the Armin Strom One Week Fire watch (and also Water) that I wrote about in May 2010, just without the power reserve function.
Armin Strom Manual Fire “Menuhin” Edition
55 piece limited edition
43mm rose gold case, Mechanical manual windin Armin Strom AMW11 caliber; fitted on hornback-style alligator strap
For this special release, the gear train bridge on the underside of the movement has been embellished with hand-engraved flames and a musical pitch clef with some notes:
The Menuhin Festival website also suggests that Armin Strom has also created pieces based on all the remaining elements – water, air, earth and fire, but as of right now I do not have any information on these pieces.
by Kyle Stults on July 26, 2011
Hail to the Red, White and Blue…USA! USA!
This vivid looking watch is a “boutique exclusive” from Swiss watch heavyweight Vacheron Constantin — the watch was created to celebrate the opening of Vacheron’s first boutique in the United States, located in New York. Loyal readers of this blog may recall that this is not the first Vacheron Constantin Overseas Chronograph created exclusively for a certain geography or boutique – in fact I’ve profiled many of these special Overseas Chronograph’s in the past year:
- Vacheron Constantin Overseas Chronograph for Turkey (June 2010)
- Vacheron Constantin Overseas Chronograph for Greece (June 2010)
- Vacheron Constantin Overseas Chronograph for Italy-Pisa Orologeri (September 2010)
Observe that, of all the special editions mentioned above, the “New York” edition is the only to feature a perpetual calendar — in fact this is Vacheron Constantin’s first “high complication” ever to be included in a steel Overseas case. As for the look of the watch, I like the color choice, however I don’t particularly care for the date subdial design that Vacheron uses on this watch (as well as others) — the “31″ and the “1″ are a squished together in a manner that I’ve never liked, and the “9″ is easily confused for a “6″.
Vacheron Constantin Overseas Chronograph Perpetual Calendar
Limited edition of 20 individually numbered pieces- Price: $57,900 per
42mm stainless steel case, water-resistant to 150 meters, anti-magnetic soft iron cage within the case
Each watch includes two straps: one in blue alligator leather with a red lining and the other in chestnut brown calfskin
The caseback of this watch depicts the “standard” sea vessel that appears on almost all the Overseas watches – the Amerigo Vespucci. In this case, you can also see the “N°X/20” and “Madison and 64th” engravings:
Oh, by the way — this watch is one of three new special editions that Vacheron Constantin announced to commemorate its new New York boutique — You can see the other two, as well as a few good live shots of all three, over at friend-of-the-house Hodinkee.
by Kyle Stults on July 25, 2011
My previews of the ONLY Watch 2011 watch auction for charity continue with a look at the Vulcain Anniversary Heart. We don’t hear much about Vulcain here in the United States as distribution for the brand is limited — but this is not to say that they do not produce some splendid watches, which in fact they do. What you need to know is that the brand is most famous for two things — 1) in 1947, Vulcain invented the first wristwatch equipped with a genuinely operational alarm function, known as the “Cricket”, and 2) Vulcain fancies itself “President’s watch”, with a Vulcain watch having been owned President Harry S. Truman and each United States President since (as well as other eminent world figures). In the ONLY Watch 2011 piece, you get both the legendary Cricket movement and the beauty of a masterfully skeletonized piece!
Vulcain Anniversary Heart Watch for ONLY WATCH 2011
42mm rose gold case (12.7mm thick), Vulcain mechanical hand-wound movement with 20-second alarm function (double-barrel, 42 hours power reserve, fitted on black alligator strap with red gold pink buckle
The mainplate, the barrel bridge and the movement barrel are handcrafted and hand-decorated by the skilled hand of a master engraver
by Kyle Stults on July 22, 2011
Quick first look at the new IWC Ingenieur Double Chronograph Titanium watch (Ref. 3765). Most intriguing about this new double chronograph is the choice of metal — titanium. Apart from a few simple models in the 1980′s and 90′s, IWC notes that titanium was used exclusively in the Mercedes AMG Series — stainless steel has been the metal of choice for the Ingenieur. Accordingly, the IWC Ingenieur Double Chronograph Titanium weighs in at a scant 130 grams, a real featherweight when compared to the Ingenieur Mission Earth at 245 grams (including steel bracelet), for example. The new Ref. 3765 brings to the Ingenieur for the first time a split-seconds chronograph (aka a “rattrapante”) as well as a few other design tweaks. Also, the antimagnetic soft-iron inner case is also absent from this model. The overall look of the watch is 100% awesome, and I expect that this watch will be a real object of desire for hard-core IWC collectors and armchair watch enthusiasts alike. IWC Ingenieur Double Chronograph Titanium price is $12,700.
IWC Ingenieur Double Chronograph Titanium (Ref. 3765)
45mm titanium case (16mm thick), blue chrono counters, vulcanized pushers, automatic mechanical IWC Caliber 79230
Note that the five bore holes around the edge of the case now feature black DLC-finished screws — this substantially enhances the technical appearance of the watch
via: Watch International (IWC’s in-house print/electronic magazine)
IWC Schaffhausen is commemorating British adventurer David de Rothschild’s successful Plastiki Expedition (i.e. the water-bottle boat) with an addition to the Ingenieur watch family: a limited edition Ingenieur Automatic Mission Earth, Edition “Plastiki”. It is a great looking watch with nice blue/white/gray color scheme, but there is one drawback on this watch which I present with a question — why oh why oh why does IWC insist upon its “One out of ####” notation on its special edition pieces? Can somebody give me a coherent explanation as to why I as a Buyer should like this over an individually numbered piece? I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again — it seems to me that by not individually numbering these pieces IWC has a bad case of laziness. Judging by the comments on the similarly stamped Big Pilot Perpetual Calendar I highlighted yesterday, I’m not the only one who feels this way.
