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Month: April, 2013

Panerai PAM00425- Radiomir 47 mm S.L.C. 3 Days the video

by amitdevhanda

So, hopefully you read the article, now it’s time to watch the video. Please click the play button to learn about the Panerai PAM00425

 

 

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Will the new stainless steel Rolex Yacht-Master II affect the sales of the white gold Rolex Yacht-Master II?

by amitdevhanda

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Rolex stainless steel Yacht-Master II

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Rolex 18k white gold Yacht-Master II

This year for Basel 2013, Rolex decided to complete their well received Yacht-Master II collection by making it available in stainless steel.

When the Yacht-Master II was released more than 5 years ago, this was only available in white gold and yellow gold. This was the first time that the patented Rolex Ring Command system was introduced where all the main functions of the watch are operated through the bezel.  Today, we have four variations of this watch available in 18 k white gold, 18 k yellow gold, stainless steel and 18k yellow gold and as of last week at Basel 2013, stainless steel.

Out of all the models up until now, the white gold model has been the one that collectors and enthusiasts have gravitated towards because of its neutrality and versatility and because it’s not as flashy as the 18k yellow gold model.  The problem with the white gold model is the weight of the watch being very heavy as is all 18k white gold as well as the price at almost $50,000. Now, I am not saying there is not a market for it amongst the wealthy and elite who have money to burn, but the new stainless steel model is definitely going to give this watch a serious run for its money.

I can only presume, that since the Rolex Steel and Gold model retails for $25,000, the new Stainless Steel version will retail for between $15,000-$20,000 which will be less than half the price of the white gold model. Besides the obvious difference in metals, both the stainless steel and white gold Rolex Yacht-Master II models are almost identical. The only distinguishing feature is that the new stainless steel version has a blue ceramic bezel and the 18 k white gold Yacht-Master II has an engraved brushed platinum bezel.

To be completely honest, from a practicality, legibility and durability standpoint, the new stainless steel Rolex Yacht-Master II is much easier to read because of the contrasting blue ceramic bezel. Even though the Platinum ring command bezel on the white gold model is a very hard and superior material it can scratch. The watch functionality is exactly the same as well as the brushed and polished oyster bracelet.

For the same money as the white gold Rolex Yacht-Master II  model, you could absolutely own the new stainless steel Rolex Yacht-Master II version and possibly two more additional Rolex Watches.

The new stainless steel Rolex Yacht-Master II is sure to be a winner because of it’s finishing, execution and price point which leads me to believe that it will definitely effect and cut in to the sales of the 18 k white gold Rolex Yacht-Master II.

Technical Specs for the Stainless Steel Rolex Yacht-Master II ref#116680

Model case
Oyster, 44 mm, steel
Movement
Perpetual, mechanical, self-winding, regatta chronograph
Dial
Matt white lacquer, blue lacquer small seconds counter
Bracelet
Oyster, three-piece solid links

Tudor release the FastRider Black Shield Chronograph for Basel 2013

by amitdevhanda

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Tudor Fastrider Black Shield Chronograph ref# 42000CR

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Tudor Fastrider Black Shield Chronograph ref# 42000CN

There are very few watch brands I can say that really peak my interest. The new ones are either trying way too hard to copy the legends of time or they are so complicated that you need a PhD or some sort of NASA certification to actually set the time. 2013 is a landmark year for Rolex because of the 50th anniversary of the Daytona, it’s also a marks the year they are bringing back subsidiary brand Tudor to the US Market.

During the time frame of the Great Depression, 1946 to be exact, Hans Wilsdorf the Founder of Rolex introduced a subsidiary brand of Rolex known as Tudor. When most companies were lowering their prices and image, Hans Wilsdorf decided to introduce a new collection and brand that had reliability and quality like a Rolex but at a lower price point to make it more affordable. This Basel 2013, Tudor has introduced a new product line ready to launch in the US market this summer 2013.

I have always been a fan of Tudor watches , but now I am incredibly excited because up until now the market for well made watches between 3 thousand to 6 thousand dollars didn’t really exist. Rolex has very cleverly positioned Tudor to fill that price point and own that market share. This is right in line with the philosophy of founder Hans Wilsdorf,  making it more affordable and accessible without compromising quality, reliability and integrity.

