TAG Heuer and Cameron Diaz Release Limited Edition Set, Donate Proceeds

TAG Heuer and superstar Cameron Diaz have recently joined forces to release the limited edition Link Lady Trilogy in support of UN Women.

TAG Heuer’s Link and Link Lady collections are known for its distinctive yet ergonomic and comfortable S-shaped metal bracelet. The new face of the Link Lady collection, Cameron Diaz, and TAG Heuer have chosen to celebrate the occasion by releasing a combination watch and jewelry set: the Link Lady Trilogy.

The centerpiece of this limited edition set is the watch, a Link Lady Automatic. This watch is the first automatic watch for women in the Link collection and features a rounded, highly polished case. The watch face features a delicately designed dial and date window in the 6 o’clock position, and is decorated with a ripping pattern of concentric circles. The watch’s transparent sapphire caseback is not only inscribed with the signature of Cameron Diaz herself but also showcases the watch’s powerful movement. A fully diamond-lined bezel tops off this watch’s sparkling appeal. The watch is presented in its jewel box with a bracelet and ring, both of which are forged of the same signature stainless steel as the watch itself and are crafted to mimic the distinct links of the Link Lady Automatic’s bracelet strap. So far the Link Lady trilogy has been seen in plain stainless steel and yellow gold-plated versions.

The Link Lady Trilogy in full steel.

As stated earlier, the Link Lady Trilogy has been designed and produced in a limited edition aimed at bringing financial aid to UN Women, or the United Nations Entity for Gender Equality and the Empowerment of Women. The organization is part of the United Nations Development Group, an entity that was created in the late ’90s and helps improve the UN’s effectiveness on a national level. UN Women is dedicated in particular to helping hold the UN accountable for its commitment to gender equality, among other duties.

Released in tandem with the Link Lady Trilogy was the limited edition “Leonardo DiCaprio” Link Calibre 16 Chronograph. This latest addition to the Link line’s men’s collection has been released in a run of only 2000 pieces and features a dial lacquered navy blue, and its smoked sapphire caseback features Leonardo DiCaprio’s signature. As with the Link Lady Trilogy, proceeds from the sale of this limited edition will go to support a charitable cause—in this case Leonardo DiCaprio’s charitable parterns in the US, Green Cross International and the National Resources Defense Council. Both organizations are dedicated to environmental causes.

With these latest additions to their already-celebrated Link collection, TAG Heuer has proven not only its dedication to creating elegant, high-quality timepieces but its commitment to social responsibility.

HYT has Already Won Multiple Awards for the H1

Launched earlier this year, HYT’s revolutionary new H1 watch has already garnered several international awards for its innovative design.

So far HYT has been awarded the Best Concept Watch Award in Meciso’s prestigious Salon Internacional Alta Relojera. The second award HYT has already garnered comes from New Delhi, where HYT yet again won the Best Concept Watch Award 2012, at the Watch World Award 2012 ceremony. HYT has also been awarded the Geneva Watchmaking Grand Prix Award 2012 for Best Innovative Watch Concept 2012.

The H1 combines fluid mechanics and traditional clockwork to create a unique means of telling the time. A capillary circles the watch casing, and this tube is filled with a carefully engineered combination of liquids—one brightly colored, the other transparent. Due to the difference in viscosity of these liquids the clear liquid and colored liquid remain separated. Two small reservoirs-cum-bellows serve to both store the liquid as well as pump it through the capillary. The end result is that as the amount of colored liquid increases in the tube the amount of transparent liquid decreases, and the meniscus between the different-colored liquids marks out the hours as it passes the twelve hour marks on the H1’s bevel. A more conventional counter is used to mark the minutes. Together, the hour-marking action of the capillary and bellows plus the conventional ticking of the minutes form a unique, innovative, and exciting means of telling the time.

The reservoir-cum-bellows that hold and move the liquid are visible through the lower half of the H1’s face, lending the watch a H1 a rugged appearance. The clear sapphire crystal back of the watch displays the conventional movement of the watch’s interior. This clockwork not only drives the reservoirs but the minute marker. The H1 is a watch that wears its inner workings as a badge of honor and it has so far been released in four different colorways: Titanium, Black DLC, Black DLC-Pink Gold, and Pink Gold.

With three awards already under its belt, there can be no doubt that HYT has already made its mark on the watchmaking world. There’s no doubt that further experiments in watchmaking are to come from this young, innovative company.

Bedat Holds First Successful Singaporean Exhibition

Last month Swiss watchmaker Bedat & Co celebrated their first successful exhibition in the island nation of Singapore, promoting their 2012 collection to a new audience.

