Sunday, January 31, 2016

Turtle...and not the reptilian kind

Just picked this up and am pretty pleased....

Yes, its finally here.....

The turtle...

Modern version of the 6306/ 6309 with hacking and hand wind capability. Now just find out if the winding stem is replaceable unlike the 6306/ 6309. 

Yeah... J1.

Thank you Seiko.

Bovet Flying Tourbillon OTTANTASEI 10-Day hand-wound movement

This fourth tourbillon marks a significant turning point in the development of the collection while simultaneously highlighting the Pininfarina distinctive design codes. The Tourbillon OTTANTASEI remains faithful to the essential lines that characterize the collection laid down by the Tourbillon Ottanta® in 2010. While a mere glance is enough to confirm its membership of the BOVET by Pininfarina family, the Tourbillon OTTANTASEI is bursting with technical innovations and stylistic changes all harmoniously planned around a detailed series of specifications. The word “light”, with its dual connotations of luminosity and limited weight, was the watchword for every stage in the development of this project.

The case of the timepiece fully embodies this “philosophy”. The technicians and watchmakers at the Manufacture DIMIER 1738 together with the designers at Pininfarina pooled their expertise to come up with an unprecedented perspective on the originality and fascinating technology inherent to the movement, once again entirely developed and manufactured by BOVET. Four large sapphire crystals occupy the main surfaces, while contrasting elements in titanium or gold trace the essential contours of the collection’s design and guarantee the qualities required for its sportier traits. Far more than just a case, it recalls a whole lexicon of aviation and evokes the glass surrounding the cockpit ofan aircraft or helicopter. Without making the connection explicit, the Italian designers and technicians at BOVET 1822 took an active interest in the subject while developing the case, given that the constraints of rigidity, transparency and water-resistance are, relatively speaking, very similar. To create maximum light and transparency, the upper and lower crystals have specific and complex forms. Two long side crystals enclose the case and embrace the profile ofthe middle perfectly. The accurate machining and delicate metallization ofthe sapphire crystals provide superb views of the movement, while the touch of elegance synonymous with both Houses is present through the laser-engraved words ‘Pininfarina’ and ‘limited edition’ on the inner concave surfaces of these sapphire crystal walls. Of course, the distinctive screws designed by Pininfarina used on all the timepieces in the collection are also a feature. As regards the crown, although its winding surface is identical to all of the collection’s tourbillons, its top is set with a sapphire crystal laser-engraved with the emblematic Pininfarina logo above a polished mirror surface—an aesthetically stunning and ingenious way of showcasing the third dimension.

The case of the Tourbillon OTTANTASEI also features a clever casing-up system via the case back, ensuring greater transparency and lightness, as well as optimal dimensions for complete ergonomic comfort. The net weight of the metal for the entire case is 51.66 g for gold and 15.54 g for titanium! With its 44 mm diameter and a thickness of 8.85 mm and 12 mm with and without the sapphire crystals respectively, the Tourbillon OTTANTASEI offers maximum comfort whatever the shape of the wearer’s wrist.

A quick glance at the movement is enough to conclude that here, once again, all efforts have been concentrated on the principles oflightness and transparency. Three distinct circles outline the movement’s organs and vital functions, with the balance and harmony that are so dear to Pascal Raffy. The eye alights first and foremost on the single barrel and its concentric power-reserve indicator at 10 o’clock. Then, it moves on to the hours and minutes displays featuring the same configuration at 2 o’clock, before finally considering the flying tourbillon in the airy space freed up at 6 o’clock.

So in order, we have: the driving organ (and its power-reserve indicator), the display, and finally the regulating organ. It is difficult to imagine anything clearer. To fully grasp both the density and absolute coherence of this new caliber, we must begin the chronological unveiling of its secrets with the exclusive winding system. The 10-day autonomy of the Tourbillon OTTANTASEI should involve twice as many turns of the crown than that required by the spherical differential developed and patented by the watchmakers at DIMIER 1738. The extreme miniaturization of this mechanism has inspired them to file a second patent for the three-dimensional multiple meshing teeth, which drastically reduce clutter while optimizing the watch’s operation. The timepiece can thus be wound twice as quickly to give it the power required for 10 days of autonomy.