So what makes Tudor different from Rolex besides price point? Well, Tudor doesn’t manufacture their movements like Rolex. They use work horse movements like ETA.  For the last 10 or more years, Tudor brand watches have been marketed and sold in most countries around the world including Australia, Canada, India, Mexico, South Africa, most countries in Europe, South Asia, the Middle East and countries South America, particularly Brazil, Argentina and Venezuela

I am excited to report that Tudor has introduced the FastRider Black Shield Chronograph for Basel 2013. This watch is basically a ceramic chronograph that has the visual aesthetic of the iconic Rolex Daytona. I love the fact they can take more risks with Tudor and experiment with design, composites, price points and complications . In a lot of ways, Tudor represents the side of Rolex that the public wants that Rolex actually has no problem executing and fulfilling. Rolex is a lot more traditional and historic while  Tudor is modern and accessible.

The Tudor FastRider Black Shield Chronograph is a serious winner because it’s well finished, everyday wearing and speaks to that real racing enthusiast who enjoys a chronograph function. Even though a little small for my liking, the 42 mm size is a great place to start. There are two dial options available, both black dials,  one with red indices and the other with luminous white indices.

The case  and bezel of the watch are black ceramic, while the chronograph pushers are steel and black PVD coated. Unlike most watches whose date wheels rest at the 4 o’clock position, this rests at the  4: 30 position. Both variations are available in two strap options in leather and rubber. This is actually a chronograph you can swim with as it’s water resistant to 150 meters and has screw down crown.

I don’t know the exact price, but I am guessing it to be at around the 6 thousand dollar mark plus or minus, which is a great place to be for a Chronograph that is basically made by Rolex.  Those of you who are gushing at the new Rolex Platinum Daytona and feel like you have been priced out of the market, now have something new, different, re-invented and stay within the Rolex Family. I have a feeling Tudor is going to create a mass hysteria and bring a whole new world of collectors by bringing this cult brand back to the US.

Technical Specs for the Tudor FastRider Black Shield Chronograph

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info courtesy of http://www.tudorwatch.com

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info courtesy of http://www.tudorwatch.com

The Rolex Daytona goes Platinum for Basel 2013

by amitdevhanda

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Rolex Datytona in Platinum ref#116506
pic courtesy of http://www.rolex.com

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Rolex Daytona 4130 calibre movement
pic courtesy of http://www.rolex.com

The waiting is finally over, the most anticipated watch in the world gets released at Basel 2013.  Yes, the new Rolex Daytona gets revealed and it is absolutely stunning. The only problem for me is that it’s Platinum which means it will be way out of my league in pricing.

I totally respect that Rolex wanted to do something special to honor this iconic legendary watch, but at the same time making it more in the $10,000-20,000 range would have been so much better for me and even that would be stretch. At the same time, Rolex is absolutely smart because the message is very clear that if you really want this watch you have to be in an elite exclusive circle to be able to attain one.

Lets get to the watch. This watch is solid Platinum with a brand new Rolex hazel brown ceramic bezel, with an ice blue dial and chestnut brown lacquer counters for the subdials. When you think individually about each color and the pairing choices they made for this watch, one may think, WTF? Actually, the pairing of all these colors is genius and still incorporates Rolex DNA to the end. Ice Blue is a dial option available on the Platinum Day/Date. This bold move makes this Rolex Daytona distinctive from any other Daytona being produced today. Then as we get to the ceramic bezel and subdials, which are chestnut brown in color, certainly an unusual choice but the contrast between the ice blue dial makes it very easy to read and very easy on the eyes to look at. This is historic for Rolex because it’s the first time in 50 years they have executed a Daytona in Platinum.

The watch is equipped with a very technical but simple Rolex 4130 Calibre movement. This is a self-winding mechanical chronograph movement entirely designed and manufactured by Rolex. The construction of this movement calls for far fewer parts than a standard chronograph, which as a result totally enhances the movements performance and reliability.

Finally, the Rolex Daytona is fitted with a solid Platinum link bracelet and safety clasp. This oysterlock folding clasp prevents accidental opening and the Easylink comfort extension link, also a Rolex exclusive. This functional and genious system allows the wearer to increase the bracelet length by approximately 5 mm, providing additional comfort under any circumstance.

