RJ-Romain Jerome’s “DNA of Legends” watches never really caught on with me, but I keep an eye on the brand because it has a unique platform, is very innovative, not afraid to take risks, and now and again they do come up with a piece that really resonates with my preferences (for example, the way cool Space Invaders Watches). The piece you see here is the latest in the “moon-DNA” collection, following the “black mood” and “steel mood” pieces of the same design. I like how this piece turned out — in addition to the distinctive RJ-Romain Jerome design codes, a few things stand out: carbon fiber bezel, hand-sculpted lunar grey dial (of course containing actual Moon dust), and “four-blade satellite solar panel” style seconds counter (9 o’clock), among other design elements. At at hefty price of almost 27,000 CHF, I see a piece like this as somewhat of an expensive novelty item and thus more for those who already have their Patek, Audemars Piguet, etc. i.e. this is not a foundational piece for a watch collection, but something that comes after you get tired of the traditional.
Romain Jerome Moon Dust Red Mood Chrono
RJ.M.CH.003.01Limited edition to 1,969 pieces. CHF 26,990-*
Looking for a unique Father’s Day gift? Consider a “California-designed, Swiss-made” watch from Xetum. Purchase at Xetum today or tomorrow and get a $100 AMEX Gift Card with your purchase. You can check out my review of the Xetum Tyndall watch if you would like a closer look at what Xetum has to offer. Click the image below for more details:
Ed’s note: Xetum is an advertiser on Perpetuelle.com as of date of publication of this blog post
No doubt that Patek’s white-dialed Jumbo Nautilus (Ref 5711) that I showed you in March has been a hit this year with enthusiasts. But if you desire something a bit more complicated than a basic 3-hander, consider the Nautilus Ref 5726. While annual calendars have been a popular complication of major luxury watchmakers for the last two years, this year’s Nautlius Ref 5726 by Patek Philippe is perhaps my favorite. With a steel case and a sleek steel-bracelet, the Patek Philippe Reference 5726/1A Nautilus Annual Calendar comes in your choice of black or white dial. Speaking of dials, the Ref 5276 has a superbly designed dial: the day of the week and month are displayed below 12 o’clock in twin in-line apertures; the moon-phase and 24-hour indicators are combined in a subdial and overlap the date window at 6 o’clock; black-lined hands and hour markers are luminescent. There is also the Nautilus hallmark horizontal embossed dial pattern. The Patek Nautilus Ref 5726 is priced at $47,600 — about $20,000 more than the basic 3-handed Nautilus Ref 5711. Pricey? Yes. But still a big step down from a Patek’s perpetual calendars which will set you back $100,000+. This Patek Ref 5726 is a beautiful watch.
Patek Philippe Ref. 5726 Nautilus Annual Calendar
40.5mm steel case (11.27mm thick), sapphire crystal front/back; on stainless steel bracelet with Nautilus clasp
Functions: Hours, minutes, seconds; annual calendar with day of the week, month, and date; moon-phase indication; 24-hour time indication
Patek Philippe Manufacture Caliber 324 S QA LU 24H
automatic; diameter = 36 mm; thickness = 5.78 mm; 347 parts; 34 jewels; 10 bridges Gyromax balance; 28,800 vph; Spiromax balance spring; central winding rotor in 21K gold, unidirectional winding; 45-hour power reserve; Patek Philippe Seal
Did You Know?
Annual vs. Perpetual Calendar: An annual calendar differs from a perpetual calendar in that it compensates for the length of every month except February, after which the date will need to be reset, whereas a perpetual calendar adjusts for the length of all 12 months, including leap-year Februaries. Annual calendars are thus slightly less complicated — more affordable — than perpetual calendars.
by Kyle Stults on May 26, 2012
Based on the 1964 Jack Heuer tribute to the Carrera Panamericana Mexico road race of the 50’s, this TAG Heuer Carrera “Monaco Grand Prix” watches features red lettering on the bezel, tachymetre scale, a vintage F1 rubber tire strap (very cool strap…reminds me of Chopard Mille Miglia), and inspired by Carrera Panamericana car, red touch on the hands and pusher, and a Monaco Grand Prix logo on its scratch-resistant sapphire caseback (not pictured). Sharp racing watch.
TAG HEUER CARRERA CALIBRE 16 CHRONOGRAPH MONACO GRAND PRIX LIMITED EDITION
43mm case, automatic mechanical TAG Heuer caliber 16 movement, rubber tire tread style strap
This new Ulysse Nardin Black Sea Chronograph — its matte-black appearance caught my eye and upon closer inspection there is a lot to like about this watch. Specifically, the great looking case this watch — turns out it is rubber-coated stainless steel — something Ulysse Nardin has been using on a lot of its watches lately, and to great effect. Then there is the grained dial — not something you see every day (see closeups below), and I like it. The rubber strap also has a fine textured to it which harmonizes well with the dial and rubber case. Note also the black inserts on the rubber strap — black ceramic (the buckle is ceramic, too). The dial is well organized with good color and lume placement. I also really like the nice, fat semi-skeletonized hands with lumed tips (also seen often on UN watches). Though I am not a huge Ulysee Nardin fan (purely a matter of preference), this is definitely a Ulysee Nardin I would wear. It is an incredibly good looking watch.