The plate underpinning the entire movement highlights the perfectly accomplished and delicate synergy between lightness and transparency on the one hand, and increased structural rigidity on the other. Half a day of machining and EDM is required to create a single plate. The craftsmen from the decorating workshops then require a full day to ensure the unrivalled quality finishes. Sandblasting, drawing, beading, Côtes de Genève and hand-chamfering are just some of the artisanal skills that feed into the process, and the slightest mishap can cause irreparable damage. Note that this genuine feat of three-dimensional magic involves decorating and, in particular, chamfering both sides of the plate as well as all its vertical walls.

To achieve the outstanding technical performances of the Tourbillon OTTANTASEI, the technicians and watchmakers opted for a single barrel with extraordinary characteristics. Measuring just 1.04 m long with a developed force of 1 kg, it can provide 240 hours of energy with optimum consistency. In tune with the spirit of the timepiece, the barrel is skeletonized according to the five-spoke wheel theme that has been chosen for the design of this caliber. It can be found at several locations on the plate, the barrel bridge, the ratchet and the tourbillon bridge.

Like the decorative features detailed further on, the gear train and its finishes perfectly embody the spirit of fine watchmaking practiced by BOVET 1822 and its Manufactures DIMIER 1738. Every wheel in the finishing gear train has been painstakingly angled and chamfered by hand, while the pivots of their axes are rolled in the traditional manner for quality and performance that border on perfection. It is this gear train that leads us to from the barrel to the display and, ultimately, to the spectacular tourbillon carriage.

The highly original flying tourbillon carriage is made up of no fewer than 104 components. Its many innovations include a unique bridge at the center of its axis. In addition to its balanced masses and subsequently reduced lever effect, the tourbillon carriage seems to move more freely than ever before within its own space. This ingenious construction owes its existence to the patented double-sided tourbillon, which features the escapement and balance spring positioned on either side of the central fixation point, thus enhancing both the watch’s chronometric performances and aesthetic quality by clearly revealing the escapement and balance spring on both sides of the caliber. This innovative construction and single fixation point both contribute to the superbly weighted thickness of the movement, and of the timepiece itself.

The 18,000 vph of the balance are maintained by a spring manufactured traditionally at the DIMIER 1738 workshops—an art mastered by fewer than ten watchmaking companies around the world. The balance-spring felloe is an exact copy of the one equipping the legendary Ottanta® tourbillon. Cloaked in the blue of Pininfarina’s corporate logo, it takes the form of a figure eight surrounded by the zero that graces the collection’s many tourbillons.

Other factors that underline the Tourbillon OTTANTASEI’s lineage to the BOVET by Pininfarina family include the finishes developed and designed specifically for the collection, which magnify the alternating surfaces and volumes of the movement. 34 shades ranging from black to white are used on the various strata that make up the volume of this movement. The same applies to the bipolar Clous de Paris circular décor developed exclusively for the collection’s tourbillons, which is featured here in two sumptuous plates screwed to the barrel bridge.

This enchanted journey into the heart of a transparent movement then leads us to the astonishing power-reserve indicator. The barrel engages with a wheel that turns one way or another, depending on whether the watch is being wound or is unwinding during operation. The center of its axis features a feeder screw on which a meticulously polished steel cone moves vertically. When the timepiece is being wound, the cone travels up the screw and activates a lever against the wall via a ruby runner. The second arm of this lever culminates in a toothed rack that meshes with a pinion located on the axis of the indicator. Thus, during winding, the hand notches up the values it encounters before “spending” them through a reverse movement when the timepiece is operating, resulting in a precise and unprecedented expression of this invaluable function.

As usual, the two dials of this timepiece were entirely manufactured in the BOVET 1822 workshops. Involving thin rings rather than solid disks, the various machining, decorating, lacquering, and hot-stamping operations all required the care and incomparable expertise of the House’s craftsmen to achieve the excellence that has established the reputation of BOVET 1822 for nearly two centuries. The immaculate white lacquer of the dials is also a nod to the history of the House and the pocket watches it manufactured at the dawn of the 19th century.

