Chopard Imperiale watches dress up for Christmas

Majesty, refinement and beautifully balanced proportions: the Imperiale watch is one of the great Chopard classics. For Christmas, the power of its sculptural lines radiates the glow and softness of new pastel colours and the soft shimmer of a mother-of-pearl dial. 

This new version of the Imperiale watch, a line born in 1990 and completely redesigned in 2010, is being launched in three of Chopard’s favourite colours: timeless white, as well as two subtle pastels. Lavender blue and powder pink are two rich, delicately patinated colours that also bear the mark of History and elegance, while infusing the timeless lines of the Imperiale watch with a new touch of sensuality.

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Crafted in rose gold for versions with a pink and white mother-of-pearl dial, and white gold for the blue version, the Imperiale watch also comes with a range of satin straps matching the dial colours. The bezel, lugs and hour-markers are set with brilliant-cut diamonds, resulting in a model whose elegance is rooted in History and entirely in tune with modern times. The dial is of a shimmering mother-of-pearl, which gives the watch unprecedented luminosity.

The Imperiale watch is truly reminiscent of the Imperial era, in its lines, proportions and subtle details: roman numerals, the hands like sharp daggers used by sovereigns in battle, the crown curved like a lotus flower, the shape of the lugs reflecting the traditions of antique columns. A contemporary and refinery sophisticated interpretation of bygone times.

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Material courtesy of Chopard Press Office.

Girard-Perregaux Vintage 1945 revealed

For the first time ever, the mechanical heart of the Girard-Perregaux Vintage 1945 watch is revealed under a transparent sapphire dial. In a deft combination of technology and style, this model is enhanced by its Art Deco-inspired aesthetic code and its uncompromisingly contemporary mechanical structure.

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The new Girard-Perregaux Vintage 1945 Large Date, Moon-Phases watch fully reveals the complexity of its movement for the first time, thanks to a transparent dial carved in sapphire.  This offers the wearer a fascinating mechanical spectacle of gears, display disks, screws, levers and wheels, all arranged in a perfectly-orchestrated system. A fine example of kinetic art, the Girard-Perregaux Vintage 1945 watch is marked out by its strong character and elegant sense of style.

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A case of architectural proportions

With its mechanical beating heart, the Vintage 1945 Large Date, Moon-Phases watch accentuates an impression of depth combined with multiple contrasts.  Like a metal and glass cathedral, it is a vivid example of the spirit of contemporary architecture, in which spaces and volumes are intermingled to form subtly coordinated interplays of transparent structures. With its mysterious smoked-glass effect, the dial both reveals the watch mechanism and showcases the hour markers and applique Arabic numerals to ensure clear and rapid reading of the indications. Its gray coloring is obtained by surface metallization, while the seconds circle and the inscriptions have been created through printing. The Dauphine-type hands, embossed and polished, stand out just as clearly, while continuing to allow the heart of the watch mechanism to be seen.

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Designed in the purest Art Deco style, the rectangular “1945″ case (named for the year of its creation) forms part of the repertoire of iconic Girard-Perregaux classics.  Its profile, doubly curved both length-wise and width-wise, forms a combination of harmonious lines of convergence and gentle curves. Recognized and appreciated by connoisseurs for this aesthetic perfection, it also provides the wearer with a very high degree of comfort.

A mechanical spectacle

The dimensions of the GP 03300-0105/0062 manufactured caliber exactly match those of the case, which is highly unusual for watches with distinctive shapes. Among the first features to be noticed is the large jumping date at 12 o’clock, displayed by a tandem of two adjacent disks.  In terms of technical performance, this patented mechanism impresses by the rapidity of its operation: a date change is completed in under 5 milliseconds when triggered!  It is also noteworthy for its display on the same level, achieved thanks to an ingenious mechanism.

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The transparent disk bearing the numerals indicating the units, placed on top and with a minimum thickness of 0.1 mm, has its numerals inscribed on its back, contrary to usual practice. The level difference is thus imperceptible in relation to the black disk positioned underneath that bears the numerals indicating the tens. The two numerals thus give the appearance of being displayed naturally side by side, without any line of demarcation.

Following conventional lines and yet imbued with a strong poetic element, the moon-phase indicator at 6 o’clock both provides visual balance and adds a colorful note. Operating on the same axis as the small seconds hand, this function also has a discreetly concealed technical profile, marked particularly by the presence of two moon symbols that appear alternately on the micro-dial. Its indented perimeter and the heart that usually covers the lower part of the disk are thus converted into almost theatrical features.

