East Meets West – Kari Voutlainen 28 Sarasamon

Written by Evan Gabriel

 

After studying at Finland’s Tapiola and the International Watchmaking School, the Finish-born Kari Voutilanine knew where his life’s dream would take him: straight to the top of the watchmaking industry. Now, with some help from a partner, Voutlainen has released a timepiece that is sure to rival many of his subsequent creations.

For nearly thirty years, Voutilanine has focused all of his energy on handcrafting exceptional watches. It is no surprise that for the new 28 Sarasamon, Voutlainen teamed up with Unryuan, the famous Japanese lacquer studio to bridge the gap between East and West.

 

Chic rose gold and lacquer have been applied to give this timepiece its rare-antique feel, which Voutlainen is no stranger to.

By employing Saiei Maki-e and Somata Zaiku techniques, the artists at Unryuan studios were able to put together an exquisite dial.

Now for a little linguistics: the 28 Sarasamon’s dial was designed using gold dust (kinpun), gold lead (jyunkin-itakane), the shell of great green turban (Yakou-gai) and abalone shell from New Zealand (Awabi-gai).

While the plate is made up from German silver, the wheels offer a sharp contrast in rose gold. The 28 Sarasamon contains an astounding 21 jewels that demand the attention of spectators.

The case measures 37.00 mm in diameter by 10.80 mm in height.

The dial is very simple, with twelve, three and nine o’clock clearly displayed, while the notorious Voutilainen emblem takes the place of six o’clock.

Aesthetically, what’s most impressive about Kari Voutlainen’s newest piece is the intricate color-scheme of the dial. The variation of rose gold, green, purple and blue play off each other like the feathers of a peacock.

The interior and exterior curve vibrate at 18,000 vph.

 

Interestingly, on the bottom side of this watch, you can view the direct impulse escapement, which features two escapement wheels.

Bvlgari Bvlgari Womens Watch BB33WGLDAUTO/N Review

by Erin Brogan

Do you want to appear as ageless as Demi Moore in Margin Call? Start by purchasing the Swiss-made, classic Bvlgari Bvlgari Womens Watch BB33WGLDAUTO/N.

Pros:

  • 18k yellow gold
  • Water-resistant
  • Anti-reflective crystal
  • Calendar
  • Power Reserve
  • Brown Crocodile Bracelet
  • Easy to read
  • Automatic movement

The flashy yellow gold of the bezel and crown will immediately catch your eye as it glistens in the sunlight. The bezel is engraved with Bvlgari’s signature double name encircling the dial. The concept for the Bvlgari-bvlgari unforgettable design began in 1977.

Inside of the bezel houses a sapphire, scratch-resistant crystal covering the dial. You can be sure, with its anti-reflective nature, that you aren’t unknowingly blinding the driver next to you on the highway.The whitish silver textured dial displays the date in a small square box in place of the three o’clock marking. Large golden, very legible numbers are presented at the 12:00 and 6:00. The other digits are notched with giant yellow-gold rectangular lines with smaller, thin, black markings indicating the in between minutes read by two gold stick hands for the hours and minutes and a thinner second hand. In the middle of the dial, Bvlgari bares its logo and the movement of the watch.

The watch is powered by a 42-hour power reserve using an automatic movement. This prevents you from having to reset the timepiece if you forget to wind it. This wristwatch is also water-resistant. It aids with every day spillage or when you are running to catch the train and forget your umbrella in the middle of a downpour.

Wrap the 7-inch bracelet around your wrist and feel its smooth, textured touch. Brown crocodile leather makes up the bulk of the treated straps. They connect in the back using a simple, resizeable gold clasp to adjust to your bone structure.

Bvlgari hosted an event, funding several non-profit agencies, in which many celebrities attended. Demi Moore, the timeless choice movie star, ceasing to age from the start of her career to her recent big breakup with Ashton Kutcher. Several other celebrities came out to support the night including Spiderman‘s girl-next-door, Kirsten Dunst, and P.S. I Love You‘s Scottish hottie, Gerard Butler.

