Narco Bling: Top 6 Watches of Mexican Drug Lords

A redux of a topic I published on nearly six years ago (see: Narco Bling: The Watches of Mexican Drug Kingpins, July 10, 2009), self-proclaimed citizen investigative journalist website bellingcat.com recently published a review of the reach of Swiss luxury brands among the Mexican drug lords by analyzing social network profiles of three high ranking members of the infamous Sinaoloa drug cartel:  Ivan and Alfredo Guzmán, two of the most influential sons of El Chapo Guzmán, and José Rodrigo Aréchiga-Gamboa, alias “El Chino Ántrax” (who was arrested in Netherlands at the request of the US authorities in late 2013). The Top 6 Watches of Mexican drug lords, according the bellingcat.com’s analysis, are as follows:

      1. Richard Mille
      2. Hublot
      3. Rolex
      4. Audemars Piguet
      5. Urwerk
      6. Romain Jerome

While the top four brands are perhaps not surprisingly given the narco’s penchant for watches that are large, expensive and/or ostentatious, interesting occupants of the #5 and #6 slots were the more obscure independent brands Urwerk and Romain Jerome.  

There is disheartening commentary in the report as well.  The bellingcat author notes, “in times of economic hardship, the flamboyant lives of drug barons are appealing to millions of young and poor Mexicans abandoned by the state…”

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I must note that the quality of bellingcat’s analysis may be subject to scrutiny, particularly as the author notes that the authenticity of the social media accounts could not be verified (though, perhaps for obvious reasons).  And also, we all know how easy it is to make oneself look richer than one really on social media simply by taking photos from other accounts and claiming them as one’s own.  Bellingcat.com was launched via a Kickstarter campaign in 2014 and has been no stranger to controversial articles.  Even so, I think the analysis is worth a read.

Please click here to see the full story (including many more pics, commentary “Tracking Swiss Watches in Sinaloa: Top 6 Luxury Brands Among Mexican Drug Lords” over at Bellingcat>>>

Urwerk EMC Watch

Urwerk EMC Watch

Urwerk’s new EMC watch (“Electro Mechanical Control”)  is comprised of a manually wound movement, as well as an electronic rate monitor.   I was given a sneak preview of the UR-EMC caliber back in May at Baselworld which left me scratching my head, but now we have a complete picture.

Watch aficionados well know that changes in position and temperature, as well as shocks, can all adversely affect the isochronism (timing regularity) of a wristwatch.   What Urwerk has done with the EMC is enable the wearer to not only obtain the precise timing rate on demand, but also to then use that information to accurately adjust the precision of the watch.  Capability of this sort is the preserve of professional watchmakers and their Witschi machines, but now anyone with an EMC watch will now have similar capability thanks to the watch’s incredibly complex hybrid electronic/mechanical architecture.

These things said, while I can appreciate the concept, for a watch that will reportedly sell for around $120,000, it all seems a bit frivolous to me.    You can decide what you think of the Urwerk EMC after reviewing the pics and info below.
[Read more…]

Urwerk UR-202 Baguette

Not a fan of diamond-decked watches, but must say this one goes well in a baguette-set.  There are even diamonds on the satellites.  Time on the UR-202 is displayed using telescopic minute hands operating through the middle of three orbiting and revolving hour satellites.   The UR-202 is also the first to feature an innovative new winding system regulated utilizing miniature, adjustable turbines which are coupled with the rotor to absorb shock and reduce wear.  Check ’em out at http://www.urwerk.com/

Urwerk UR-202 Baguette

Piece Unique

Urwerk UR-202 Baguette Urwerk UR-202 Baguette Crown

Urwerk UR-210 Maltese Falcon (Live Video)

Coming October 201, the Urwerk Maltese Falcon.  You saw the first look at the Urwerk Maltese Falcon here at Perpetuelle just a couple weeks ago, and now here is some live video of the piece, courtesy of Urwerk.  Watch closely at around the :27 second mark and you will see the retrograde hand snap back.  There is also another look at the :55 mark.

Urwerk UR-210 Maltese Falcon (Live Video)

Price 137,000 CHF (~$145,000 US at current f/x)