Bedat & Co. is a fairly young brand, started by Simone Bedat with her son Christian in 1996. The brand has since made its name by specializing in timepieces with Art Deco-inspired designs and a feminine touch. Singapore was chosen to be the site of this exhibition due to Bedat & Co. feeling the nation is “an important style icon in the world” where there is a “high number of independent, high-powered and intelligent women”–the core of the brand’s target market. The exhibition took place over September 14-23 and was held in Wisma Atria, a shopping center long known for catering to fashionistas by offering a combination of renowned international brands and unique fashion labels within its walls.

Partway through the exhibition’s duration a gala presentation was held in order to showcase Bedat & Co.’s creations to the media, celebrities, fashion icons, and watch enthusiasts of Singapore. Bedat & Co. President Mr. Frank Low and Director of Creations Dino Modolo were in attendance as well as over 150 exclusive guests. Human statues wearing Bedat’s timepieces were used to showcase the timepieces and the crowd was kept entertained by Clarissa Monteiro, a well-known jazz singer who presided over the gala as Master of Ceremonies.

In addition to the statues Bedat presented their timepieces on the catwalk. The highlight of the show was Singaporean celebrity Sheila Sim, who walked the catwalk wearing the crown of Bedat & Co. beautiful Extravaganza collection: the Ref. 887. This watch features a round face surrounded by diamonds laid in an arrangement of radiating curves that recals the petals of a many-layered flower. The Ref. 887 is also notable for an extra bit of dazzle on its face, a rotating diamond located in the 6 o’clock position. Its casing is made of solid 18-carat rose gold and it comes with a rolled-edge satin strap. Furthermore the Ref. 887 is available in four different colors that range from a sober black to a fun dark pink.

The other notable watch of the exhibition was the newly-launched Ref. 823. An innovative member of Bedat’s No. 8 collection, this simple and elegant design features a round stainless steel case, a central rotating diamond. This model is notable for featuring an interchangable center attachment, allowing its owner a choice of straps: hand-stitched alligator leather or a stainless steel “mille mailles” bracelet.

Bedat & Co. Is to be congratulated on their successful exhibition. There’s no doubt that many more elegant, beautiful creations are to come from this brand.

Hublot Expands Chinese Presence With Xiamen Store, Exhibitions

One of the leading Swiss watch brands, Hublot recently opened its largest Chinese boutique to date in the city of Xiamen—the latest step of its growth in the Chinese market.

Founded in 1980 by Carlo Crocco, designer of the first natural rubber strap in watchmaking history, Hublot has gone on to open over 50 stores in cities all around the world. Their new store in Xiamen is the sixth of their stores in China. Xiamen is a major city located on China’s southeast coast and is known for both its diverse industry and the beauty of its surrounding countryside.

The store is located in one of Xiamen’s many shopping districts, a luxury shopping area known as China Town, and covers over 200 meters. In accordance with the brand’s determination to embody the “Art of Fusion”, the store’s design combines Hublot’s signature black with discreet, luxurious, and high tech elements. Private VIP rooms and highly-experienced staff combine to bring visitors an unparalleled shopping experience.

Three photos showing the exterior and interior of Hublot's new Xiamen boutique.
Hublot demonstrates the “Art of Fusion” in architectural form. (images taken from Hublot’s online press release).

The opening of this boutique coincided with the arrival of two more of Hublot’s artistic efforts in China. The first is the opening of an exhibition that embodies Hublot’s philosophy of the “Art of Fusion” and features classic timepieces from Hublot’s many collections over the years. All of these are on display as examples of Hublot’s fusion of traditional Swiss watchmaking with modern techniques and materials. The second event is the arrival of the “20 years of Ferrari in China” exhibition in Xiamen, a nationwide roadshow and exhibition that is jointly supported by Hublot. The exhibition featured the arrival of an exclusive version of the Ferrari 458 Italia, of which only twenty will be made. None of them will be sold outside of China.

As Hublot and Ferrari have a well-known partnership it’s not surprise that Hublot would be on hand to aid and celebrate Ferrari’s expansion into Chinese markets. In fact, their partnership has recently borne fruit with the release of Hublot’s brand new, limited edition Big Bang Ferrari watch, which utilizes a brand new material called “Magic Gold”–the strongest gold ever created and a revolutionary material developed by Hublot itself.

This boutique in Xiamen’s China Town is the sixth of Hublot’s stores in China, and with more to come—the number of Hublot boutiques in China is expected to reach ten in the next six months—it’s safe to say that Hublot’s future in China looks bright.