Cons:

  • 30/100ft water resistant
  • Automatic-Only if you are a frequent user
  • Price

A negative turn to the water resistancy of this watch is that you cannot take it swimming or diving or surfing. The resistancy is not meant for beach recreations, so if you are a water-sports aficionada, you may want to look elsewhere or leave this fashion piece at home.
Listed at $9400, this watch falls smack dab in the middle of Bvlgari’s usual wristwatch prices. It is on the high-end, but you are purchasing the name, assurance of quality and a designer look.

The other downfall lies in the automatic movement the watch is based off of. If you tend to purchase many timepieces as more of a fashion statement and swap them as often as you change your socks, you will have to reset the clock when you go to wear it again. The automatic, self-winding feature works while you are wearing the watch. A weight transferred around and starts the rewind process. If it is left in a drawer, the automatic reset will not be able to function as it was made to do. Keep this in mind when you make your final purchasing decision.

Overall the Bvlgari Bvlgari Womens Watch BB33WGLDAUTO/N is that classic, pearl-matching, age-old look you can count on to begin your own Demi Moore transformation into an ageless temptation towards your fans. The downfalls are few, and the quality of the manufacturer is top-notch.

BVLGARI B.zero1 Quartz Women’s Watch BZ30BSL Review

By Erin Brogan

Like the Black House | White Market clothing, this elegant, silver and black classic timepiece will get a second glance from onlookers.  The BVLGARI B.zero1 Quartz Women’s Watch BZ30BSL is simple, yet chic.

Pros:

  • Simple yet elegant
  • Small in diameter
  • Adjustable leather strap
  • Water-resistant
  • Scratch resistant crystal
  • Crown not visible

The face is a solid, sheen black, matching the hatched black leather bracelet. The 7 inch straps are adjustable with a clasp and pin.  Displayed against the black dial are the bold manufacturer’s name (BLVGARI) and below that, the italicized collection (B.zero1).  When you are out with the kids and still trying to feel tasteful, there is no need to cry over spilled milk because this watch is water-resistant up to 30 meters or 99 feet.

In place of diamond hour markers like the BZ30BSL/12, the BVLGARI B.zero1 Quartz Women’s Watch BZ30BSL includes white triangles pointing in towards the center hands marking each hour.  The silver hands shine brightly against the black background and easily read the time.  The crown, or button that turns to change the time, is located in the back of the case to avert the eyes only to its sophisticated appearances. This is all protected by a scratch-resistant sapphire glass. The entire 30mm/1.18cm case is made from a strong stainless steel, polished and ready to sparkle.

Cons:

  • Price
  • Blatant Advertising

Name-brand is the way to go, but BVLGARI takes it just a notch overboard by branding the stainless steel bezel twice with their logo to the point of resembling a coke bottle top.  Now, the traditional look of this watch allows this emblem to fade into the background a little, but the engravings still overpower the classiness.

While the price is on the lower side for BVLGARI watches, it still may reign too much for anyone other than the reserved elite.  The cost of this well-designed, Swiss-made wristwatch lists at $2200.00.

BVLGARI has been conducting Italian Magnificence for 125 years.  While at a party to celebrate this marked anniversary, Jessica Elbe can be seen sporting BVLGARI jewelry, as seen in US Town & Country magazine.

Julianne Moore poses for an ad for BVLGARI wearing elegant clothing, the B.zero1 ring collection and a snake-like, vibrant watch.

If these gorgeous, well-to-do women can pull off such a ravishing, designer look, so can you. The BVLGARI B.zero1 Quartz Women’s Watch BZ30BSL is a perfect addition to your wardrobe. It’s versatile, classic nature can be worn on any occasion and is a first-rate cost.

