Archive for April 2010

“Metamorphosis influenced by The Trasformers’

April 24, 2010

Briefly: Watchmakers Johnny Girardin and Franck Orny are the duo behind Mont Blanc’s Metamorphosis, the first watch that functions independent one from the other, operating individually which may appear by choice one after the other on the same position.  Girardin (35) is a movement constructor and engineer who specializes in watches while Franck Orny (41) is  a construction-engineer specializing in horological fabrication and has attracted attention  for his unusual and elegant horological complications. Both work with Telos. Orny replied to an email interview with Watchalive!

Its’ said the idea to make Metamorphosis came from the movie Transformers where robotic figures morph from humanoid shapes into cars etc. Please elaborate.

We were on a family holiday in 2008 (skiing) and it is when we saw children watching or playing transformers that the idea was born. Why not make a watch that is one and then turns into another! And that the holder can choose according to his schedule, his feeling or usefulness. It changes the relationship between the object and the one who wears it, and is a completely new path in watch making.

girardin and orny

With 567 individual components in a 4.3 mm-slim sub-assembly and harmonising the same with Caliber 16 makes the Metamorphosis one of the most complicated. How did you go about doing it?

The base Caliber 16.29 includes 252 pieces in about 7 mm on which the whole function of chronographe minutes had to be rebuilt. The “Metamorphosis” complication is 315 pieces in 4.3 mm meaning 567 pieces in total of the watch in 11 mm height. A high end double-tourbillon or minute repeater generally has 350 to 380 components in total. Yes, Metamorphosis is a major complication! The “Grand Sonnerie” is above this.

Do explain the chorography which you were able to achieve and now have been filed a patent for the same.

The idea came to us on December 28, 2008 and we conducted a global research whether anything like this had been thought of or ever done before. After this research turned out fortunately to be negative, we filed the patent. Metamorphosis is the first watch that functions independent of the other operating individually which may appear by choice one after another on the same position. This general aspect – not only its technical implementation – is patented. On purpose, and with agreement of Montblanc, the patent remains the property of Telos.

What is the relevance of displaying the civil time in Roman numerals and the chronograph dial in Arabic numerals? Has it been done to give each its identity?

Yes, the change of numbers (and the entire design) is to get a different aesthetical identity of each face of the watch while at the same time keeping a very technical and “horological” spirit of both faces. This system is innovative and truly unique both in its function and in the way it has been technically constructed. This is the first time that a function disappears in a watch and another one appears on the same spot! This fact is of course also included in the patent.

As soon as the slide on the left-hand flank of the case is pulled downward from the “10” to the “8,” the timepiece, I’m told, transforms into a chronograph within approximately  15 seconds.  Is there any significance to the duration?

The time 15 seconds is chosen so that the owner can have enough time to appreciate the transformation of his watch. The 15 seconds duration is not a technical necessity, but it is important not to let it go too fast.

How long did Metamorphosis take—from the design stage to making a prototype?

Normally such projects take from three to five years but in the case of Metamorphosis we were a bit faster! The idea came to us in December 2008 and we presented it to Mont Blanc in January 2009. We started work right away. The technical study began in February 2009 and was completed in October and the assembly of the first prototype was completed in January 2010 to be presented at Geneva’s Salon International Haute Horlogerie 2010. It was an extremely challenging project and both of us, as well as the watchmakers at Montblanc had to push their limits. We expect to delivery the first pieces before Christmas 2010.

Do tell us about your work in Telos?

Telos holds the patent of the concept of the “Metamorphosis”. We did the full technical development and integration on the Montblanc Calibre 16.29 in close collaboration with the departments from Montblanc in Villeret. The design of the watch was developed jointly by Montblanc’s designers and the watchmakers around Demetrio Cabiddu who worked enthusiastically in translating the technical plans into a working piece. In future, we want to establish Telos as a company offering development services, fabrication and turnkey delivery of concepts on the basis of patents filed and proposed for different brands in an exclusive way. Telos can also participate, monitor and integrate the basic idea proposed by customers.