Three case options are available to collectors, who have a choice of 18-carat red gold, grade 5 titanium, or black- DLC-treated grade 5 titanium. To perfect the coherence of the entire collection, the traditional black rubber strap boasts a refined design, a blue alcantara lining, and the collection’s traditional buckle to match the material selected for the case.

Once again in this collection, the quantity of movements manufactured will be limited—to just 86 in this case—which the collector can choose to grace with one of the three cases on offer. A plate bearing the individual number of each movement will be meticulously screwed to the back of the case chosen to adorn the timepiece.

The virtuosity of the craftsmen at the BOVET Manufactures combined with the recognized technical expertise and reliability of the various mechanisms and their peerless finishes allow every aspect of this exceptional caliber to be showcased with perfect transparency. Buoyed by the excellence demonstrated daily by the BOVET 1822 craftsmen in each of their creations, Pascal Raffy has opted for an international five-year warranty as a testament to the irreproachable quality of the Tourbillon OTTANTASEI all its transparent glory.

Photographs: Bovet 1822

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One would think that when transporting watches from the principal to the Authorized Distributors, the watches would be packaged in the boxes the watch will be eventually sold in right? Well, sometimes its far from that....

Seiko box. This is the outer most cover. 

The box where the watch you bought is placed or comes in.

The inside of the box.

So is your watch in the box when it is sent from the principal?

Nope... it comes in this.

How the inside of the transportation box looks like. It is made of paper or card box.

Of course the watch is wrapped in bubble wrap and plastic. 

A watch inside the transportation box. 

Cool right? 

Saturday, January 30, 2016

Bovet Recital 18 Shooting Star


Before even commencing work on this timepiece, the technicians and watchmakers at BOVET 1822 and DIMIER 1738 Manufacture began by ‘forgetting’ their certainties and habits in order to deliver a more intuitive and innovative way of reading the time articulated around the two stars that define it: the earth and the moon.

Based on the principle that observing the stars has served as a basis for defining time since the dawn of humanity, Pascal Raffy and his watchmakers deliberately looked through the wrong side of their loupes. They were able to gain enough distance to observe the rhythm of the Earth’s revolutions on its axis—and of its elliptical journey around its star, or indeed the ceaseless circles drawn by its natural satellite, the moon. Metaphorically speaking, of course. Nevertheless, everyone undertook this mental exercise in order to transform the microscopic vision to which watchmakers are accustomed into a macroscopic vision. The simple change in perspective brought about by taking this step back helped the observers to gain an overview of the dance of the planets and to grasp its complexity with disconcerting clarity. The twenty-four time zones that divide our planet longitudinally, albeit in an abstract and arbitrary fashion, seem almost visible from such a distance. The daylight regions stand in logical contrast to those plunged into darkness. The inclination of the Earth’s axis helps us understand—depending on the season—the variable length of the day and night as we approach the North and South Poles. The moon phases can also be observed in such a way as to be instantly comprehensible.

As well as understanding the various astral phenomena related to the measurement of time, this newfound perspective also enables us to tell the time in all regions of the globe simultaneously. And it was precisely this broader universal vision that governed the development of this timepiece. Seen from space, the spherical shape of the Earth enables us to observe only half of the surface at a time. Thus was born the idea of representing the entire globe in a single hemisphere. A cartographer was specially commissioned to design this atypical and hitherto unknown 3D map of the world. Thanks to this ingenious solution, the Earth’s surface can be seen in its entirety, without changing point of view.

A first hemisphere was thus chosen to represent the Earth and enable the reading of universal time, which is displayed in three dimensions at 3 o’clock. A hand affixed to the North Pole—that is the axis of our hemisphere—follows its curve. It can be assigned to any one of the 24 time zones selected by the user. At its tip, a concentric ring displays the time in the chosen time zone, while the name of the city corresponding to that time zone appears on one of the two concentric rollers indexed to the hemisphere. The time zone hand is another first. Never before had the manufacturer produced a hemispheric hand, with all the difficulties inherent in the high quality required. In addition to displaying the time and the name of the city corresponding to an easily adjustable time zone, the 24-hour ring that surrounds the globe enables instant reading of the time anywhere in the world. Simply follow a straight line from the center of the globe, passing through the selected geographical point. The tip of this line will point to the exact time in the selected place on the graduated ring. To link the hand of the second time zone to a specific city, simply press the center of the crown. With each successive press, the needle jumps by an angular value of 15°, representing the exact value of the time zone. This action also activates the rollers and the names of the cities corresponding to the time zones indicated by the hand are displayed in sequence.