Breguet Awarded By “Watch of the Year” Competition With Three Prizes

Last month Breguet, a Swiss watch manufacturer, received three awards in MontresPassion magazine’s 19th annual Watch of the Year competition as the result of juried judging and popular online vote.

Breguet was founded in Paris in 1775, and over the centuries its clientele have included everyone from royalty to explorers, diplomats to bankers. The brand also has a storied clientele in literature, appearing on characters from celebrated works such as Leo Tolstory’s “War and Peace” and Alexandre Dumas’ “The Count of Monte Cristo.” MontresPassion is a Swiss magazine that is published in French, devoted to celebrating watches and those who make and wear them. The magazine has held its annual Watch of the Year compeition since 1994.

This year’s event was well attended by over 600 personalities, all gathered to honor the best watch creations of 2012. Despite the competition’s long history this was the first year that a single brand has come away with so many prizes. The two Breguet watches honored in the competition were the Héritage phases de lune rétrograde and Tradition GMT, both of which had been first unveiled at the 2012 Basil Watch Show.

In particular the Héritage phases de lune rétrograde was given two awards, Watch of the Year 2012 and 2012 Ladies’ Watch Prize. The Tradition GMT emerged as the clear winner in the Public’s Prize. For this prize a carefully selected list of 40 watches was presented to the public to consider and vote on through the magazine’s website. As such, Breguet can rest knowing that both experts and the public alike laud their timepieces.

The Héritage phases de lune rétrograde has a rose gold case shaped in a tonneau or barrel-shape. It’s hands are located in a center dial made of mother-of-pearl and its face features Roman numerals whose size and shape morph to fit in the space between the round center dial and the tonneau shape of its casing. However, it’s most striking feature is the rose gold moon located at one o’clock on the watch face which shows the phases of the moon. Looking at this elegant watch with its delicate lunar ode it’s obvious why it won two awards in Montres Passion’s juried competition.

By contrast the Tradition GMT has a solidly round casing, also case in rose gold. It features faces, both marked with Roman numerals—one white face for the primary time zone, and one black face for a secondary time zone. The two faces are set as two circles without the larger circle of the casing, each one with edges just barely tangent to each other. The gaps between the faces and the edge of the casing reveal the delicate gears that make up the watch’s finely-tuned interior, making the Tradition GMT a rugged contrast to the delicacy of the Héritage phases de lune rétrograde. Looking at the still picture of this watch one can easily imagine the hypnotic movement of the hands around their dial and of the layers of machinery beneath, making it obvious why this gorgeous timepiece was selected for MontresPassion’s Public’s Prize.

Congratulations to Breguet both for creating such beautiful timepieces, and for the prizes their hard work has won them. We look forward to seeing what Breguet has up its sleeve for 2013.

Watchmaking Meets Automobiles in the New Ball for BMW Collection

Ball and BMW have teamed up to release a collection of watches that combines the highest standard of watch-making with slick automobile glamour.

This collaboration between two major luxury brands was first announced months ago and the collection consists of three models, with a total of 28 non-limited versions. The models are the Classic, GMT, and Power Reserve. All three models feature detailing that echoes classic BMW design, including discreet renditions of the BMW logo. However, as befits its dual heritage, all models also feature the distinctive tritium tube gas illumination that is particular of Ball’s timepieces, and all three will feature COSC-certified automatic movements.

The Classic model’s face is distinguished by the round BMW logo that is engraved in the watch face and located across the 7 o’clock and 8 o’clock positions. A date counter is located at the 3 o’clock face. The overall impression is sleek and minimalist. The GMT design features a sportier, more rugged design, with a dark watch face that marks the house, minutes, and seconds with markings that recall the dashboard of a BMW vehicle. The date counter is again located in the 3 o’clock position, but this time a small, discreet color BMW logo is located next to it.

The final Power Reserve model combines the previous two models in its look. The watch face has the same dashboard-echoing design of the GMT, as well as the same date counter and BMW logo in the 3 o’clock position. However, it features the same round detail in the lower lefthand corner of the watch face as the Classic—though in the Power Reserve the round inset serves as an indicator of the watch’s titular power reserve, as opposed to simple decoration.

All three models additionally have the BMW logo embossed on the dial and come in a variety of colorways. The Classic comes with metal bracelet or leather strap while the GMT and Power Reserve come with metal bracelet and leather or rubber strap. Coming soon is a limited edition model that will feature a thermometer as part of its design.