Celldom Seen

April 23, 2010

Briefly: To celebrate 150 years of its exceptional history, TAG Heuer has launched an ultra-exclusive gift box edition of its breakthrough Grand Carrera Caliber 17 RS2 Chronograph with the mobile phone Meridist

tag meridist

To celebrate 150 years of its exceptional history, TAG Heuer has launched an ultra-exclusive gift box edition of its breakthrough Grand Carrera Caliber 17 RS2 Chronograph, the first mechanical chronograph with double Rotating Systems, and the Meridist, the world’s only Swiss-engineered communications instrument. The avant-garde chronograph and communication instrument, redesigned in a special black and orange limited edition, are audaciously housed in a handsome steamer-trunk coffret designed by Paris master craftsman Fred Pinel.

The Grand Carrera 17 Calibre RS2 is equipped with a hallmark TAG Heuer innovation — the Calibre RS2 chronograph movement with double Rotating Systems. COSC-certified and oscillating at 28,800 vibrations per hour, the RS2 replaces traditional watch hands with rotating discs —— like those on the dashboard of a luxury sports car — enabling effortless, cockpit-fast readings of small seconds and chronograph time of an unparalleled exactitude. It represents nothing less than an entirely new way of reading time, and an engineering feat of the highest level.

Crafted in the time-honoured French artisanal tradition, Pinel’s multi-function case is a reinterpretation of two classic icons of luxury: on the outside, the 1930’s streamer trunk, with its top and side openings; and, inside, the secret drawers of a Louis XVI armoire. Ultra-contemporary, yet evocative of a bygone era of luxury travel, the case is made of carefully selected premium materials and houses the latest in recharging technology — a mini USB connector for the Meridist and a watch winder for the Grand CARRERA Calibre 17 RS2 Chronograph. The celebratory edition is limited to 150 pieces, one for each year of its history. Price on request.

Available at NEW DELHI Johnson Watch Company, Connaught Place, Inner Circle,New Delhi, T: 011 41513121, Johnson Watch Company, A – 12, NDSE -1, Independent Building, South Extension, New Delhi, T: 011 24642254/2299; MUMBAI Watches of Switzerland 231, Link Corner Building, Shop No#2, Linking Road, Bandra (W)Mumbai, T: 022 2640 2511; CHENNAI The Helvetica, Spencer Plaza, F-49, Spencer Plaza II, Anna Salai, First Floor, Chennai, T: 0442 849 0013; AHMEDABAD The Golden Time, C.G.Road T:26441420; The Golden Time Satellite, T: 26924900; Prime Watch World ,T: 40025250; BANGALORE Ethos, The Forum, T:22067775; Ethos, Shivaji Nagar,T: 41130611; Rodeo Drive,T: 22271977; Time Shop, Jayanagar, T:  22444559, Zimson Swiss Watch Boutique,Garuda Mall, T: 66141020; The Helvetica,Leela Palace Galleria, T: 41529393; CHANDIGARH Ethos, Sector 8-C,T: 5086480; HYDERABAD F1 Time Machine, T:23376296, Kamal Watch World,T: 66463366 ; Meena Jewellers 23237170; Time In Style, T: 66667872; KOLKATA Exclusive Lines,T: 22820597,Prime Watch World, Forum Mall, T:22837185; Prime Watch World, City Centre Mall,T: 23584333; Ram’s, Metro Shopping Centre,T: 22888882; LUDHIANA Ethos, T: 5088224; and Jammu Rakesh Jewellers T:0191 – 2432121.

Dior’s Time Zone

April 19, 2010

Briefly: The movement in Dior Chiffre Rouge T01 is the only one which can give time in both 12hour and 24hour clock with just one index

chiffre rouge

Dior’s Chiffre Rouge T01 (42mm) is a complication which renews the design of the Chiffre Rouge whilst respecting its DNA. This movement is the only one which can give time in both 12hour  and 24hour clock with just one index  the innovation is protected with a patent. This complication enables a direct day-night reading for the eight time zones. The correction of the time and the time zones is done with a single crown while most of the multi times movement are done with two crowns.  The movement was developed to have an animated dial, always in motion because, along with the minutes and seconds hands, the dial-back is rotating, each twelve hours the dial returns to its initial position and the 8 time zones plate completes a full tour in 24 hours. The dial features the “piquéde cotton” pattern, dear to the brand and characteristic of the tuxedo shirts. Available in 100 piece limited edition. Price: Rs 3,50 k.