The choice of two concentric rollers to indicate the cities offers the two-fold advantage of taking up little space whilst providing exemplary readability. The mechanism that drives them required great ingenuity. The outer roller displays 11 cities simultaneously, then makes way for a window, which opens an aperture to the second roller—arranged concentrically inside the first roller—and displaying the 12th city. This inner roller then turns in order to display the 13 subsequent cities in the aperture. The whole system is controlled by a column wheel. The system, which is easy to use and to read, also required great ingenuity and demands extremely precise adjustments. The tension of each spring is perfectly calibrated for a flawless, reliable operation. To protect these settings and the entire mechanism, a ‘constant force’ correction was devised for which a patent was filed. When the user activates the corrector, the pressure of their finger can vary substantially from individual to individual. With a traditional system, the entire correction mechanism absorbs the pressure applied. But in the new correction system, the correction is transmitted to the mechanism when the user releases the pressure. It is thus the spring-loaded correction that transmits a measured and constant energy to the entire mechanism. This is in turn protected from excess pressure, for optimal adjustment and reliability in the long-term. The cylindrical form and engraving of the city names make for a particularly exquisite decoration. And to enhance their readability still further, the rollers are treated in black rhodium while the engraved names of the cities are lacquered in white. A single hemisphere is therefore sufficient to simultaneously display the exact time anywhere in the world. This information and its representation make it one of the most useful complications in existence.

This new perspective on the Earth and universal time also enables the moon to be observed. So it seemed self evident to complement universal time with a moon phase indicator, and entirely consistent to represent the moon correspondingly, in the form of a hemisphere. Two circular apertures follow the curve of this lunar globe and indicate the age of the moon as seen from the northern and southern hemispheres respectively.

The moon and the starry sky succeed each other in both windows and, although unusual, this representation of the time is both realistic and intuitive. The moon phase indicator is of course driven by a highly precise mechanism that only requires correction by one day every 122 years.

The hemispherical representation of universal time and that of the moon phases requires a particular construction in order to meet the qualitative and aesthetic norms that are the hallmarks of BOVET 1822. Each hemisphere is therefore machined in a single piece and their surfaces engraved with the correct relief. The oceans are then filled with luminescent blue material. The craters on the moon are all in white luminous material while the sky and space glow a deep blue in the darkness.

A common solution was found for both these constraints. On the one hand, these hemispheres had to move freely and with optimal performance, so as not to influence the impeccable chronometry of the timepiece. On the other hand, the watchmakers wanted to avoid the use of a pivot around the central axis for esthetic reasons, as well as the need to extricate the pivot from the time zone hand at the Earth’s Pole. The original and patented mechanism devised to meet these constraints is composed of three adjustable ruby runners arranged around the exterior of the hemispheres. Enthusiasts will no doubt appreciate and even feel the incredible results of this system.

These two hemispheres occupy the space at 3 o’clock for universal time and at 9 o’clock for the moon phase indicator. Logically enough, the watchmakers used the space at 12 o’clock to display the hours and minutes and the power reserve. They once again returned to their unusual viewing angle to devise an indicator as natural and intuitive as the one referred to earlier. Several strata were superimposed to evoke a third hemisphere dominating the first two with all the symmetry and balance that is so dear to the House.

As near to the mainplate as possible, a flat sapphire disc displays the hours, which are revealed when positioned on a lacquered plate. This digital display makes for easy and immediate reading of the time. In the center of the display, a curved dial displays the exceptional five-day power reserve. A third stratum dominates this ensemble. This section indicates the minutes by means of a retrograde hand. The combination of jumping hours and retrograde minutes raises the technical problem of the synchronization of instantaneous jumps—a complication perfectly mastered inhouse and which has already met with resounding success in other timepieces in the collection. As usual, the dials were manufactured in-house. The craftsmen at BOVET 1822 demonstrate the full extent of their talent in the dials of this Shooting Star®. The juxtaposed surfaces of the curved dials result in a perfect surface, whether in white or in aventurine!