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Wound automatically by an oscillating weight visible on the case-back side, the caliber is very easy to set. Equipped with a minimum 46-hour power-reserve, its frequency is fixed at 4Hz, or 28,800 vibrations per hour.

Material courtesy of Girard-Perregaux Press Office

A classic yet utterly contemporary creation: Lvcea by Bvlgari

This was an emotional video supporting Lvcea watches launch campaign, with spectacular close ups showing the refined details of this classic yet very contemporary creation on the background of my beloved Rome.

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A collection which is inspired, in the design of its gleaming band, by another iconic Bulgari signature piece: Serpenti.

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The name itself, Lvcea, clearly comes from the Italian word Luce (light), which becomes the essence of this watch’s soul, recounting the legend of the sundial.

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And, like a halo of light, a diamond-encrusted case embraces the passage of time.

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A collection offering the widest choice: from stainless steel, to the luxury of pink gold with diamonds accents, with both automatic and quartz movements:

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A strong tribute to well defined and self-assured personality, Lvcea has Carla Bruni Sarkozy as testimonial and brand ambassador in the press campaign:

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To use an adjective quite in fashion these days, we can definitely state that Lvcea By Bulgari is an “unapologetically” classic chic yet contemporary timepiece for a contemporary and self-confident woman.

All material on Bulgari official web site.

The timeless appeal of IWC Portofino Midsize

A watch I immediately fell in love with, the new IWC Schaffhausen 37-millimetre Portofino Midsize Automatic has made the classically elegant three-hand timepiece more attractive to the feminine public – and more in line with a more discreet style.

The watch still has the glamour and appeal of diamonds, combined with the understated romance of its dials, revealing a restrained elegance with its classic round case and thin bezel. This watch is a true classic beauty. It is subtle and simple, and with a proportioned elegance.

Complications also add to the romance of the watch. One discretely reveals a second time zone. The other shows the moon phase. let us not forget that the Portofino line was born in 1984 with a moon phase, and this is the continuation of its lineage.

Grace and charm have intrinsic value, and this new collection is an enrichment in terms of finesse and romance, timelessly in style and sign of refined taste.

Portofino Midsize Automatic, Reference IW458104

Portofino Midsize Automatic, Reference IW458104

Portofino Midsize Automatic, Reference IW458105

Portofino Midsize Automatic, Reference IW458105

The ten models with their diamond-set bezels or dials will appeal to buyers seeking puristic design combined with a distinct note of luxury.

The flawless precious stones give these watches a radiance of their own, while the design itself remains sleek and simple. The fine sun-pattern finish on the dials reflects light in a myriad of different ways, while the polished surfaces of the case, like the guilloche work, give the watches an opulent style of their own. Alligator leather straps from Santoni in delicate nuances of colour, from light and dark brown to grey and black, as well as in orange, lilac and red, complement the dial and case of nine of the models perfectly, while one of the stainless-steel models is fitted with an exquisite Milanaise mesh bracelet.

For the red gold and stainless-steel versions of the Portofino Midsize Automatic Moon Phase, IWC’s watch designers chose flawless, gently shimmering mother-of-pearl in white and black.

Portofino Midsize Automatic Moon Phase, Reference IW459004

Portofino Midsize Automatic Moon Phase, Reference IW459004

Portofino Midsize Automatic Moon Phase, Reference IW459003

Portofino Midsize Automatic Moon Phase, Reference IW459003

The subtle, smooth lustre of the mother-of-pearl gives the dials a magnificent sense of depth, bringing them to life. A bezel set with 66 diamonds complements each piece with a fitting sparkle. The dial of the sumptuous white gold model is coated with several layers of jet-black lacquer, which provides a striking backdrop to the pure white diamonds. For the first time ever, Schaffhausen’s watch designers have set the complete moon phase display against a star-studded night sky, making the moon and stars appear to float in infinite space. The watch is brought to sparkling life by the diamond set in both the inner circle of the dial and the baton-style indices, as well as by the case, which is encrusted with 90 precious stones.

The Portofino Midsize Collection has been launched also by the support of a ultra-glamourous movie directed by a master film director like Peter Lindbergh: the action filmed in black and white and set in romantic and warm Portofino accompanies us to admire these effortlessly stylish timepieces on the wrists of a glittering ensemble of Hollywood stars (Ewan McGregor, Cate Blanchett, Emily Blunt, to name but a few of them):

All material courtesy of IWC. Additional source the article “The New Midsize Portofinos: a Collector’s Impression” by Michael Friedberg.

