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Month: April, 2013

The Panerai PAM00233 is the unsung hero in their collection

by amitdevhanda

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Panerai PAM00233- Luminor 1950 8 Day GMT

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wrist shot of the Panerai PAM00233

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The caseback and movement

2006 was a land mark yer for Panerai. You could say they had their horological bar mitzvha, going from regular pedestrian movements to in-house manufactured movements that year.

The watch that really kicked it off and is a symbol of the progression of their evolution is the PAM0233 -Luminor 1950 8 Day GMT.  This watch took the 1950 case in a 44 mm diameter in a brushed stainless steel case, a sandwich dial with engraved Arabic numerals for the ultimate throwback to vintage, a linear 8 day power reserve indicator and an in-house 8 day P2002 manual wind movement for a modern day engine.

To me, the PAM00233 is the unsung hero of the entire Panerai collection because it truly embodies what the company stands for today from a historic and modern-day perspective and has the two most useful complications in the industry of power reserve and second timezone.

Over the last 7 years, The PAM00233 has undergone some subtle but important changes including in 2007, a new case back with the OP logo engraving and in 2009 the day/night disc was changed out to a much more legible am/pm indicator making the dial look cleaner and not as crowded. This watch is fitted with an Italo/Tunnel strap which is unique to this watch only.

I am very partial to the 1950 47 mm case because I love the vintage aspect, but I must say even though the PAM00233  is a 44 mm case this watch is extremely comfortable and is the perfect juxtaposition between modern, vintage and classic. To their credit, it is a real testament to Panerai and their quest for digging deep to ensure their relevance in the watch world.

Technical Detail for the PAM00233

MOVEMENT

Hand-wound mechanical, Panerai P.2002 calibre, executed entirely by Panerai, 13¾ lignes, 6.6 mm thick, 21 jewels, Glucydur® balance, 28,800 alternations/hour. KIF Parechoc® anti-shock device. Power reserve 8 days with linear indicator, three barrels, seconds reset device. 247 components.

FUNCTIONS

Hours, minutes, small seconds, date, second time zone, 24h indicator, linear power reserve indicator, seconds reset.

 

CASE

Diameter 44 mm, AISI 316L  brushed steel.

BEZEL

Polished steel.

BACK

See-through sapphire crystal.

DEVICE PROTECTING THE CROWN

(protected as a trademark) Brushed steel.

DIAL

Black with luminous Arabic numerals and hour markers. Date at 3 o’clock, seconds and 24h indicator at 9 o’clock, linear power reserve indicator at 6 o’clock.

CRYSTAL

Sapphire, formed of corundum, 2 mm thick. Anti-reflective coating.

WATER-RESISTANCE

10 bar (~100 metres).

STRAP

PANERAI personalised calf strap and large-size brushed steel buckle. Supplied with a second interchangeable rubber strap and a steel screwdriver.

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

Retail $14,900

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Bradley Cooper wears IWC at the 2013 MTV Movie Awards

by amitdevhanda

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side profile of the IWC Big Pilot’s watch

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IWC stainless steel Big Pilot’s watch ref# IW500901
pic courtesy of http://www.iwc.com

As I was watching the 2013 MTV Movie Awards last night, I spotted actor Bradley Cooper wearing a stainless steel IWC Big Pilot’s Watch.  I would like to congratulate Bradley Cooper who was the recipient of 2 MTV Movie Awards. He was dressed casually but was still wearing some sort of expensive flight jacket as he is holding the mic with one hand and his golden popcorn award with the other, you could see a glimpse of the side profile of one the most iconic watches out there today in my opinion, The IWC Big Pilot’s Watch in stainless steel.

This is great for IWC once again, having their icon on one of the hottest actors in the world. Today, celebrities don’t necessarily want glamor and opulence on their wrists, but quality and timelessness. I know Bradley Cooper has great taste in watches and he has further confirmed this by wearing one of my favorite timepieces of all time. Even though the IWC Big Pilot is anything but subtle in size, its a true classic and a real mans watch with real mechanical guts and heart.

Technical Specs for the IWC Big Pilot’s Watch ref#500901

  • Mechanical movement
  • Pellaton automatic winding
  • 7-day power reserve when fully wound
  • Date display
  • Power reserve display
  • Central hacking seconds
  • Glucydur® beryllium alloy balance with high-precision adjustment cam on balance arms
  • Breguet spring
  • Soft-iron inner case for protection against magnetic fields
  • Screw-in crown
  • Sapphire glass, convex, antireflective coating on both sides
  • Secured against displacement by drop in air pressure
  • Water-resistant 6 bar
  • Case height 16 mm
  • Diameter 46 mm
  • *IWC Schaffhausen is not the owner of the Glucydur® trademark.