The Shooting Star® Tourbillon is perfectly designed for travel because the corrector enables the hour disk to be adjusted without affecting the minutes, seconds, universal time or indexed time zone. The pushpiece is simply pressed and the watch is easily readjusted to the latest time zone being visited.

To drive all of the complications, the two barrels generate five days of power reserve, all controlled by a tourbillon balance oscillating at 21,600 vph. Three blued masses are positioned on the golden serge, inspired by the shape of the arches that adorned the balances of BOVET pocket watches in the 19th century. The DIMIER escapement and its specific centering guarantee exemplary performance. Of course, like all components used in the manufacture of BOVET movements, the Shooting Star® is regulated by a hair spring manufactured in the in-house workshops— an art mastered by fewer than ten watchmaking companies around the world. Performing each of its revolutions in one minute, the tourbillon features a triple seconds-hand, unusually placed under the tourbillon and following a subtly tampoprinted graduation inside the crystal, for a clear and original display.

The decoration of the movement of this Shooting Star® Tourbillon perfectly matches its originality, technical complexity and innovations. An entirely hand-engraved constellation of stars extends across the entire surface of the movement. Like many other symbols, a moon phase is entirely represented on the back, with captivating poetry. On the same side, two entirely hand-engraved hemispheres evoke the spherical nature of the terrestrial and lunar globes. The carriage and tourbillon bridges are also entirely hand-engraved, despite their delicate nature and the tiny amount of surface area available.

The technical intricacy of this spatial vision of time inspired the technicians and watchmakers at BOVET 1882 and its DIMIER 1738 Manufacture to devise a movement based on resolutely innovative methods, which led to the filing of two patents. This approach led to a totally original and modern architecture that remains firmly rooted in the values and demands of craftsmanship and high watchmaking that are the essence of BOVET. Thus, the incline that describes the movement between the top of the minutes dial and the tourbillon, and the use of the hemispheres, naturally necessitated a new direction for the design of the case which is completely consistent with the vision of this timepiece. A domed sapphire crystal with a very pronounced curve therefore crowns the case of this Shooting Star® Tourbillon. But the designers did not stop there. To open the world of this timepiece to the infinite, the watch middle follows a pronounced oblique incline along the 12 o’clock to 6 o’clock axis. The hours disk corrector is positioned at 12 o’clock, for a supremely ergonomic display and positioning that confirm the symmetry of the watch.

The presence of a total of seven domes, including the four hemispheres of the movement, the dials, the tourbillon carriage and the upper crystal lend the ultimate finishing touch to this timepiece.

Photographs: Bovet 1822

Before the Récital 18 Shooting Star® Tourbillon, the notion of infinity was defined by two closely related concepts alone: space and time. To these we must now add the passion of Pascal Raffy and the craftsmen of the House of BOVET, which has once again proved that it has no limits.

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Christopher Ward C60 TRIDENT CHRONOGRAPH PRO 600


When a young watch designer joins an established luxury watch brand and his first major brief is to develop a radical new expression of the brand’s most iconic model, he needs to have some great ideas ready...

Young Swiss designer Adrian Buchmann (28) rose to that challenge, taking Christopher Ward’s Trident collection to a new level with a stunning new interpretation of the mighty Trident – the C60 Trident Chronograph Pro 600. The design clearly shares the instantly recognisable Trident DNA, but Adrian’s creative new influence is immediately apparent right from first sight of the dial – this is a living, breathing Trident!

The eye is particularly drawn by two highly engaging design elements. For some, the most prominent feature will be the boldness of the deep navy and metallic yellow dial that invites closer inspection of what is probably Christopher Ward’s most detailed dial to date. For others it will be the intriguing and mesmerising 60 seconds sub-dial at the 9-o’clock position – a design inspired by a diver’s breathing regulator - which 'breathes' via a rotating disc behind a cut-out display, injecting life into this deep-sea machine.