Patek Philippe’s Grandmaster Chime: the sound of history

Among the limited edition commemorative timepieces created on the occasion of Patek Philippe’s 175th Anniversary, the Grandmaster Chime is by far the most complicated, and one of the most elaborated wristwatch ever created. A new benchmark in technical and aesthetics elegance.

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The numbers behind this amazing creation are quite impressive: a double-face case with a diameter of 47 mm, accommodating four spring barrels and no fewer than 20 complications, including coveted functions such as a Grande and Petite Sonnerie, a minute repeater, an instantaneous perpetual calendar with a four-digit year display, a second time zone, and two patented global debuts in the domain of chiming watches: an acoustic alarm that strikes the alarm time and a date repeater that sounds the date on demand. 1366 movement components and four additional patents emphasize the innovative thrust behind this watch.

A new pinnacle in haute horlogerie, which development started in 2007, this is a watch with an intricate inner life. It is a visionary triumph, as pleasing to the ear as to the eye, and a truly melodious companion. Only seven pieces with the unique engraved case will ever be made; six will be sold to collectors and enthusiasts, while the seventh will join the collection at the Patek Philippe Museum.

Design and case

The case of the Grandmaster Chime, decorated with handsome engravings, is ingeniously reversible, with two coequal faces that both display the time. One face details the array of musical elements; the other focuses on the instantaneous perpetual calendar. An inspired patented mechanism (which alone took three years to perfect) enables the watch to be smoothly reversed in an instant, locking securely into place. This intricate design means the case is as sophisticated as the complex movement within. While a conventional case consists of about 12 parts, this one can claim no fewer than 214 components: it is a true work of art, and is the first round, truly reversible case that can be worn with equal comfort on both sides. Even with this complex design, the many functions of the watch are able to operate smoothly and the chimes peal with a full and resonant sound.

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Decoration and dial

The Grandmaster Chime showcases the rare handcraft skills that are held in such high esteem at Patek Philippe – a display of artisanal excellence produced by masters of their disciplines. In 18k rose gold, both case and fold-over clasp are meticulously hand-engraved with laurel leaves that conjure ancient victory wreaths. The two solid gold dials are equally impressive. The sonnerie side with time functions features delicate gold appliques; the center of the dial is adorned with a hand guilloched sunburst pattern of radiating sound waves. The design of the classically configured calendar side was influenced by the wishes of honorary president Philippe Stern.

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Main Complications overview

Grande sonnerie, one of the rarest of complications, which automatically chimes the hours and quarters on three gongs. When the grande sonnerie is not required, the watch can be set to the petite sonnerie, or in fact to silence, when the hours will pass without so much as a whisper.

Grande sonnerie, one of the rarest of complications, which automatically chimes the hours and quarters on three gongs. When the grande sonnerie is not required, the watch can be set to the petite sonnerie, or in fact to silence, when the hours will pass without so much as a whisper.

For the first time in the history of watchmaking, this watch uses the minute repeater strike sequence as an acoustic alarm signal, providing a gentle alert using the same sequence of strikes. When the alarm is activated, all other chiming functions are disabled, remaining mute until the alarm has sounded or is switched off. As a reminder that the alarm is activated, the color in the bell-shaped aperture on the alarm dial will turn red; once the alarm has sounded, the color changes back to white.

For the first time in the history of watchmaking, this watch uses the minute repeater strike sequence as an acoustic alarm signal, providing a gentle alert using the same sequence of strikes. When the alarm is activated, all other chiming functions are disabled, remaining mute until the alarm has sounded or is switched off. As a reminder that the alarm is activated, the color in the bell-shaped aperture on the alarm dial will turn red; once the alarm has sounded, the color changes back to white.

A date display is present on both Grandmaster Chime dials. And because this is a perpetual mechanism that recognizes the different number of days in each month and the leap-year cycle, it always displays the right date. Not just this; a refined repeater mechanism – a world debut – also indicates the date acoustically, signalling it with a high-low note for each multiple of 10 days and a single higher note for each unit. Inspired by a conversation that Thierry Stern had 10 years ago with a well-established collector.

A date display is present on both Grandmaster Chime dials. And because this is a perpetual mechanism that recognizes the different number of days in each month and the leap-year cycle, it always displays the right date. Not just this; a refined repeater mechanism – a world debut – also indicates the date acoustically, signalling it with a high-low note for each multiple of 10 days and a single higher note for each unit. Inspired by a conversation that Thierry Stern had 10 years ago with a well-established collector.

In the Grandmaster Chime, the instantaneous perpetual calendar – displaying date, day, month, leap year cycle, and year – has its own elegant dial, with a clean and appealing layout that ensures legibility. Surrounding a four-digit year display (a very rare indication in wristwatches for which a patent application has been filed), four stately dials indicate day of the week (on the left), month (on the right), time in a 24-hour format (top), and date and leap-year cycle (below).