IWC Ingenieur Mission Earth “Plastiki” Edition (Ref. IW3236PL)
Limited Edition 1,000 pieces (“One out of 1000″ stamp on case)
46mm stainless steel case, soft-iron inner case (antimagnetic), automatic mechanical IWC Caliber 80110; fitted on a blue rubber strap
the case back engraving commemorates the “Plastiki” expedition and depicts the catamaran and its sea route from San Francisco to Sydney:
Did You Know?
The Plastiki Expedition: The “Plastiki” expedition made environmental history. Weighing 12 tons and held afloat by 12,500 reclaimed plastic bottles, the catamaran sailed from San Francisco to Sydney on a mission to draw global attention to the health of our oceans, in particular the colossal amounts of plastic waste choking the waves. A remarkable man full of bright ideas, David is a lateral thinker and, by passionate conviction, an environmental pioneer. He and his team undertook the project as a practical realization of their vision of a society that views waste as a resource. The Swiss watch manufacturer IWC Schaffhausen backed the adventure as official partner, endorsing its efforts to draw attention to the untold quantities of plastic waste that litter our oceans. This partnership is celebrated with the Ingenieur Automatic Mission Earth Edition “Plastiki”, Refer- ence 3236, which is limited to 1,000 timepieces.
by Kyle Stults on July 21, 2011
Audemars Piguet Japan recently announced a broad-based fund-raising initiative to aid the victims of the March 11th Tohoku earthquake in Northern Japan. Its “SUPPORT JAPAN” effort is a long-range plan projected to raise 100 million yen (~$1.3 million) to be donated to the Japanese Red Cross. To this end, AP Japan has launched a limited edition Royal Oak Offshore watch, the “GINZA 7″. 200 pieces will be made in forged carbon case, and also a stainless steel model will be produced (quantity unknown). Ten percent of sales of the special edition watch will be donated to SUPPORT JAPAN. Also, 40 original Audemars Piguet clocks signed by world famous celebrities and AP ambassadors will auctioned off (see below). Learn and see more at http://www.audemarspiguet-ginza.jp/supportjapan/index.html
Audemars Piguet Royal Oak Offshore GINZA 7 Forged Carbon
close-up of the stainless steel version:
Signed Audemars Piguet Wall Clocks:
Lionel Messi (Soccer)
Lebron James (Basketball)
Darren Clarke (Golfer)
Rory McIlory (Golfer)
by Kyle Stults on July 20, 2011
I believe, but am not certain, that this special edition IWC Big Pilot Perpetual Calendar watch is the final version of the same watch that I first previewed in August 2010. Why IWC is now touting this watch despite its “2010″ status is a bit odd — my only guess is that the watches are just now starting to be delivered. I originally referred to the watch as “yellow”, but I see that IWC refers to it as “orange” — six of one, half dozen of another, I say. Oh, and for what it’s worth — I still do not like absolutely detest the “One out of 250″ engraving on the watch. At this level I think the pieces should be individually numbered pieces.
This watch is exclusively available at the IWC Boutiques in Las Vegas and Los Angeles. Price is $28,000.
IWC Big Pilot Perpetual Calendar Watch Boutique Exclusive
46mm stainless steel case
Jason Cormier over at the Matt Baily Blog (a Canada-based authorized retailer of brands including Alpina, Frederique Constant, Bell & Ross, Tissot and others) has been writing a great tutorial (of sorts) on watches called “Watches in Depth”. I really enjoyed his most recent article, an in-depth review of “The Chronograph.”
Jason does a good job of explaining the technical aspects of chronograph watches but in an understandable manner (assuming a basic watch knowledge base). His series is perfect for those of you who are new to watches, and as well for those you who are interested in expanding your watch knowledge base (like me!). My thanks goes out to Jason for sharing his great knowledge of watches with this series of well-written articles — I look forward to more!
Note — A basic understanding of watches is helpful to understand this chrono article– but then again, Jason’s covered this, too!
photo: Matt Baily blog.
by Kyle Stults on July 19, 2011
Audemars Piguet on a winning streak! Darren Clarke is the third Audemars Piguet ambassador to win a golf Grand Slam tournament in the last 14 months, following in the footsteps of Rory Mcllroy (US Open 2011) and Graeme McDowell (US Open 2010). On Sunday July 17th, he claimed victory in the British Open, his maiden Major win. Interestingly, and as learned via a Graeme McDowell Tweet (nice catch Hodinkee), Clarke was seen wearing watch an ultra-light titanium Audemars Piguet Royal Oak prototype. Turns out Bubba Watson is not the only one with a fancy schmancy watch now! Congrats to Clarke and Audemars Piguet!
2011 British Open Winner Darren Clarke
by Kyle Stults on July 19, 2011
My ONLY Watch 2011 coverage continues with a look at the Corum Golden Bridge Automatic in titanium case. 2011 saw the launch of the first automatic mechanical movement for Corum’s iconic Golden Bridge watch, featuring an innovative linear winding system (see video clip below). Corum has take the watch to a new level for the special ONLY Watch event (soon upon us, Sept 2011) – the one-of-a-kind piece has a titanium case with a matte finish and provides great views of the movement from both the dial, case-back and sides of the watch. For more on ONLY Watch 2011, click here (all of my previews for ONLY Watch 2011 are listed).
Corum Golden Bridge Automatic Titanium for ONLY WATCH 2011
51.8mm tall x 37.2mm wide titanium case, Corum automatic mechanical movement, fitted on a black croc strap with red stitching and titanium pin buckle
The back of the watch is specially engraved with the Corum logo and the “ONLY WATCH PIECE UNIQUE” inscription in red.
Video of the Corum Golden Bridge Automatic Movement in action:
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