Yesterday in San Francisco, OMEGA unveiled the new Seamaster Diver ETNZ Limited Edition timepiece at a special event with Emirates Team New Zealand Skipper (and Omega Ambassador) Dean Barker. Designed to commemorate the 34th America’s Cup and celebrate OMEGA’s partnership with Emirates Team New Zealand (“ETNZ”), the new timepiece features a 44mm stainless steel case with matte black ceramic bezel ring, and is powered by the Omega co-axial calibre 3330 with regatta timing capability (indicated at 3 o’clock) — and a great red and black color set.
Lots more details and looks, on the click
by Kyle Stults on June 10, 2013
Single-Red, Single-Owner, Missing Bezel ?!?!…
Today was Sotheby’s “Important Watch and Clocks” sale in New York. Although a bit light on high-dollar pedigree, it was a strong auction for the lots that did go up, save for a few (see ‘Other lots of note’ below). Of the 258 lots offered, about 95% went above the estimated range — some significantly so.
The top lots, both at $461,000, were a Patek Ref 5013P minute repeater perpetual calendar and a diamond-set white gold Chopard L.U.C tourbillon (pre-sale est. $100-$150,000), but perhaps more headline-worthy was a 1967 Rolex Ref 1665 “Single-Red” Sea-Dweller which sold for a whopping $383,000. The pre-sale estimate on this piece was a mere $60,000-$80,000, but it seems that collector’s could not resist the provenance of this piece. And who could blame them — this Single-Red Sea-Dweller was also “Single-Owner” (since 1967), the property of a an accomplished American Navy diver. The “original owner” status along with the relative rarity of the Single-Red Sea-Dweller in all its ‘character’ made this piece highly coveted — a superb collector’s catch in today’s world of high-dollar collecting. Never mind that the bezel is missing, bid it up!
by Kyle Stults on June 01, 2013
Photograph by Mark Thiessen, National Geographic
In the June 2013 edition of National Geographic magazine, explorer James Cameron provides a first-person account of his unprecedented (well, I guess Piccard + Walsh did it in 1960 with a Rolex, too) voyage to the deepest known spot of the ocean, the Challenger Deep. This is the first first person account of the mission that I am aware of, and it is well worth the read.
I believe that Cameron’s mission will go down in the annals of history as one of the greatest exploration voyages ever undertaken by man, and I have great respect and admiration for extreme explorers such as Cameron (and Zenith-sponsored extreme explorer Felix Baumgartner (of Red Bull Stratos fame), who is also profiled in the issue).
In his multi-page, journal-style account, Cameron even mentions the Rolex Deepsea Challenge watch which accompanied him on the dive:
“35,756 feet [deep]…Core sample safe on board, I take a moment to shoot a close-up of the Rolex Deepsea watch for the Swiss firm that has partnered with us on the expedition. The watch, strapped to the manipulator arm, is still ticking, despite 16,300 pounds per square inch of pressure. In 1960, as part of a U.S. Navy project, Lt. Don Walsh and Jacques Piccard dived in the massive bathyscaph Trieste to the same depth, the only other humans to ever do so. They also brough a specially built Rolex, and it too withstood the pressure just fine…”
Flashback to Perpetuelle’s coverage of the expedition, replete with multiple images in which I identified the Rolex affixed to the outside of Cameron’s explorer vessel: Rolex Deepsea Challenge: Deepest Point On Earth
Also if interested, check out my 2010 hands-on encounter with the “original” Rolex Deep Sea Special: Perpetuelle Special Report: The Rolex Deep Sea Special (the Rolex taken by Jacques Piccard and Lt. Don Walsh to the bottom of Challenger Deep in 1960)
Since I first learned about Clerc a few years ago I’ve been a fan of the brand. I’ve reviewed a couple of the Geneva-based brand’s watches over the years (Hydroscaph Titanium 1000m and one soon to be published), and I’ve always been impressed with their quality and strong identity code. Last week I finally had a chance to meet the man behind the brand, the fourth generation family man carrying on the Clerc legacy, Mr. Gerald Clerc. Team Clerc was most generous to sit down with me and discuss their 2013 pieces. Being a small brand, Clerc does not release a lot of new models, maybe one per year.