In the Grandmaster Chime, the instantaneous perpetual calendar – displaying date, day, month, leap year cycle, and year – has its own elegant dial, with a clean and appealing layout that ensures legibility. Surrounding a four-digit year display (a very rare indication in wristwatches for which a patent application has been filed), four stately dials indicate day of the week (on the left), month (on the right), time in a 24-hour format (top), and date and leap-year cycle (below).

The Grandmaster Chime presents a unique repertoire of acoustic functions, but it also tells the time in the customary way, featuring extremely useful complications. Often, one needs to know what time it is elsewhere, perhaps when family or business partners are on another continent. Thus, a gold hour hand can be set to a second time zone; this is coupled with a day/night indicator to prevent unintended calls in the middle of someone else’s night. The moon will never lose its mystique, and its waxing and waning ranks among the most popular horological complications.

The Grandmaster Chime presents a unique repertoire of acoustic functions, but it also tells the time in the customary way, featuring extremely useful complications. Often, one needs to know what time it is elsewhere, perhaps when family or business partners are on another continent. Thus, a gold hour hand can be set to a second time zone; this is coupled with a day/night indicator to prevent unintended calls in the middle of someone else’s night. The moon will never lose its mystique, and its waxing and waning ranks among the most popular horological complications.

Let us dive now into the making of this authentic masterpiece with this fascinating video released by Patek Philippe, also available on Patek Philippe YouTube Official Channel:

A unique double-dial, fully reversible supercomplication wristwatch, with a total of 20 complications, it is an absolute micromechanical masterpiece, featuring complex mechanisms and elaborate case decoration: the Patek Philippe Grandmaster Chime is destined to hold a singular place in horological history.

Material source Patek Philippe official website.

Re-editing a classic: Piaget’s “traditional oval” watches

Unusual shapes, vivid colours and rare materials: the Maison Piaget showed great creative daring during the 1960s and 70s through its interpretations of the free and non-conformist spirit typical of the era. This period of liberation was expressed by exploring the potential of unusual materials as well as new ways of wearing watches.

Representing an important landmark in the legacy of the Maison, the traditional oval watch is reinterpreted in a spirit of contemporary elegance vividly reflecting Piaget’s signature aesthetic boldness. A historical model from the heritage collection, revisited to echo the stylistic blossoming of the Maison during the 1960s – a period that gave rise to the Piaget look, a style that continues to exercise an inimitably bold appeal through the beauty of its shapes, allied with timeless originality and the triumph of unbridled creativity.

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From the 1960s onwards, the complete merging of watchmaking and jewellery enabled Piaget to explore the magic hard stones and gold in crafting its surprising creations. The abundant range of possibilities in designing women’s watches expressed Piaget’s indomitable imaginative powers.

One watch in particular, with its oval case set with diamonds and emeralds, its jade dial as well as its distinctive, delicately engraved bracelet, became a firm favourite among the most stylish peronsalities of the decade. Interpreted in a number of variations, this model is part of the Piaget heritage and its bracelet has become an authentic brand signature.

Early 1970s

Model from early 1970s

Piaget Traditional Oval watch as probably worn by Jackie Kennedy, with jade dial and emerald accents at the 3, 6, 9 and 12).

Piaget Traditional Oval watch as probably worn by Jackie Kennedy, with natural jade dial and emerald accents at the 3, 6, 9 and 12.

This year’s collection, inspired by this legendary watch, perpetuates the tradition of Piaget goldsmithing, a skill conveyed through the beauty of a delicately crafted bracelet. The elegantly hand-crafted “palace” finish gives the bracelet an almost iridescent effect, like a wild silk ribbon embracing the curve of the wrist. Inspired by Haute Couture methods, the reverse side of the bracelet most vividly displays the technical virtuosity of the Maison. The multitude of assembled links creates an extremely refined overall effect, within which each part is precisely fashioned to form an incomparable light gold “fabric”. The bracelet is fitted directly to the case so as to form a single case and bracelet ensemble.

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To highlight the jewellery dimension of this new creation, a silver-toned oval dial radiating absolute purity beautifully offsets the line of diamonds adorning the bezel. Claw setting enables each stone to play a seductive game with light. Elegance, beauty and refinement: the Piaget traditional oval watches, in white or rose gold, are authentic jewellery works of art that continue to elicit wonderment in their uniquely radiant way.

Material courtesy of Piaget Press Office.