Available at all Dior Boutiques and at Johnson Watch  Co – A-12 South Extension, Part-I, New Delhi 110049; Watches of Switzerland – 231, Link Corner Building, Shop no.2, Linking Road, Bandra(W), Mumbai-400050

Tag Heuer book

April 19, 2010

Briefly: TAG Heuer completes 150 years and to celebrate the occasion has come out with a book

tag heuer 150 years

Tag Heuer, the much loved Swiss watch brand completes 150 years. To commemorate the occasion the Manufacture has come out with a 216-oage book, Tag Heuer 150 years.

From a small workshop in the Swiss Jura mountains, TAG Heuer has transformed into a watchmaking legend. Recognized throughout the world for its luxury sports watches and pioneering work in chronographs, TAG Heuer watches epitomize prestige and performance, brilliantly fusing technology with design. TAG Heuer has revolutionized 150 years of watchmaking history through a constant pursuit of excellence and innovation, maintaining a strong link between the company of today and the people who have shaped its history. From heroes of the past to the stars of the future, our ambassadors read like a who’s who of modern history: Edouard Heuer and Steve McQueen, Ayrton Senna and Leonardo DiCaprio, Lewis Hamilton and Shah Rukh Khan, Tiger Woods and Maria Sharapova. Together they all share a strong determination to achieve their ultimate goals, pushing the limits of what is possible through hard work and mental strength. We cannot know what the future holds, but we do know that if we continue to look forward, we will be the ones who shape it.

The 5kg book published by Assouline is available at all Tag Heuer boutiques. Available also on TAG Heuer website (

Time Warrior

April 15, 2010

Briefly: Roger Dubuis’ Excalibur Triple Time Zone is one of its kind

excalibur triple time zone

Roger Dubuis latest in Excalibur (45mm) collection innovates in terms of design through powerful signature features: its diameter, its wristband secured by the brand’s characteristic triple lugs, its refined crown guard and its fluted bezel mean this model simply cannot be compared with any other on the market. This mechanical self-winding movement, bearing the Poinçon de Genève quality hallmark, is distinguished by its triple time zone display. On either side of local time, two 12-hour counters with day/night indicators, arranged at 3 and 9 o’clock, each showing 12 meridians. The user only needs to select the city of his choice, by positioning it in the centre of the aperture by means of the respective correctors at 10 or 2 o’clock. The time is then instantly indicated by the larger of the counter hands, while the smaller one will move to the corresponding day or night indication. This steel model with black dial is available in other versions. Limited to 280 pieces. Price  Rs 28,40,000.

Available at Time Avenue Boutique in Mumbai and Kapoor Watch Company in New Delhi.

Zenith’s Jumping Second Chrono

April 14, 2010

Briefly:  Zenith’s El Primero Jumping Seconds chronograph takes high-precision timing read-off to a whole new level

el primero foudroyante

With El Primero Foudroyante, Zenith introduces the first automatic integrated chronograph with 1/10th of a second display. The Jumping Seconds chronograph takes high-precision timing read-off to a whole new level.

It was in 1969 that Zenith first came out with the legendary El Primero movement which has proved to be a perpetual source of fascination. While all movement manufacturers were capable of producing automatic movements for classic watches, none ventured to develop such a system for a chronograph movement.

The El Primero Foudroyante has enhanced precision and readability through jumping seconds. The Jumping Seconds chronograph is distinguished by a chronograph hand completing its rotation in just 10 seconds and thereby considerably improving the 1/10th of a second read-off. Driven by the El Primero 4052 B automatic calibre, the new El Primero Jumping Seconds chronograph comes in a choice of 18-carat rose gold or stainless steel for its 42 mm case that is water-resistant to 100mts and is fitted with a transparent sapphire crystal on either side.

This elegantly sophisticated model is fitted with a choice of rubber-lined black or brown alligator leather strap, secured to the wrist by a pin buckle in stainless steel or 18-carat rose gold, or by a stainless steel bracelet with triple folding clasp. Price on request.