Technical specs for the Rolex Platinum Daytona ref# 116506

Rolex introduce a brand new GMT-Master II for Basel 2013

by amitdevhanda

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New Rolex GMT-Master II Black and Blue ceramic bezel
pic courtesy of http://www.rolex.com

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The Rolex Oysterlock Folding Clasp
pic courtesy of http://www.rolex.com

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The Rolex Caliber 3186 movement
pic courtesy of http://www.rolex.com

Historically speaking, the Rolex GMT-Master II has always been available in three bezel configurations: black on black, black and red, and red and blue. Today,  Rolex introduced the newest member to the GMT -Master II family, the black and blue bezel. In 2007,  Rolex re-designed the GMT-Master II with a new movement, case, dial, bracelet and new ceramic bezel.

Like anything new Rolex does, it first takes my eyes time to adjust and then I just stare at it like a pervert for a while until I like or dislike it. The new stainless steel Rolex GMT-Master II with black and blue ceramic bezel is definitely appreciated and welcome. Even though my heart immediately desires a black and red or blue and red ceramic bezel this new addition feeds my GMT addiction just fine for now. The black and blue bezel signifies day/night for functional visibility.

I know right now most collectors are like what is this watch? Trust me this is good, because they will have to have it once Rolex delivers the watch to their boutiques and authorized retailers next year.

Like the current GMT-Master II with black on black ceramic bezel, which has been a smash success across the globe, the new Rolex GMT-Master II with black and blue bezel will eventually become the same. The properties of the watch are almost exactly the same as the current one, except for the new bi -color ceramic bezel and the GMT second time zone hand is blue for contrast and visibility matching the blue in the bezel.   In fact, this new GMT-Master II gives me hope that the other two colors of black and red and blue and red will be available sooner than we think. The rumor going around was that Rolex was having technical difficulties with executing bi-color bezels in ceramic because of the color separation, but this new watch puts those rumors to rest.  Rolex doesn’t bring anything into the market unless it’s perfectly finished.

Technical Specs for the new Rolex GMT-Master II Black and Blue ceramic Bezel

Ref #116710BLNR

Model case
Oyster, 40 mm, steel
Movement
Perpetual, mechanical, self-winding, GMT function
Dial
Black laquer
Bracelet
Oyster, three-piece solid links

The Panerai PAM00425- Radiomir S.L.C. 3 Days is the best valued watch in the current Panerai collection

by amitdevhanda

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PAM00425- Panerai Radiomir S.L.C. 3 Days
pic courtesy of http://www.panerai.com

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wrist shot of Panerai PAM00425

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live shot of the PAM00425

I know it’s about to get crazy with all the Baselworld 2013 coverage coming up within a day as Baselworld is officially under way tomorrow on April 25, 2013. I thought I would sneak in my favorite Radiomir in the current Panerai collection, the highly sought after Panerai PAM00425- Radiomir S.L.C. 3 Days.

The toughest challenge has been finding this watch in stock, whether it’s from a Panerai Boutique or an authorized Panerai retailer as it’s rare with only 1500 pieces for the world being produced. Recently, I was lucky enough to locate the watch locally in Las Vegas at an authorized dealer and actually had the opportunity to try it on. Man, I was absolutely blown away with how cool this watch really is. This watch couldn’t be more perfect except for one or two small details, but I will get to that in just a bit. I have never been a huge fan of the Radiomir case, because It has always been a little bit too small and dressy for me. To be honest, I can’t wear a Panerai smaller than 47 mm but this watch has restored my faith in the Radiomir  product line because of its size and style. I like wearing my watches everyday and the PAM00425 is definitely a daily wearing watch despite the fact that it has the refined wired lugs and screw down onion crown.

Since the Radiomir case is cushion shaped, it hugs the wrist like no other watch, basically it’s extremely comfortable. The watch is stainless steel so it has a great weight to it and the size of course couldn’t be more perfect at 47 mm. The PAM00425 was inspired by a watch that was originally a prototype from 1936 commissioned by the Italian Marina Militaire and produced by Panerai and Figlio in 1938. The dial  of the watch is amazing because it’s so simple in the execution of the luminous vertical and horizontal hour markers and dots.  In fact, 5 years ago, I wrote about how I thought Panerai would make this watch and all the collectors thought I was nuts, but now the proof is in the pudding. The dial has such a beautiful Patina, that it further enhances it’s vintage aesthetic to a nice grey/black  making it look more original.

