Archive for the ‘BaselWorld 2011 launch’ category

Victorinox’s Alliance

May 9, 2011

Victorinox’s 2011 Alliance roll out emphasizes fluidity and dynamism

Serious, sober, function-driven design using Swiss-made components and crafted materials of the highest caliber, that what the Victorinox Alliance Line is all about.

alliance chrono

The Alliance line has steadily evolved since its earliest incarnations. This year’s new Alliance rollout emphasizes fluidity and dynamism. The lyre-shaped watch horns are elongated. Dial styles reflect the spare, essentialist design philosophy: lacquered black but not glossy; silver, satin-finished, with a sunray effect subtly catching the light; or slate grey and matte-finished. Brand new is the presence of only three Arabic numerals on the dial face — at three, six and nine o’clock. Elsewhere, raised and sharp-edged markers indicate the hour. The date window is at six on the watch and angled between four and five on the chronograph. Soft leather for the strap or a classic bracelet in three-link steel, with alternating finishes or understated colour variants.

Available with black, charcoal grey and silver dials and  3-row alternating-finish steel bracelet or leather strap in black, charcoal grey and camel, Alliance Line is priced between Rs 30,000 to Rs 50,000.

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Breguet @ Basel World ‘11

April 19, 2011

Hora Mundi Calssique 5717 was the cynosure of all eyes at  Basel World 2011 Breguet pavilion

At Basel World 2011 Breguet, arguably one of the world’s oldest watchmakers, presented new luxurious timepieces, namely the groundbreaking Hora Mundi, a model from the Classique, one from the Tradition collection and the new Type XXI flyback chronograph.

Hora Mundi Classique

The beautiful Hora Mundi Classique 5717 is the first mechanical watch ever, with an instant-jump time-zone display system. This Breguet Hora Mundi Calssique 5717 watch combines this iconic complication with synchronized indications for date, day/night and city. That means that this travel watch enables the wearer to instantly switch the time for two pre-selected time zones, with a simple press of a button and without the slightest disturbance to the operation of this dashing timepiece. Changing the time zone affects not only the time, but also the date synchronised through a “tracking” calendar system – and the day/night indicator. Breguet had already introduced a first Hora Mundi watch in 1996, in the Marine line. The 2011 version has markedly different functions. In addition to the hour, minute and second in the centre, it has a completely original date display that makes use of a dragging disc.

How does the instant-jump time-zone display system works?

For example, assume it is 4 pm in Paris on the 25th of the month. Rotating the combined crown/pushpiece reveals “Paris” in the window at 6 o’clock, then the crown at 3 o’clock is used to set the hands to 4 o’clock and the date to 25, taking care that the day/night indicator shows the sun. For quick display of the local time in Sydney, the crown/pushpiece is first rotated to bring up the name of the Australian city in the window at 6 o’clock; the watch then automatically sets itself to Sydney time. Since the difference in time is nine hours, the hour hand will move forward by nine hours. At the same time, the date will change to the 26th and the day/night indicator will turn to show the moon. When it is 4 pm in Paris, it is in fact 1 am the next day in Sydney. Once the watch has been preset, the double instant-jump time-zone display system will simultaneously change all the indications – hour, date and day/night – in a coordinated way from Paris time to Sydney time when the wearer simply presses on the crown/pushpiece.

Three variations of the Hora Mundi watches are available and each of them depicts one part of the globe: the European and the African continent, the Americas, or Asia and Oceania. This amazing Breguet watch features a 44 millimeters wide platinum or 18-carat red gold case or 950 platinum, 13.55mm thick.

classique 7337

The second novelty from the Breguet Classique collection is a refine and elegant Breguet Classique 7337watch, with Breguet’s characteristic asymmetrical style,an off-centered chapter ring and small seconds at 5 o’clock. The day and date are displayed on either side,while the age of the moon indications are set at the top.The beautiful hand-guilloche dial is a true representative of the company’s never-ending quest for exclusivity and excellence. It features the ultra-thin Calibre 502.3 QSE1 movement with 35 jewels. The automatic movement is fitted in the 39 mm wide case, made of 18-carat yellow, white or pink gold. Sapphire crystal is present on both front and back of the case of this lovely watch, and the strap is brown crocodile leather.

tradition 7057

The next Breguet newcomer is member of the Tradition collection. The Breguet Tradition 7057 Watch features an 18-carat white, pink or rose gold case, with 40 millimeters in diameter. Off-centered black dial (made of electroplated 18K gold) is shifted upwards to reveal the hand-wound Calibre 507 DR1 movement with 34 jewels. Power reserve indication is engraved on the front and back of the movement.