Photographs: Christopher Ward

This dynamic feature blends design with inherent practicality, offering ease of reading for the diver and instant reassurance at depth; while the more casual, land-based user will simply delight in the vivacity of the display. Finally, the deep (sea) blue colour of the dial adds an atmospheric backdrop to the drama of the vivid yellow sub-dials.

Beyond aesthetics, the C60 Trident Chronograph Pro 600 also provides technical advances too. With the needs of the professional diver in mind, the uni-directional ceramic bezel has been enhanced by the addition of a full minute-track and a more robustly defined font for the numerals, which are filled with high-grade SuperLuminovaTM for outstanding luminosity.

Engineered to resist water at up to depths of 600 metres (2000 feet) the fluid contours of the Trident’s 43mm case, which also incorporates an automatic helium release valve, surround one of the most reliable and robust of chronograph movements, the self-winding ETA Valjoux 7750.

Further incremental enhancements include the ergonomically elegant case-back, with the edges of its fluid contours now chamfered and softened, blending elegantly with the re- designed rotating ceramic bezel.

Mike France, co-founder of Christopher Ward, hails the new Trident launch as a significant milestone for the company: “This remarkable model, which we nicknamed in development ‘The Big Blue’, is a significant part of our unfolding brand story, not simply for Adrian’s first major design contribution but for the further advance in the extraordinary saga of the Trident family.

We are committed to continual improvement, not least in Trident, our best-selling collection, but each time we rise to that challenge we have to work harder to find new enhancements that truly take Trident to a new level.

Last year’s re-engineering across the collection delivered some outstanding advances and Adrian’s input into the C60 Trident Chronograph Pro 600 creates an extraordinary new expression of Trident that I am sure will absolutely delight watch lovers and position Christopher Ward in the vanguard of British watch design.”
Adrian Buchmann, chief designer at Christopher Ward, adds: “The Trident is a truly iconic range. The brief was to create a professional diving ‘tool’ built on the Trident’s technical excellence but also push the boundaries even further. It needed to look über cool too. I’m biased, but I think we’ve done just that!”

The C60 Trident Chronograph Pro 600 is offered with the option of a stainless steel bracelet (£1455) or a newly-designed, colour-matched rubber strap (£1395) with embossed wave pattern and is available on Pre-order for delivery in early March.

The C60 Trident Titanium Pro 600 Variations

Alongside the launch of the C60 Trident Chronograph Pro 600 the Trident Collection is further enhanced by the launch of two new models in titanium, the first use of this extraordinary metal in the Trident range. Combining the lightness and strength of titanium with the precision engineering of the C60 Trident Pro 600 (43mm) has resulted in two new dive options offered in two arresting colour options, injecting a darker edge into the Trident Collection.

C60 Trident Titanium Pro 600 Variation #1 - The darker hue on the two-tone brushed grey titanium case results from a diamond-like-carbon (DLC) finish and is complemented by the matt ceramic insert of the bezel, matt grey titanium indexes and hands - which are filled with blue emission SuperLuminovaTM - and the warm grey printing of the minute track and brand logo. The new C60 Trident Titanium Pro 600 Variation #1 is offered with options of a titanium bracelet (£995), a rubber touch leather strap with titanium buckle (£750), and a high-density rubber strap with titanium buckle (£750).

C60 Trident Titanium Pro 600 Variation #2 - The brooding black 43mm case of Trident Titanium #2 is relieved by the sharp white lume of the indexes, hands and numerals of the matt black ceramic bezel. The option of the PVD black titanium bracelet offers the most full-on expression of the model’s tongue-in-cheek ‘Black ops’ appeal, but this bold new arrival is a deep diving thoroughbred. Variation #2 enjoys a precision-engineered fluidity of line that would benefit any water bound covert operation. The new C60 Trident Titanium Pro 600 Variation #2 is offered with options of a PVD titanium bracelet (£1,025), a high density rubber strap with titanium buckle (£775), and a rubber touch leather strap with black titanium buckle (£775).

The new C60 Trident Titanium Pro 600 Variations (#1 and #2) are available on Pre-order for delivery in mid-March.

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