Click through for more photos and video
Views from Baselworld 2013…
For my Hublot friend in Canada, especially for you, enjoy.
As an aside, the “quick change” push-button strap system Hublot has developed is beyond compare. Really impressive.
Celebrating the 60th anniversary of the first diving piece, Blancpain this year presents the new Fifty Fathoms Bathyscaph. Created in 1953, the Fifty Fathoms by Blancpain has become among the most famous diver’s watches. The vintage-inspired Fifty Fathoms Bathyscaphe presented in a 2013 includes men’s and women’s versions. This is a very distinct and great looking watch, with some excellent strap pairings, and a ceramic bezel with graduated scale in Liquidmetal® (a high-tech metal that first popped up in the Omega SMPO in 2009, but has also been used in Breguet and now Blancpain — all Swatch Group brands).
Read the rest of this entry »
First Look…Baselworld 2013 preview…
Here’s your first look at a great looking new piece from Omega, the Omega Seamaster Planet Ocean GMT. A perfect addition to the Planet Ocean lineup. As you can see from the bezel and dial it is a GMT watch, though the as noted by Omega this piece will carry the GoodPlanet name, an ocean conservation group that Omega has worked with since 2011. The watch has a 43.5mm steel case with ceramic bezel, 600 m water resistance, made with the Omega co-axial caliber 8605 with Silicon balance spring, and available on bracelet and rubber strap.
Click through for more looks and details on the new SMPO GMT
Baselworld 2013 preview…
Gerald Clerc of his namesake brand Clerc Geneve is set to introduce a new model in his Hydroscaphe collection, the H1 Chronometer. The watch has a very nice color set, with brushed steel case, deep blue matte dial and fluorescent yellow accents. What I like even more are the 3-dimensional, faceted hour-markers on the dial (see closeup below). The watch will utilize Clerc’s exclusive case design and construction (81+ parts) and thus retain the core DNA of prior Hyrdoscaphe models. Gerald does not introduce a lot of new models, but when he does he makes them count – the Hydroscaphe H1 will retail for $5,900 on rubber (I love their finely-lined rubber strap) and $6,300 on alligator strap, which I think is compelling for such a distinctive and well made watch. I will be meeting with Gerald next month at Baselworld and will be sure to share a hands-on look as soon as I have it.
CLERC Hydroscaphe H1 Chronometer
43.80 mm steel case (48mm including lateral protectors), water resistant to 500m, 4.0 mm glare-proofed sapphire crystal, automatic mechanical, COSC-certified with Côtes de Genève motif and blue screws (exhibition caseback), on vulcanized rubber or louisiana alligator strap with folding clasp
Dial: hours, mins, seconds, 3D superluminova applique markers. Tri-Date window at 3 o’clock
Any Perpetuelle readers who will be at Baselworld are cordially invited to set an appointment to meet!
The Vulcain watch manufacturer was founded in 1858 and is the inventor of the alarm complication for wristwatches. This innovation made the Vulcain watches popular with, among others, American presidents starting with Harry S. Truman, and thus the brand also has a reputation as “The Watch for Presidents”. This year Vulcain is re-issuing a Nautical Cricket watch from 1970; this model looks largely faithful to the 1970 model — right down to the hesalite crystal and the famous Cricket caliber. We’ll take a closer look below, including a little bonus for you collectors out there — I’ve located one of the originals for sale (details below). Read the rest of this entry »
Panerai’s introduction of the bronze PAM 382 in 2011 sparked a wave of new interest in bronze-cased watches. Panerai itself even decided to roll out Act II in 2013, introducing the bronze PAM 507 at SIHH earlier this year. For those of you who want your own a patina-ready piece, but don’t like Panerai or simply prefer something different or more affordable, here are a few interesting choices to consider, in order of lowest to highest price.
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