PPR group will change their name to Kering

by amitdevhanda

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On June 18, 2013 subject to approval at the annual general meeting, The world-renowned PPR Group will be changing their name to Kering pronounced Caring.

The PPR Group is one of the biggest luxury maisons in the world, housing brands including: Gucci, Bottega Veneta, Saint Laurent, Alexander McQueen, Balenciaga, Brioni, Stella McCartney, Sergio Rossi, Boucheron, Girard-Perregaux, Jeanrichard and various others.

The evolution of this power house has been unfolding since 2005 where the emphasis has been primarily on distribution. Within a few months this new reinvented group will be completely done with distribution part of the business. The focus will now be on a single business: apparel and accessories, across two fast growing segments: Luxury and Sport & Lifestyle brands.

According to Chairman and CEO, François-Henri Pinault. “Changing our identity is the logical and necessary outcome of the Group’s transformation. More than just the change in scope or activity that this new name reflects, it expresses the Group’s new identity and our corporate culture” He further added “Kering is a name with meaning, a name that expresses both our purpose and our corporate vision. Strengthened by this new identity, we shall continue to serve our brands to liberate their potential for growth”.

Changing the name and identity of a Global business like this is a huge step towards humanity and spirituality. It’s nice to know in the world of luxury where it’s all about greed corruption and abuse of power and money, PPR Group is taking such an elightened step in the right direction.

Most importantly as I mentioned, Kering can be pronounced as ‘caring’ in English, which expresses their company vision of taking care of their brands, people, stakeholders and the environment. The suffix ‘-ing’ expresses the idea of movement, one of the constants in the Group’s history, as well as its international dimension. The stem ‘ker’, meaning home in Breton, is a proud reminder of their origins in the Brittany region of France.

The symbol of the owl as their logo represents vision, as well as being a sign of wisdom. A discreet and protective animal, it is a powerful symbol for a Group that spots potential and guides and nurtures its brands and people.

Omega releases the Planet Ocean GMT for Basel 2013

by amitdevhanda

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Omega Planet Ocean GMT on stainless steel bracelet

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Omega Co-Axial escapement 8605 movement

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Planet Ocean GMT also available on blue rubber strap

As the Basel Fair 2013 is less than two weeks away, we are starting to slowly see some of the novelties they will be featuring at the fair. From my experience at the Basel Fair, The Swatch Group has an enormous presence with all of their brands, especially Omega.

I have always had respect for Omega, especially the Moon Watch. As of the last 5 years they have been stepping up their game with in house movements, design and other technical innovations enough for me to write about. To be honest, besides the new Moon Watch with co-axial escapement movement which was introduced two years ago, there is not really a watch from their collection I would wear, till now.

The new Omega  Sea Master Planet Ocean GMT was introduced yesterday as a sneak peak of what we can expect from Basel 2013. I got to tell you I am really digging this watch. It has all the right design elements of clean, understated simple yet interesting and timeless. From a design and movement perspective it’s fun yet functional and very well finished. The functions of the watch are time, date, second time zone function with rotating bezel.  The size of the watch is good enough at almost 44 mm and I am sure just by trying on Omega Planet Ocean watches in the past, its got a great weight to it.  I love how the blue and orange  colors play off of each other, its got a great nautical theme without being over the top.

GMT watches can be either really boring or really outlandish but I think Omega has answered the prayers of mine and many others by releasing something that will captivate your interest for years to come.

Technical Features for the Omega Sea Master Planet Ocean GMT

The case, in stainless steel, measures 43.5mm. It has an AR-coated sapphire crystal, a sapphire display back, and it is water resistant to 600 meters. It features a helium-release valve.

The movement is the Swiss automatic Omega in-house caliber 8605 with 38 jewels, 25,200 vph and a power reserve of 60 hours.

The Co-Axial equipped movement features a Silicon balance-spring and two barrels mounted in series with bi-directional winding. Rhodium-plated balance bridge and rotor, luxury finish with exclusive Geneva waves in Arabesque. It is a certified chronometer.

It is available on a steel bracelet or a rubber strap with deployant clasp.