The Breguet Type XXI watch was inspired by the Type XX chronograph designed by Breguet for the Aéronavale française (the French naval air arm) during the 1950s. Its technical distinctiveness lies in a chronograph minutes counter positioned in the centre, like the seconds counter. The self-winding mechanical calibre also has a flyback function, which is specific to aeronautics and allows the chronograph counter to be reset to zero and restarted instantly with a single operation.

type xxi

Introduced in 2011, the new Type XXI has for the first time acquired a grade 2 titanium case with a black lacquered rotating bezel sporting numerals in relief. Its aesthetic was inspired by that of the former Type XX models from the second generation, developed between 1970 and 1984. Its functions include a date, a 24-hour indicator and a small seconds hand. Its case, 42 mm in diameter, is watertight to 100 metres thanks to a screw-locked crown.

Modern Complications

April 3, 2011

The UR-202S is the world’s first watch with the winding rate regulated by fluid dynamics

urwerk 202s

Having missed Urwerk in the last two editions of BaselWorld I had made up my mind that this year I would begin my tour with Urwerk because I wanted to be surprised by the menacingly futuristic watches. And I was, when I came across their watches.

Urwerk watches don’t have complications, perpetual calendars or any traditional complications because Felix Baumgartner and his partner industrial designer Martin Fei because they are here to create “modern complications”.  Says Felix, “ As a young watchmaker, I don’t need to reinvent the tourbillon , the minute repeater. For the last hundred of years, they have been made so well, you cannot better them. You can make a different version, but this is not interesting to me. Since 1997, Urwerk has managed to design watches that emanate a feeling of menacingly future.

At Basel World Urwerk introduced another extreme time piece, Urwerk UR-202S- “The Hammerhead ” – Full Metal Jacket with matching metal bracelet. The UR-202S – S for “Stripe” – is also differentiated from other members of the 200 collection by the eye-catching three-dimensional vertical lines running along its dial.

Time on the UR-202 is displayed using telescopic minute hands operating through the middle of three orbiting and revolving hour satellites. The three telescopic minute hands measure 4.8 mm when fully extended and permit comfortable reading of the time. Retracted they measure just 1.8 mm. These hands precisely adjust their length to follow the three vectors marking the minutes: 0 -14, 15 – 44, 45 – 60. Extended, they enable the UR-202S to display the time across a large easy-to-read, dial. Retracted, they allow for a very wearable and comfortably sized case.

High precision ‘transporters’ are used to control the variable length of the minute hands as they traverse the dial. One end of each transporter follows a cam  – calculated from 380 reference points – plotting the path of the minute indication, while the other controls the precise length of the minute hand.

The UR-202S is the world’s first watch with the winding rate regulated by fluid dynamics. As long ago as the 18th century, clock makers were using air friction to regulate the speed of chiming clocks, and their techniques evolved to become the preferred method of regulating the rate of chimes on minute-repeaters. With the UR-202, Urwerk have taken the traditional idea of using air friction and refined it to control the rate of automatic winding. The traditional rotating vanes of the past have been replaced by cutting-edge miniature twin turbines – miniature air compressors – which can be seen spinning on the back of the watch.

The UR-202S’s twin turbines are coupled with the winding rotor. According to the position of the selector lever, the turbines act as shock absorbers. In normal activity they cushion sharp movements of the rotor. This reduces wear and increases the lifespan of the movement.

Also showcased was UR-110  which continues Urwerk’s radical tradition of telling the time using orbiting satellite complications. In the UR-110, the time is always shown on the right side of the watch. The satellites follow a vertical line, graded from 0 to 60 minutes, in a downward motion. The ingenuity of this layout lies in allowing the wearer to view the time discreetly and elegantly without the need to pull a cuff or sleeve back.

urwer ur-110

The UR-110 is a timepiece in which its technology can be appreciated though the large panoramic sapphire crystal. As well as indicating the hours and minutes, the UR-110 also features a Control Board on the dial side with indicators for “Day/Night” and “Oil Change” – Urwerk’s service interval display, as well as small seconds on a sub dial.