Available at Johnson Watch Co., New Delhi and The Helvetica, Chennai

Iconic de Grisogono

April 12, 2010

Briefly: de Grisogono revisits its iconic models and enhances them in its new collection

instrumento uno

Instrumento N°Uno

For its 10th birthday, Instrumento N° Uno shows up in vividly coloured versions. On the men’s model, the green, red, or yellow colours of the hands, the Arabic hour numerals and the dual time-zone indices are matched by overstitching in the same shade on the alligator strap. The feminine variations lend a fresh and mischievous touch to the curving square case in blackened steel. The green, blue or pink sapphires set on the case frame dials punctuated with colourful accents and Pop Art style stingray straps. These dynamic, playful design elements enliven an iconic model housing a mechanical self-winding movement that drives two eminently useful and pleasantly readable dual time-zone and large date complications.



The flowing lines and harmonious proportions of the Instrumentino express their innate femininity through a new language, that of diamonds and precious stones. Featuring a rainbow spectrum of pink, blue, brown or green sapphires, the dial of this watch epitomising the spirit of de GRISOGONO collections reveals a new facet of its personality through a highly refined burst gem-setting motif. Clothed in this festive garment, the dual time-zone complication beats to the rhythm of a mechanical self-winding calibre, or a quartz movement. This precious watch appears elegantly attired in rose gold, while the more contemporary and sporting chic versions feature steel or PVD blackened steel. It coils gracefully around the wrist with a black, green, blue, white, pink or brown stingray strap matching the gem-setting.

Power Breaker

power breaker

An explosive cocktail of technical sophistication, taut lines and high-end finishes, the Power Breaker chronograph launched in 2005 now draws additional strength from the contemporary aesthetic codes of the Formula 1 motor-racing universe.  While the case boasting a complex four-part construction – bezel, middle, back and crown guard – remains identical to the original, the dial displays an original sporting dynamic. As it lines up on the starting grid of the race into the new decade, its design highlights the two chronograph counters with surrounds resembling those on a Formula 1 racing car instrument panel. The cut-out, green-tinted hour and minute hands further accentuate the model’s streamlined elegance. This mechanical spirit asserts itself within a powerful rose gold case and its name is hand-engraved at 7 o’clock on a high-tech dial enhanced by an aerodynamic piece of precious metal.

Instrumento Novantatre


First unveiled in 2007, the generous volume, sturdy lugs and cambered lines of the Instrumento Novantatre are lit up with a new radiance this year. Its distinctive sporting chic case is adorned with baguette-cut rubies, blue sapphires or diamonds. Their meticulous assembly creates a stunning geometrical effect that creates a striking contrast with the gem-setting on the dial. In addition to the oversized 9 and 3 o’clock numerals and the white gold hands, the dial is finely set with baguette-cut black or white diamonds, blue sapphires and rubies. The result is an exquisitely precious stage on which time is played out to perfection, directed by a self-winding movement indicating the date and months in addition to the hours, minutes and small seconds. To enhance the smooth appearance of these new variations, the curve of the watch, both for men and ladoes, is extended by a strap in pink stingray for the ruby version, in blue stingray to match the blue sapphires, or in black alligator leather for the diamond-set version.

Meccanico dG


Released in 2008 and winner of the “Prix du Public” at the Geneva watchmaking Grand Prix awards, the MECCANICO dG has been treated to a glamorous makeover. Distinctly less sporty and more refined, it is transformed into a precious model featuring delicate gem-setting enhancing the technical appeal of its mechanical movement driving a double analog and digital dual time-zone display. By associating the contemporary design of its brilliant or baguette-cut diamond-pavé case with one of today’s most complex movements, the watch achieves a perfect match between watchmaking and jewellery. Its hand-wound movement comprising no less than 651 parts was hitherto available in six versions issued in limited editions of 177. The line is now enriched with these three new rose gold variations set with brilliant-cut black or white diamonds or baguette-cut diamonds, issued in a strictly limited edition of 20.

All these watches will be soon available at de GRISOGONO Boutique, Emporio Mall, Vasant Kunj, New Delhi  110070