It’s official: Swatch Group owns Harry Winston

by amitdevhanda

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When you think of luxury precious jewels with crazy over the top prices, you think of Harry Winston. Harry Winston was an American Jeweler. He donated the Hope Diamond to the Smithsonian Institution in 1958 after owning it for a decade, and traded the Portuguese Diamond to the Smithsonian in 1963.

Harry Winston Jewels are a symbol of opulence, wealth, luxury, exclusivity and embody an international lifestyle that only the elite can afford. Up till about 8 weeks ago, the Harry Winston Diamond Corporation operated eight boutiques in the U.S., New York, Beverly Hills, Las Vegas, Dallas, Honolulu, Bal Harbour, Chicago and Costa Mesa, and seventeen boutiques worldwide.

As of today, luxury power house, The Swatch Group owns Harry Winston outright, except for their mining facilities in Canada. The global economy has taken a serious beating over the last five years and the Swatch Group is one of the few cash rich companies in the watch industry generating over 8 billion dollars in revenue in 2012 with a profit of nearly 2 billion dollars, which puts them in a position of power. The Swatch Group very intelligently struck a deal and bought Harry Winston for a billion dollars which is a bargain. I am sure if the economy was much stronger this would have cost them 10 times that, which just shows you cash is king. Currently the Swatch Group has nearly 30,000 employees worldwide.

This is a huge victory for the Swatch Group because they are the kings of taking prestigious brands with heritage and pumping life, energy and reviving them far beyond what you could ever imagine. When you look at their Tourbillon Boutiques all over the world, its amazing what they have created. They give priority to their in-house boutiques with product by delivering 6 months to a year a head of time and then their retailers world-wide will follow. By doing this, the Swatch Group controls distribution, price and remains exclusive.

Harry Winston watches will be interesting under the new Swatch Group umbrella because in the past Harry Winston have commissioned very well-respected and genius watch makers to make their Opus line of watches. I am sure Swatch Group will take this to a whole new level. The acquisition of Harry Winston makes Swatch Group much more powerful and creates many more opportunities for the group to expand their portfolio and not just own the luxury watch market but dominate the luxury jewelry market.

The Breguet Hora Mundi is the best functional complicated watch out there today

by amitdevhanda

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Breguet Hora Mundi in Platinum

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Movement of the Breguet Hora Mundi

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wrist shot of the Breguet Classique Hora Mundi in Platinum

Recently, I was lucky enough to go to the Swatch Tourbillon Boutique in Las Vegas and try on the amazing Breguet Hora Mundi ref#5717 in Platinum. This watch reeks elegance, style, refinement and tradition. Even with all these amazing elements of sophistication, Breguet makes this timeless complicated beauty very wearable and everyday by making the case in a 44 mm size.

Lets get to the watch, this watch is the most useful and functional out of all the complicated watches out there today . The functions of this watch include: time, date, day/night indicator and dual time zone function.  According to the Robb Report, The Breguet’s Classique Hora Mundi  was voted “Best of the Best” selections, notably for its beauty and functionality. I must say I agree. This watch is easy to read and serves a purpose especially for that world traveler who wants something super refined, exclusive and finished to the highest standards that watch making has to offer.

This watch is available in Platinum and in 18k red gold with three different dial options representing one part of the world: the Americas, the European and African continents, or Asia and Oceania.The Classique Hora Mundi is the first mechanical timepiece with an instant-jump time-zone display. This function allows the traveller to easily display the time in two pre-selected time zones, changing instantly from one to the other by the quick press of a button, without interrupting the operation of the watch.

You must be a real connoisseur to appreciate this watch and have deep pockets to afford this watch because in Platinum it retails for $94,000 and change, which to me is a little bit high. Then again it’s super limited and complicated and Breguet has 4 patents just on the movement.  If you happen to be in Las Vegas and want to see it live, hurry into the Swatch Tourbillon Boutique to witness horological mastery at it’s best!

Did you know the cast of the Expendables wore Panerai watches in both movies?

by amitdevhanda

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Sylvester Stallone is definitely a pioneer when it comes to Panerai watches . He was one of the first people in the world to wear it. He set the precedent for wearing over sized watches and as a result quickly became the unofficial ambassador for Panerai.

In 2010, when the first Expendables movie came out, he made sure some of the cast members wore the PAM00332 which is the  Panerai Luminor 1950 Regatta Rattrapante in black ceramic. This was amazing because the watch got just as much movie time as the actors wearing it. As the movie focused on the biggest action heroes in the world from Stallone to Swarzennegger and everyone in between, you also got an idea of the true scale of how the watch looked because you had actors with different builds and heights. The watch really did this movie justice by exuding masculinity  and confidence combined with a very subtle and practical utilitarian aspect.

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Panerai PAM00332

The second Expendables movie put Panerai in overdrive as now you have the entire cast of the movie wearing it. For this movie the entire cast wore the highly collectible, cool and sought after Panerai PAM00382 which is the Panerai Luminor Submersible 1950 3 Days Automatic Bronzo 47mm. The interesting thing about this watch is that when it was announced and SIHH in Geneva 2011,  the reception to this watch wasn’t very strong because it was the first time Panerai used a bronze case. People were uncertain and skeptical. When the watch physically came out later that year and collectors took notice, they realized the watch oxidized by simply rubbing ketchup and vinegar on the bronze case which would bring the watch back to its natural luster. Very quickly this news spread like wild fire and further peeked the interest of many around the world and became a huge hit.

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Panerai PAM00382

Due to the fact the case was bronze and looks gold, this watch definitely stood out more in the second Expendables movie . Also, you had more actors wearing this watch than in the first one, so it was literally everywhere. Today, the Bronzo PAM 00382 has become a bigger hit than the movie within watch collecting circles and trades for as high as $30,000 which is amazing considering it’s original retail was only $11,600.

A. Lange & Sohne make a special boutique edition Richard Lange in white gold

by amitdevhanda

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A Lange & Sohne special boutique edition Richard Lange in white gold

There are very few watch companies in the world that can actually say they make a better timepiece than historic luxury watch brand A. Lange & Sohne. I have had the esteemed privilege of visiting the manufacturing facility in Glashutte Germany several times throughout my career. I was witness to the manufacturing  of many different aspects of their traditional watchmaking. Let me tell you, their factory is one of the cleanest most incredible facilities I have ever seen.

My favorite watch that they make is the Richard Lange watch because it’s very simple, classic and timeless and has an amazing story behind it.  The Richard Lange watch was revived and debuted in 2006 and was inspired by an observation watch that was designed by Richard Lange who was the eldest son of Adolf Lange, the founder of A. Lange & Sohne.

 In 1929, he recognised that the addition of beryllium to the nickel-steel alloy made hairsprings less susceptible to temperature fluctuations and simultaneously more elastic. Richard Lange’s insight, for which a patent was granted in the following year, resulted in a quantum leap in precision and expedited the development of a timepiece category that defines itself in terms of accuracy: the observation watch.

To commemorate this historic event in time, A Lange & Sohne have released a special boutique edition of the Richard Lange in white gold.  This will be distinguished in contrast from the regular Richard Lange white gold production piece from 2006 by the steel blue hands which were originally on the Observation Watch. The new Richard Lange Boutique Edition in white gold will be extremely limited, collectible and further enhances A Lange & Sohnes heritage on a whole new level.

Technical Specs for A. Lange & Sohne special boutique edition Richard Lange in white gold

Ref#232.029

The case, in 18kt white gold, measures 40.5mm x 10.5mm. It has a sapphire crystal and it is water resistant to 30 meters.

Movement is the German manual-wind Lange in-house caliber L041.2 with 26 jewels, 21,600 vph and a power reserve of 38 hours. It is decorated and assembled by hand; precision-adjusted to five positions; plates and bridges made of untreated German silver; balance cock engraved by hand. Shock-resistant screw balance with eccentric poising weights, superior-quality balance spring manufactured in-house, precision beat adjustment system with lateral setscrew and whiplash spring.

Retail- $31,500

The dial is solid silver, argente with blued steel hands. The strap is hand-stitched black crocodile strap with white prong gold buckle.

IWC will be making 100 piece limited editon Portuguese automatic “Tribeca Film Festival” in stainless steel

by amitdevhanda

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Portuguese Automatic Edition “TRIBECA FILM FESTIVAL 2013”, Ref. IW500126 pic courtesy of http://www.iwc.com

If you remember, I wrote an Article last month about how IWC will be supporting the Tribeca Festival which you can check out here. In the article, I mentioned they were doing a very special one out of one limited Platinum Portuguese Automatic edition “Tribeca Film Festival” This watch will be auctioned off by Antiquorum Auctioneers in NYC April 10th 2013.

In conjunction, IWC have decided to produce a very limited 100 piece stainless steel edition of the same watch.  Like the platinum edition, the entire proceeds of the sale of this watch will got to support the Tribeca Film Institute. This unique limited edition will be available at IWC boutiques for the US market exclusively.

This limited edition watch in stainless steel will have all the same functions and properties as the unique 1/1 platinum edition and will look relatively similar except this watch will have stainless steel Arabic numerals instead of red gold Arabic numerals.

This nuance of changing the Arabic numerals to stainless steel differentiates the two timepieces completely as well as gives it a completely different aesthetic ensuring its own identity. This stainless steel “Tribeca Film Festival” limited edition IWC Portuguese will retail for $13,600 and  is already available for pre-order and will be released next month exclusively at IWC boutiques only.

Technical specs for the IWC Portuguese Automatic Edition “Tribeca Film Festival”

Features

  • Mechanical movement with automatic Pellaton winding system and 7-day power reserve
  • Date display
  • Small hacking seconds at 9 o’clock
  • Breguet spring
  • Rotor with 18-carat gold medallion bearing the logo of the Tribeca Film Festival
  • Limited edition of 100 watches with the engraving “One out of 100”
  • Available exclusively from official IWC retailers in the USA

Watch

  • Materials: stainless-steel case with slate-colored dial, claret-colored small seconds and power reserve subdials, black alligator leather strap with stainless-steel folding clasp
  • Glass: sapphire, convex, antireflective coating on both sides
  • Back: see-through sapphire-glass back
  • Water-resistant: 3 bar
  • Diameter: 42.3 mm
  • Case height: 14 mm

Movement

  • Calibre: 51011
  • Frequency: 21,600 A/h / 3 Hz
  • Jewels: 42
  • Power reserve: 7 days (168 h)
  • Winding: automatic

Panerai Left-Handed Destro

by amitdevhanda

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Panerai PAM00219- Left-Handed Luminor Base pic courtesy of http://www.panerai.com

It’s no secret I am  just a little obsessed about Panerai watches. I have been a loyal supporter and have been wearing this brand for over 10 years now. I never have owned or dug deep into the depths of the highly coveted Destro or Left-Handed watches Panerai makes.

Firstly , I would love to own one because  they are a major part of Panerai watch history and DNA and secondly because they are really bad ass looking and different from any Panerai watch out there today.

Historically, the left-handed Panerai Destro came out in the 1940’s and were made for Italian Naval Officers to wear on their right hand while their wrist watch was worn on the left hand. This also served a purpose for visibility as they were over sized depth gauges and because the device protecting the crown was on the opposite side of the case, it was easy for the Naval officers to wind so their glove wouldn’t get in the way. This also insured that if one of their watches for any reason broke under water, they would have another watch on their other wrist to time their descents.

The Panerai Destro or Left-handed has become a cult watch amongst collectors and enthusiasts alike.  These watches have evolved into some of the most popular and highly collectible pieces from Panerais arsenal. Some of these pieces like the PAM00217, left-handed 47 mm 1950 Marina Militaire retailed some seven years ago for $9,900 and today if you can find one $19,000 isn’t unreasoanble at all!

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Panerai PAM00217- 1950 47 mm Marina Militaire

If you want to get your hands on a production piece that Panerai makes today and have something exclusive, different and a symbol of Panerais history, then you should buy the PAM00219, pictured below.  Since it’s release in 2005 till now they have only manufactured 3,500 pieces for the world, which is less than 500 pieces a year. This watch has a sandwich dial, hand wound ETA movement with Geneva striping, 44 mm stainless steel case, see through case back and retails for $7,300

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live shot of the Panerai PAM00219- 44 mm stainless steel Left-Handed Base

Technical Info for PAM00219

MOVEMENT

Hand-wound mechanical, exclusive Panerai OP X calibre, 16½ lignes, 17 jewels, Glucydur® balance, 21,600 alternations/hour. Incabloc® anti-shock device. Swan’s neck regulator. Power reserve 56 hours. Côtes de Genève decoration on the bridges.

FUNCTIONS

Hours, minutes.

CASE

Diameter 44mm, AISI 316L Polished steel.

BEZEL

Polished steel.

BACK

See-through sapphire crystal.

DEVICE PROTECTING THE CROWN

(protected as a trademark) Brushed steel.

DIAL

Black, with luminous Arabic numerals and markers.

CRYSTAL

Sapphire, formed of corundum, 3.5 mm thick. Anti-reflective coating.

WATER-RESISTANCE

 30 bar (~300 metres).

STRAP

PANERAI personalised leather strap and large size steel buckle. Supplied with a second interchangeable strap and a steel screwdriver.

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