This watch has the modern-day in -house P3000 hand wound movement which is very robust and reliable. They crystal of this watch is made out of sapphire which is great because it’s scratch resistant, but I have to say, on these historic Panerai watches, I really prefer the plexi glass  crystal because of it’s attention to detail and authenticity. The dial has the torpedo above the six o’clock position on it which to me is overkill. I don’t understand why they would do this on a piece that is historic. Then again, the rumor is because this is the first year of its production with an O serial#, The P serial # that will follow will not have the torpedo on the dial making the O serial number much more collectible. The dial is brought together with gold hands, which gives this watch class and distinction.

The strap of the watch is known as the Assolutamente strap which is a cigar brown color. The strap feels like suede because of its texture, but it’s actually a Tuscan calf. This aged looking calf is another highlight to making the watch look vintage and original.

Finally, we come to the price of the watch. To get into a decent Panerai today, you need to spend at least 8 grand to get one with an in-house movement. To me this watch is the best valued watch in the Panerai Collection at $8,700 because you are getting so much bang for your buck. From the vintage look, to the exclusive amount of pieces being made, to the 47 mm size and the in house manufactured movement 3 Day manual wind movement, to something completely unique and different from any other Panerai watch in the collection, what more can one ask for?

Technical Info for the Panerai PAM00425- Radiomir S.L.C. 3 Days

MOVEMENT

Hand-wound mechanical, Panerai P.3000 calibre, executed entirely by Panerai, 16½ lignes, 5.3 mm thick, 21 jewels, Glucydur® balance, 21,600 alternations/hour. Incabloc® anti-shock device. Power reserve 3 days, two barrels. 160 components.

 

FUNCTIONS

Hours, minutes.

CASE

Diameter 47 mm, AISI 316L polished steel with removable wire loop strap attachments (patented). Screw-down winding crown personalised OP.

BEZEL

Polished steel.

BACK

See-through sapphire crystal.

DIAL

Black with luminous hour markers. 

CRYSTAL

Sapphire, formed of corundum, 2.8 mm thick. Anti-reflective coating.

            

WATER-RESISTANCE

10 bar (~100 metres).

STRAP

PANERAI personalised leather strap and large-size polished steel buckle.

* The trademark Velcro® and Coramid® are not property of Officine Panera

Current Retail- $8,700

It’s Official: Cartier will have a price increase April 29,2013

by amitdevhanda

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logo courtesy of http://www.cartier.com

As of next Monday April 29, 2013, world renowned French jeweler and watch maker Cartier will be having a 5-15% price increase across the board on their entire product line. This is quite a substantial price increase, so if your in the market, now is the the time to do it as you may potentially save yourself thousands of dollars.

Watch Concierge Video

by amitdevhanda

Hey watch fanatics. This is Amit Dev Handa, your personal Luxury Timepiece Concierge.  Have you ever wanted to buy a watch and not sure how to go about it? Well, the time has come when you need to get your very own personal Luxury Timepiece Concierge. What is a Luxury Timepiece Concierge? You will just have to play the video to find out.

IWC Platimum “Tribeca Film Festival” watch video 2013

by amitdevhanda

The IWC Portuguese in Platinum ” Tribeca Film Festival” watch shatters estimates at Antiquorum Auction in NYC

by amitdevhanda

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IWC Portuguese Platinum “Tribeca Film Festival” watch

On April 10th, 2013 the IWC Platinum Portuguese unique 1/1 “Tribeca Film Festival” watch was auctioned of in NYC by Antiquorum auctioneer’s.  This watch was estimated to fetch between $20,000-$30,000 at auction, but I am thrilled to report that this watch sold for a whopping $60,000!

IWC have done something completely remarkable by auctioning off this watch and giving 100% of the proceeds to the Tribeca Film Fund. Their belief and supports for the arts, especially in Film and the future of young film makers is such an amazing gesture of hope and gratitude. I truly commend IWC for their humanity and incredible watch making and I will continue to passionately wear their products and write about their journey.