Ulysse Nardin Black Sea Chronograph
45.8mm rubber-coated steel case (200 meters WR), automatic mechanical UN manufacture caliber 35, chronograph with central chronograph seconds hand and permanent seconds in a counter at 3 o’clock, 30 minutes counter at 9 o’clock, a 12-hour counter detailed
at 6 o’clock, rubber strap with ceramic inserts
TAG Heuer and its insider blog Calibre11 have unveiled the new Aquaracer line for 2012, and the new models are definitely worth a look. I won’t get into all the details except to say that the Aquaracer line has undergone several significant changes, most notably the use of a ceramic bezel — an Aquaracer first. This redesign is not surprising given similar redesigns in other TAG Heuer collections the past two years, but as always there will be those who ‘like’ and those who do not. I tend to like the smoother lines and thinnber bezel on these new models. As for the particulars — Calibre11 is a TAG Heuer expert and they give an excellent run down on all the details — and more pics — just click on through. Price is in the $2,500 – $3,000 range. Here are a few of my favorite looks:
TAG Heuer Aquaracer 500M Ceramic
Blue Dial/ Blue Ceramic Bezel/ Steel
Full Black/ Ceramic Bezel/ Titanium Carbide Case
According to the FHH: Citing strategic differences between the Board of Directors and CEO Philippe Merk, Mr. Merk has left the company. The Board has appointed Mr. Francois-Henry Bennahmias as Director-General ad interim. Mr. Bennahmias joined AP in 1996 and has assumed the variety of roles for the organization, most recently successfully leading Audemars Piguet North America Inc. via its New York office. While that’s the official line, I’ll let you know if I get any of the backroom scuttlebutt. What does the mean for the sacred Royal Oak? Not a damn thing, I’d guess!
No Longer with Audemars Piguet: Philippe Merk
by Kyle Stults on May 24, 2012
After a five-year absence, Formula 1 will race again in the United States in November 2012. As excitement builds for Formula 1 racing’s return to the United States, I learn that Richard Mille has been busy working on a new RM011. The original RM 011 was done in collaboration with F1 driver and Richard Mille friend Felipe Massa, so I suppose that with Massa set to drive in the United States for the first time in five years, a limited edition of his namesake watch for the U.S. seems appropriate. The new timepiece features a flyback chronograph along with Richard Mille’s other technical innovations. The black carbon tripartite case gives high contrast to the watch’s bright yellow strap, numerals, hands, inner bezel, crown protector and lacquer rotor detail. A yellow helmet at the 7 o’clock position adds a subtle sporty touch. Only 30 pieces of the new RM 011 Felipe Massa Flyback Chronograph Carbon will be made and sold at the Richard Mille Boutique Beverly Hills, California. The United States Formula 1 Grand Prix will take place in Austin, Texas, November 16-18, 2012 at which Felipe Massa will compete wearing a Richard Mille watch on his wrist (like Richard Mille sponsored-athletes Rafael Nadal and Bubba Watson).
Richard Mille RM 011 Felipe Massa Flyback Chronograph CARBON
Limited edition 30 pieces
50mm x 40mm carbon case, skeletonized automatic winding movement with adjustable rotor geometry; 60-minute countdown timer; 12-hour totalizer; annual calendar; and oversize date and month
On Tuesday, June 5th, Susan and David Rockefeller, Jr. will celebrate World Oceans Day (officially June 8) in partnership with Swiss luxury brand Girard-Perregaux at the Museum of Modern Art in New York City. In honor of the evening and of Susan and David’s efforts to promote conservation and ocean preservation, Girard-Perregaux will launch a limited edition timepiece, the SeaHawk 1000 “Big Blue”. The watch features a steel case in the classic SeaHawk design, with a nicely toned blue rubber strap with blue dial. The dial has a map of the world outlined on the power reserve subdial to symbolize the theme of World Oceans Day. The back of the watch has the very cool looking trident motif, a signature of all SeaHawk pieces. Look for it on display next week at the event.
More Girard-Perregaux SeaHawk >>> Girard-Perregaux Sea Hawk Pro 1000m Dive Watch Review
Girard-Perregaux SeaHawk 1000 “Big Blue”
Limited edition 15 pieces
44mm stainless steel case, 1000 meter water resistance, unidirectional bezel, helium valve, automatic mechanical GP manufacture caliber, blue rubber strap
by Kyle Stults on May 24, 2012
I could hardly believe my eyes when I saw this vintage Cartier pocket watch that recently sold at auction — could it be the inspiration for the 2012 Cartier Skeleton Grand Complication Pocket Watch that was introduced earlier this year? Seems so! See my “side by side” comparison below and judge for yourself. According to Antiquorum (auctioneer), this vintage Cartier pocket watch has a 44.5mm rock crystal case with faceted border on the back, platinum band and skeletonized platinum Roman numerals, and a skeletonized center with blued steel Breguet-style hands. The movement is by European Watch and Clock Co. The watch condition was rated as “very good” and sold at the high end of the estimated range — final price including buyer’s premium was 51,250 CHF , or about $54,000 USD.
Vintage Cartier Pocket Watch
Sold at auction for 51,250 CHF (~$54,000 USD) (Antiquorum, Geneva May 2012)
Comparison: 2012 Cartier Grand Complication Skeleton Pocket Watch vs. 1920′s Cartier Pocket Watch
note: not to scale (2012 model is 59mm, 1920 model is 44.5mm)
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