Patek Philippe hosted a 175th anniversary celebration tonight in New York at the recently renovated Rainbow Room on the top floor of Rockefeller Plaza. It was a fine and dandy event, punctuated by fourth-generation Patek leader Thierry Stern’s unveiling of the new Patek Philippe Grandmaster Chime Ref 5175. Only seven pieces are being made — Patek is keeping one and the other six are already spoken for.
Before unveiling the actual watch, Stern showed the following film on the big screen — essentially the “Making Of” the Patek Philippe Grandmaster Chime:
This past Friday, October 31st, 2014, at the Grand Prix d’Horlogerie de Genève, GPHG (Geneva Watchmaking Grand Prix), Breguet won the most prestigious prize of “Aiguille d’Or” (“Golden Hand”) for its Classique Chronométrie. The GPHG is an annual awards ceremony held in Geneva, essentially a watch industry event for watch industry folks, though its popularity has broadened somewhat in recent years. In any case, it is one the watch industry’s prime opportunities to earn bragging rights amongst peers, and this year it was Breguet who came away with top honors. As a Breguet fan, I was happy to see the Classique Chronométrie 7727, a 10hz high frequency watch with magnetic pivot (among other fine attributes) get the recognition it deserved. See for yourself:
Abraham-Louis Breguet sought constantly to improve the accuracy and reliability of his watches through numerous inventions, ranging from the perpétuelle selfwinding watch (yes, the name of this blog was inspired directly by A.L. Breguet’s work!) to the tourbillon.
Today’s The Classique Chronométrie 7727 is the culmination of several years of research into high frequency (it operates at 10Hz), magnetism (the magnetic pivot was patented by Manufacture Breguet in 2010), and new materials (silicon). At the same time, the watch honors more than two centuries of Breguet’s stylistic tradition with the fluted caseband, welded lugs, engine turned dial, “Breguet hands”, secret signature and unique number, all of which are the identifying features that express the essence of a Breguet timepiece.
To mark Zenith’s 150th anniversary in 2015, the Le Locle-based manufacture is set to introduce the “Academy Georges Favre-Jacot”, a 150-piece limited edition series in rose gold case featuring a high-frequency hand-would El Primero caliber with chain and fusée mechanism. The fusée and chain is a rarely seen mechanism in the world of high watchmaking — names like Breguet, A. Lange and independent Romain Gauthier (to name a few) all have their own variation of such a system. On this watch, the chain and fusée transmission is fully visible through the upper dial opening, with the barrel between 10 and 11 o’clock and the fusée around which the chain wraps itself located between 1 and 2 o’clock. In total, the caliber comprises a whopping 797 parts, most of which are part of the 18cm long chain.
The name of this anniversary piece also pays tribute to Zenith’s founder, Mr. Georges Favre-Jacot. Certainly not a household name as far as “famous founders” go, but it was in 1865 that this youthful native of the village of Le Locle founded his watch factory (he was 22) which we know today as Zenith. 150 years is certainly a milestone worth celebrating, and you can be Zenith has plenty of festive events — and watches — to mark the occasion. Stay tuned! For now, though — a quick sneak peak at the Zenith Academy Georges Favre-Jacot…
The Jaquet Droz Bird Repeater was launched in 2012, featuring two birds and their young created in remarkable detail by the hands of Jaquet Droz artisans. The following year, The Charming Bird watch marked the brand’s 275th anniversary with a new interpretation of the bird in an ultra-modern decorative setting and this time singing. Now, the story continues with a new version of The Bird Repeater – a more streamlined, contemporary-looking model that has nonetheless retained intact the animated features that made it a success: a duo of birds feeding their fledglings, the spreading wings, the tumbling waterfall and the hatching egg.