This beautiful collection is a wonderful fusion of Ball and BMW design, featuring signature BMW design details while retaining the distinctive look and feel of Ball’s quality timepieces. These are truly watches for any fan of the BMW lifestyle.

Mystery Buyer of World’s Most Expensive Watch Revealed

The Patek Philippe Supercomplication timepiece, which sold for a record price, has been revealed to have been purchased by a member of the Qatari royal family.

The timepiece, which was purchased by 11 million dollars in 1999 by a then-unknown buyer through Sotheby’s auction house. However, the identity of that anonymous buyer has been revealed by the announcement that the 1999 buyer had to pledge the Supercomplication, as well as other valuables, to Sotheby’s in order to cover their debts. Perhaps even more important than this revelation is the expectation that Sotheby’s intends to auction off the Supercomplication once again.

The Supercomplication features a different function for every hour of the day, includes a chart of the night sky over New York City complete with the magnitudes of each star, and a minute timekeeper whose chimes mimic the melody of London’s famous Big Ben. The watch was originally commissioned in 1933 by the New York banker and watch collector Henry Graves, who was at the time engaged in a contest with the automotive industry tycoon James Ward Packard to see who could become owner of the world’s most complicated watch. When Packard obtained his timepiece in 1927, Graves tried to upstage him by commissioning an even more complicated watch from Patek Philippe. This watch was the Supercomplication.

Sold to Graves at the price of CHF60,000, The Supercomplication remained in the ownership of the Graves family until 1999, where it was sold through Sotheby’s auction house for the record sum of $11,002,500. After that purchase the Supercomplication was moved from the Museum of Time in Illinois to the Patek Philippe Museum in Geneva.

It took fifty years for Patek Philippe to produce a watch even more complicated than the Supercomplication—the Caliber 89 watch, which was produced in 1989 to celebrate the brand’s 150th anniversary had featured an amazing 33 more functions than the Supercomplication. Even so, this timepiece commanded a price of only five million dollars—less than half of the price garnered by its famous predecessor.

With the re-auctioning of the Supercomplication apparently imminent, it remains to be seen if the Supercomplication will be able to live up to its own record—or break it.

Ulysse Nardin Corporate Movie Showcases Intricate Manufacturing Process

Swiss watch manufacturer Ulysse Nardin has recently released a corporate movie through their website and YouTube that showcases the highly intricate process by which their timepieces are made.

Ulysse Nardin was founded in 1846, and the city of Le Locle, Switzerland, but their manufacturing facility is all modern. The film takes viewers through all steps of the manufacturing process, from designers putting together the next generation of watches to the workers to utilize state-of-the-art equipment to create the many intricate parts that go into a single watch. The film is sure to showcase the artistry of each watch and the skill of the workers who make them.

Heaving seas and a cloud-covered moon that set the scene as the movie begins. The flash of a lighthouse beam takes us first to the designers, hard at work thinking up the next generation of watches on paper and computer. The next few minutes of the film are devoted to the people and machines who manufacture the many intricate parts of a watch. From dark factory floors to brightly-lit labs, the movie beautifully exhibits the breadth of skills required to create a single luxury timepiece. Ulysse Nardin is careful to also showcase the people who make their watches possible in this movie, with attention dedicated to the men and women whose work make Ulysse Nardin’s watches possible. Time and again we see people examining their work with dedication and care, a reminder of how highly Ulysse Nardin values the quality of its watches.

From factory floors and labs we move on to the watches’ assembly. Ranks of skilled men and women take the parts we just saw being made and begin the delicate process of assembling them into the mechanical core of each Ulysse Nardin timepiece. However, a luxury watch is more than just a machine, it’s a work of art, and the movie shows us that dimension of each watch’s genesis as well. There is a fascinating portion of the movie that gives us a close look at the artistry behind some of Ulysse Nardin’s watches, from cloisonne to miniature paintings.

Once the artists have had their time on screen the movie jumps back to the assembly process. This time we watch as the assembled cogs are united with their faces and hands before their fine casings are put in place. The film takes us through the final part of the manufacturing process as it showcases the men and women whose job it is to check each and every watch for quality, ensuring that only the best make it out. The movie closes on a look at some of Ulysse Nardin’s beautiful timepieces, their beauty only enhanced by knowledge of the labor and craft that went into each one’s making. With a final flash of light, the lighthouse from before turns off, signalling the end of a long day’s work and the end of the movie.

For 165 years Ulysse Nardin has dedicated itself to manufacturing only the best in timepieces. What this movie demonstrates is that dedication holds strong today, and that reputation for quality is well-earned and hard-kept. Watch this short film yourself right here: