Special Limited Edition Watches that Celebrate the Chinese New Year of the Horse

January 31 marked the beginning of the Chinese New Year and top luxury watch brands celebrated in amazing form unveiling their special limited edition watches to commemorate the Year of the Horse.

Luxury watch brands with long established relationships in the Chinese markets, painstakingly designed special limited edition watches employing various art techniques to capture the essence of the Year of the Horse.

Three top watch designers that presented their limited edition Year of the Horse  2014 watches included Panerai, Cartier and Vacheron Constantin:

 

Panerai-Sealand-Year-of-the-Horse-Watch-Closed Panerai-Sealand-Year-of-the-Horse-Watch-Open

Panerai Luminor Sealand (PAM00847) presents an ornately engraved horse poised on a hinged stainless steel watch cover. Each watch cover was hand engraved by master Italian craftsmen whom literally carve grooves into the stainless steel covers using a sparsello (a handcrafting tool). The skilled Panerai craftsmen then took fine threads of gold and inlaid them into the carved grooves gently hammering them to permanently secure them in place. The result, a visually stunning timepiece masterfully designed to depict the Year of the Horse.

Panerai Luminor Sealand features a 44mm diameter grey dial with Panerai’s traditional small seconds subdial and date. It has a brushed AISI 316L stainless steel case which houses Panerai’s in-house COSC certified OP III caliber (automatic movement) with a power reserve of 42 hours. It has a soft brown leather strap with a market value of $23,900. Panerai Luminor Sealand is limited to 100 pieces.

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Cartier Santos-Dumont captures the spirit of the Year of the Horse, made using two micro-mosaic techniques to depict the image of a regal white horse made of irregular shaped tesserae and a background comprised of fine Earth, Kalahari and grey Madagascar jaspers, chocolate obsidian and pink opal gemstones. Each piece required man-hours of no less than 120 hours of work, with 50 hours dedicated to the construction of the horse and 70 hours to complete the background.

Santos-Dumont Year of the Horse is a member of the Cartier d’Art collection. It is designed with Cartier’s signature tank style frame in 18k white gold embellished with baguette-cut diamonds. It has an 18k white gold case which houses a caliber 430 MC – mechanical movement. Cartier Santos-Dumont baguette-cut diamond watch is limited to only 10 pieces, it is also available in an 18K white gold tank version without diamonds which is limited to only 40 pieces.

Vacheron Constantin Metier d'Art Legend of Chinese ZodiacVacheron Constantin Legend_chinese_zodiac

 Vacheron Constantin Métiers d’Art Legend of Chinese Zodiac – Year of the Horse watch features such a vibrantly sculpted horse that it practically gallops off the dial. Vacheron Constantin’s established market relationship with China has existed since 1845 and is further enriched with its Legend of the Chinese Zodiac watch collection. Vacheron Constantin watch artisans mastered the Chinese arts of Jianzhi (paper-cutting) and iconography, translating them to reflect in the designs of their Legend of the Chinese Zodiac watch collection.

Métiers d’Art Legend of Chinese Zodiac Year of the Horse watch is a special limited edition timepiece crafted in 18K 5N pink gold (Reference 86073/000R-9831) or platinum (Reference 86073/000P-9832) 12 pieces each. The 40mm round brown or blue dial features an engraved horse centered on the dial surrounded by iconography designed bamboo leaves. Four apertures on the dial present the hour, minutes, seconds and the date. It houses caliber 2460 G4, a mechanical self-winding movement which has a 22K gold oscillating weight. It beats at 28,800 vibrations per minutes and is Hallmark of Geneva Certified.

 

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Raymond Weil Celebrated its Official Timing Partnership with the SSE Hydro in Glasgow

Raymond Weil celebrated its new title as the Official Timing Partner for the newly built SSE Hydro in Glasgow with a sold out concert featuring famous rocker Rod Stewart.

To welcome visitors to the new music purpose built venue Raymond Weil strategically placed maestro clocks throughout the SSE Hydro arena, and at exactly five seconds prior to Rod Stewarts appearance on stage, a unique countdown clock appeared around the bowl of the arena to welcome Stewart’s well awaited performance.

Rod Stewart performs at SSE Hydro in Glasgow

The partnership between Raymond Weil and SEC Ltd. is well timed for both organizations – timing being an essential part of performance. Oliver Bernheim, CEO and President of Raymond Weil, expressed his excitement about the partnership with The SSE Hydro and drew parallels between the art of music and watchmaking, as both he pointed out, are derived from inspiration and precision. Mr. Bernheim also commented that it is Raymond Weil’s second music arena partnership, which includes its involvement with the famous Royal Albert Hall in London. Raymond Weil’s title as the Official Timing Partner of the SSE Hyrdo arena allows the organization to promote its global music marketing strategy furthering its brand universal outreach.

Raymond Weil - SSE Hydro Glasgow

The SSE Hydro, at the SECC, is a 64 acre site that has been transformed into to exhibition, conference and entertainments complex. It is the latest landmark on Glasgow’s skyline standing at an amazing 45m high with architectural structures resembling Greek and Roman amphitheaters. It provides visitors with exceptional sightlines from fixed, tiered and demountable seating systems with the acoustics promising to be of the highest standards. Standards Peter Duthie, Commercial Director of SEC Ltd., is delighted that the Raymond Weil brand will bring to the amazing arena.

Raymond Weil has always made music a central theme of its brand, aptly reflected in collections with names like parsifal, maestro, nabucco and jasmine. Watch collections that incorporate impassioned stories and brilliant melodies synonymous of the Raymond Weil brand.

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Devon Works Opens Its Headquarters and Lab Facility in Pasadena, CA

Say the name Devon Works within watch circles and thoughts of the brand’s famous Tread 1 Collection of watches immediately spring to mind. Followers of the innovative brand now have another reason to be excited  – Devon Works has opened its new Headquarters and Design Lab in Pasadena, California.

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Scott Devon chose to locate its headquarter and Devon Works manufacture design lab from Michigan to Pasadena, CA, as it is a locale synonymous for its innovative technology. It is also the area where Devon’s electro-mechanical aerospace components are purchased.

Devon’s new high tech lab neighbors include CalTech and NASA’s Jet Propulsion Laboratory, known for their creativity and innovative technologies. A neighborhood in which Scott Devon wants his brand associated with considering his manufacture team’s diligent efforts that helped establish the brand’s innovative movement.

Devon established the company’s distinct brand of electro-mechanical watches employing a set of  kinetic Time Belts™ and micro motors created to deliver unique displays of time ranging from industrial chic (Steampunk Tread 1) to elegant yet modern and complex movements.

Devon’s distinct watch designs have amassed the brand quite a following of watch enthusiasts and collectors, distinguishing the brand from the norm of traditional watch manufacturers both in Switzerland and here in the US. Because of this distinction and their recent move Devon has employed a new Production Manager, John Thomas, whom has assembled a team of production engineers and watch assemblers that will perform in-house production of its Tread 1 watches and complete the production of its Tread 2 watch orders. These efforts accompanied by newly established quality control standards will allow Devon to improve and expand its customer satisfaction base.

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Devon is scheduled to deliver its redesigned and contoured Tread 2 watches, which the company has already received 300 pre-orders for based solely on photos and prototypes that were shown at Baselworld 2013 in May.

Follow upcoming news on the upcoming release of Tread 2 here at watchesonnet.com/blog. In the meantime you can read past blog posts on Devon Steampunk Tread 1 Watch and Devon Tread 2 Watch here.

Written by Chaz Nash

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Vacheron Constantin Patrimony Traditionelle 14-Day Tourbillon goes Platinum

Vacheron Constantin has included Patrimony Traditionelle 14-Day Tourbillon to its Collection Excellence Platine.

Platinum Patrimony Traditionelle 14-Day Tourbillon is one of Vacheron’s elegant timepieces featuring both a tourbillon, at 6 o’clock, and a 14-day power reserve indicator, at 12 o’clock. It has a minimalist dial presentation with Vacheron Constantin signature Maltese Cross emblem to the left of its 3 o’clock hour indication mark.

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However, an element that makes this version of the Patrimony Traditionelle 14-Day Tourbillon so distinguished is not only its platinum 42mm case and dial, but its dark blue Mississippi alligator leather strap which is hand-stitched with silk and platinum thread – talk about sparing no expense.

The platinum dial is sandblasted, synonymous of the Collection Excellence Platine, and also houses the Vacheron’s Calibre 2260 manually wound manufacture movement. The platinum caseback frame bears the Vacheron Constantin name, No. 1/50 and PT950 which is inscribed between 4 and 5 o’clock.

 

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Patrimony Traditionelle 14-Day Tourbillon impressive 14 day power reserve uses four barrels that are interconnected and discharge concurrently, which is responsively slower than a single barrel system. Its tourbillon carriage is also shaped in Vacheron’s signature Maltese Cross, which is visible through the dial and partially from the sapphire crystal caseback. Its meticulous craftsmanship and design characteristics have afford it the Hallmark of Geneva award.

Platinum Patrimony Traditionelle 14-Day Tourbillon is a limited edition timepiece of only 50 pieces and is said to set to retail for $323,500.

Written by Chaz Nash

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Van Cleef & Arpels Charms Extraordinaires Spins Limited Edition Lucky Charms

If luck is indeed a lady, Van Cleef & Arpels’ Charms Extraordinaires Watch Collection spins such exquisite tales of time that even the ladies are finding it difficult to resist their lucky charm!

Van Cleef & Arpels Charms watch collection made its lucky debut in 2008. Fast forward five years later and Charms’ continues its lucky tales of time which aesthetically unfolds in the details and craftsmanship of an exclusive limited edition watch collection donned the Charms Extraordinaires Collection.

Van Cleef & Arpels Charms Extraordinaires is a special collection of four limited edition timepieces, artistically translating four distinctive tales of “lady luck” presented in hand-painted guilloche or mother of pearl dials, beautifully embellished with diamonds and precious stoned bezels set in pink rose or white gold cases and Van Cleef & Arpels signature diamond charms which glamorously dangle from each of the round 38mm or 32mm watch cases. All four of these amazing watches features quartz movement with each watch design having a limited edition of only 22 pieces.

 

Charms Extraordinaire Lotus Watch dons a pink lotus flower hand-painted using a complex champlevé enameling technique to give it its lucky appeal. The lotus known for its perseverance to rise from mud and blossom into an exquisite flower also symbolizes elegance, beauty and perfection synonymous with Asian cultures. It features a white gold 32mm diameter case showered with blue sapphires and Paraiba tourmalines and of course a lucky diamond Lotus charm. It is adorned with a baby pink leather strap that accents the overall presentation of this incredible watch.

Charms Extraordinaire Hirondelles Watch features two dark blue lucky swallows against a mother of pearl dial with beautiful hand-painted flowers (swallows are said to symbolize the coming of spring as well as tender love). The round pink gold 32 mm case showcases a bezel with a uniform parade of pink and violet sapphires. It also features a lucky clover diamond charm and is adorned with a purple leather strap.

Charms Extraordinaire Féérie Dandelion Watch casts its lucky tale with a blue mystically hand-painted guilloche dial that introduces a winged butterfly fairy carefully meticulously posed while blowing a wish towards a diamond accented dandelion, associated with luck and the spread of knowledge. A round 38mm diameter case displays bluish sapphires and diamonds in the bezel with a beautiful lucky diamond dandelion charm that gently dangles from the case.

Charms Extraordinaire Muguet Watch radiates with a fairy and her sculpted wings against a mother of pearl dial. Depicted are hand-painted sprigs of lily-of-the-valley flowers, said to make the most precious wish come true. The pink gold bezel is encrusted with breathtaking diamonds and yellow sapphires fashioned in a round 38mm case pink gold case. It features a free flowing diamond butterfly charm and is adorned with a stunning green leather strap.

The Van Cleef & Arpels Charms Extraordinaires limited edition collection was actually presented in February at SIHH, however, if you’re spirit of lady luck is finely tuned you may luck up on one of these incredible timepieces. After all, luck like timing is everything.

Written by Chaz Nash

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Eco-Drive Altichron Cirrus by Citizen @ BASELWORLD

In Basel, Switzerland at the annual BaselWorld exhibition, Japanese watchmaker Citizen recently unveiled a new timepiece. The new timepiece is part of the Eco-Drive collection, and is being called the Eco-Drive Altichron Cirrus.

 

The Eco-Drive Altichron Cirrus features a round titanium case that measures 51.5mm in diameter. Nestled into this elegant case is a matte black dial with white luminescent hour markers and hands. At the 3 o’clock position is an aperture which reveals the date. The dial of the Eco-Drive Altichron Cirrus is protected with an anti-reflective sapphire crystal dome. Additionally, the Eco-Drive Altichron Cirrus is water resistant to 200 meters.

 

Within the Eco-Drive Altichron Cirrus beats the caliber Citizen Eco-Drive J280. This movement features a altimeter, electronic compass, power reserve indicator, and a solar charger. Sensors within the electronic compass and altimeter provide an incredibly precise reading of direction, depth, and height. This measurement is accurate up to a height of 10,000 meters and to a depth of 300 meters below sea level.

 

To learn more about Citizen and their new Eco-Drive Altichron Cirrus, visit www.citizenwatch.com.

 

-Written by Selena DiGiovanni

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De Bethune Unveils DB25 Imperial Fountain Watch Pays Tribute to Yuanming Yuan Fountain

  Written by Chaz Nash

De Bethune unveils its DB25 Imperial Fountain timepiece which is a tribute to the Yuanming Yuan Fountain (aka Old Summer Palace) with 12 bronze Zodiac Animal Heads.

De Bethune has captured the mystical bronze zodiac carvings of the Yuanming Yuan Fountain just outside of Beijing, China. Master artist Michèle Rothen artistically recreated each of the 12 zodiac animal heads on the DB25 Imperial Fountain watch employing the bas-relief technique. Rothen used the technique to sculpt and engrave each of the 12 zodiac animal heads giving each piece a 3D appearance further enhanced by the use of color to enrich the dimensional aspects of the sculptures and engravings.

DB25 Imperial Fountain watch has a round 40mm diameter case that features a disk showcasing 12 engraved Zodiac animals heads; the inner dial features only one of the twelve zodiac animal heads as this is a limited edition watch of only 12 pieces! Circling the outer ring of the watch are two blue peripheral indicators – hour and minute hands. The outer ring also has blue indication marks for the hours. It is protected by a sapphire crystal and has an exhibition sapphire crystal caseback as well. It is adorned with an alligator leather strap with pin buckle.

Interestingly, the ornate engravings absorbed much of the space required for the watch’s movement. This movement placement challenge required both the efforts of the De Bethune watchmaking team and Denis Flageollet to innovatively address the creation of a new movement to exclusively power the DB 25 Imperial Fountain watch.

Calibre DB 2145 was created employing movements that use peripheral indicator hour and minute hands which mystically circle the ornate engraved zodiac animal head.  This new 287 components mechanical hand-wound movement employs micro ball bearings and a new conduction system capable of driving the revolving disks of this incredible watch. The new movement also works in conjunction with De Bethune’s signature silicon/white gold balance wheel and balance spring with flat terminal curve and De Bethune’s patented triple pare-chute shock-absorbing system.

As mentioned earlier the inspiration for this timepiece comes from the fountain in the Summer Palace of the Calm Seas of the Yuanming Yuan, a hydraulic water-clock (clepsydra) fountain that streamed water from the zodiac heads to announce the time of day. The water-clock fountain was constructed in the mid-1700s by Chinese artisans (for the Qianlong Emperor of China), French and Italian Jesuits.

DB 25 Imperial Fountain Limited Edition will be unveiled at BaselWorld 2013 in a few days and as mentioned earlier it is a set of only 12 unique timepieces. De Bethune has produced a passionate timepiece that pays tribute to one of China’s most acclaimed international fountains. More information about the DB 25 Imperial Fountain watch is available at De Bethune’s website.

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Ulysse Nardin Stranger Engages Time with Music for a Beautiful Marriage that’s Timeless

Written by Chaz Nash

Ulysse Nardin Stranger visually presents time with an engaging audible experience for an infinite relationship that’s absolutely timeless.

Finally a watchmaker has developed a watch that serenades its wearer with both a visual and audible experience upon first glance (a personal experience I have always had when glancing at a luxurious watch – someone over at Ulysse Nardin has been tip-toeing through both my auditory and visual tulips). All joking aside, you really have to ask yourself, “If my watch doesn’t serenade me, what kind of time-telling relationship do we actually have?” Ulysse Nardin has apparently answered this question and has taken the timepiece relationship to another level that equates to timeless love, and with of all watches – Stranger.

 

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Stranger (Reference 6902-125) is Ulysse Nardin’s aesthetic and complications masterpiece that passionately marries time and music in an ethereal classical music box form serenading its wearer with an ever alluring song, “Strangers in the Night” (a song that was immortalized in 1966 by none other than velvety smooth crooner Frank Sinatra).

Stranger is an innovative timepiece that required five years of development just to bring it to fruition, which was inspired by Ulysse Nardin’s partner, conceptual artist and musician Dieter Meier (aka the Godfather of Techno-Music).

Ulysse Nardin Stranger - Partner, Dieter Meier

Stranger artistically sings with an ornate dial that displays a rotating disc that engages 10 elaborate blades thereby producing the music of “Strangers in the Night”, very much like a music box. A pusher located at 10 o’clock can also activate (or deactivate) the disc to play the melody, which can be programmed to play on the hour or not at all.

Ulysse Nardin - Stranger Limited Edition 2

Another pusher at 8 o’clock must be engaged to activate the crown which is pushed to activate functions: “T” for time, “D” for date and “W” for wind as shown on a triangular display between 3 and 4 o’clock on the dial.

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Stranger’s plays music and time in a beautiful 45mm 18K rose gold case displaying a harmonious dial accentuated with 18K rose gold Roman numerals, a round date aperture window, hour/minute hands and a sub-dial seconds indicator hand. Enclosed is Ulysse Nardin’s silicon technology for the escapement, anchor and balance spring, of its in-house automatic mechanical UN-690 movement; 64 jewels and 48-hour power reserve function. It has a medallion caseback and is adorned with a black leather strap with folding buckle.

Ulysse Nardin Stranger is a limited edition timepiece of 99 pieces, and as such will sing its alluring song for a special collector. Stranger can be visually and audibly appreciated in all of its splendor at BaselWorld 2013.

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Arnold & Son Captures the Moon and Incorporates its Essence in the HM Perpetual Moon Watch

Arnold & Son understands that not everyone can experience a walk on the moon; therefore the watchmaker has captured the moon and incorporated its essence in the luxurious HM Perpetual Moon watch.

Arnold & Son known for both its luxuriously designed timepieces and production of its in-house movements has again captivated the artistry of a moonphase complication and masterfully articulated it in the HM Perpetual Moon watch. The ornate dial visually woos with an elaborate starburst guilloche etched black background and a second disc that reveals probably one of the most beautifully hand sculpted moons to ever present a moonphase on a timepiece.

 

HM Perpetual Moon presents in a round stainless steel 42mm case housing a 29mm moonphase disc that orbits within the vicinity of 10 o’clock and 2 o’clock of the watch dial. The sophisticated moon is a three-dimensional 11.2mm element that is set onto the 29mm disc. The original moon element was hand sculpted, from which a cast was made and placed into production.

Arnold & Son chose to integrate the moonphase complication into its existing in-house caliber A&S1512 movement rather than employing an additional module to the movement. This innovative move reveals Arnold & Son’s outside of the box thinking and efficient mastery of incorporating complications to work harmoniously with a watch’s movement.

 

HM Perpetual Moon has an exhibition sapphire caseback that reveals a second moonphase indicator that allow for precision time setting. A small button offers owners the option of pushing it once every 122 years and it is set for another 100 years. It also offers a 80 hour power reserve  which is delivered via a double barrel system. HM Perpetual Moon is adorned with a beautiful black alligator leather strap.

Arnold & Son HM Perpetual Moon will be also be available in both red gold and stainless steel cases, as well as with solid and guilloche dial options. As for the price and availability of this amazing watch, well all will be revealed at BaselWorld 2013 (April 25 – May 2) in the approaching days. Meanwhile, feel free to soak in the ambiance of HM Perpetual Moon through the above pictures.

Written by Chaz Nash

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Christophe Claret Rocks out the Complications of the Kantharos Chronograph Watch in a Special Video

Written by Chaz Nash

Christophe Claret continues to rock watch aficionados with incredible timepieces that sport both diverse presence and complications. Claret’s new Kantharos Chronograph watch reveals his ability to consistently manufacture some of the most amazing organic watch complications as presented in this pre-BaselWorld video. (Click picture above to visually experience the technical complications of Kantharos).

 

Kantharos makes a powerful statement in a titanium case contrasted with red accented hour/minute and seconds hands, a grey background dial featuring (possibly) titanium or stainless steel accents around the two chronograph registers. The dial features two chronograph sub-dials featuring 12-hour and 30 minute registers.  The 12 hour register is located at 9 o’clock has the words “Chronographe” and “Sonnerie” indicated on it. Sonnerie is French which translated means “ring” or “strike.” When the Chronographe Sonnerie is activated by the mono-pusher located at 2 o’clock on the case an audible chime or gong is pleasantly heard.

 

The 30 minute register, located at 3 o’clock, displays the words “Force Constante” and “75 Rubis”. The Force Constante refers to Kantharos escapement and of course its 75 ruby jewels.  The ruby jewels are visible just below both registers as well near and on the escapement (aka heart beat of the watch) wheel. The Force Constante, said to be the Holy Grail of technical complications that watch manufacturers strive to master, minimizes the friction the lever’s pallets experienced when it slides against and meet the escapement wheel’s teeth. The Force Constante helps to minimizes this friction thereby maintaining the time accuracy of the watch.

 

Kantharos has of course a Swiss Made mechanical movement which can be seen through its exhibition caseback. It is adorned with a black alligator leather strap that sports tailored red stitching and a deployant buckle.

 

Christophe Claret Kantharos Chronograph actual watch details will be further unveiled at BaselWorld in The Dream Factory booth, at the Palace April 24th- May 2nd, 2013. As to availability, word has it preorders are being taken for Kantharos as it is a limited edition timepiece and the demand for this amazing watch is exceptionally high! As would be expected it is after all a Christophe Claret timepiece.

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