Feeling the Need for Speed? Push the Pedal to the Metal in a Free Oris Watch

Oris Renew Partnership Williams Formula1 Team
Oris Renew Partnership Williams Formula1 Team

 

Feeling the Need for Speed? Push the Pedal to the Metal in a Free Oris. The watch will be on display at Baselworld 2012, where the winner will be presented the watch.

Oris launched a Photo Contest on its Facebook page inviting contestants to share photos wearing an Oris watch dedicated to the world of motor sports. Everyone grab your cameras, cell phones, video cams and get ready, set, snap and go!

Oris wants real people wearing their real watches capturing the spirit of motor sports. The contest has been dedicated to aficionados that are passionate about culture, diving, aviation and motor sports; and what better way and great timing for Oris to launch a contest with the approach of both Baselworld and the FIA Formula World Championship.

Oris definitely has the right formula both on and off the track these days. Its photo contest is perfectly timed with the winning contestant receiving an Oris watch at Baselworld 2012 exhibition in Switzerland, which will commence March 8 to 15; and Oris’ announcement on February 24 that it renewed its partnership with Williams F1 Team (Sir Frank Williams, Team Principal) just prior to the start of the FIA Formula One World Championship. These events are definitely on Oris’ speed circuit of upward mobility. Suffice it to say the heat of competition is in the air and Oris has started its engines and continues to bring the ‘vroom vroom factor’ with its watch collection.

 

 

OrisBigCrownDate

 

Oris Big Crown Date watch is a member of the Aviation collection. This timepiece takes off and lands on Oris’ runway of refinement. Its features boast clean lines and an almost steel grey metallic appearance leather wrist strap. It does have automatic winding date with date window at 3 o’clock, stainless steel grey PVD plated case and case back. It also has an impressive 38 hour power reserve. This timepiece is arriving on time and is coming in for a landing for all gents into aviator watches.

 

Oris Maldive Limited Edition

 

Oris Aquis Maldives Limited Edition watch is a member of the Diving collection. This timepiece plunges into depths of the deep mystic blue ocean. This weathering depths model has titanium case with blue ceramic minutes scale top ring. It has luminous indices and hands (dark orange) and is water resistant up to 30 bars. It is available in a black rubber strap or titanium metal bracelet. It is a limited edition, 2000 pieces, so dive in a get it now before it’s too late.

 

 

Oris WilliamsF1 Team Day-Date watch is a member of the Motor Sport Collection. This timepiece was engineered for speed with its 44 mm chassis and its Oris red or Williams blue ‘go-faster’ stripe which makes it necessary to strap-on and strap-in to feel the need for speed trackside fantasy. It has a sporty black PVD plated stainless steel case with flexible lugs. It also sports a dramatic black dial with black rubber strap and black PVD plated stainless steel folding clasp. It’s not a 2012 model, but it does bring the ‘vroom vroom factor’ so strap it on with care.

 

 

 

Oris has been making watches for over 100 years in Switzerland, which are distinctive for their mechanical movement and red rotor. Oris is proud of its timepiece designs and in keeping with its moto Oris is committed to manufacturing “Real Watches for Real People.”

 

 

Anyone interested in participating in the Oris photo contest should go to Oris’ Facebook page to enter and submit photos; friends, family and followers can vote on photo submissions. The contest is dedicated to aficionados passionate about culture, diving, aviation and motor sports. Details for the contest are also available on Oris’ Facebook page. The contest launched today, March 1, 2012 and closes on April 6, 2012.

Girard-Perregaux, Swiss Watch Company with Rich Horological Heritage, Prepares to Meet Future in the US

The Sowind Group has named a new president of its American operations. Sowind, which owns Swiss luxury watch brands Girard-Perregaux and JeanRichard, is planning a US expansion strategy for the Girard-Perregaux brand and the new president will be working closely with Sowind CEO, Michele Sofisti, and Girard-Perregaux managing director, Stefano Macaluso, to oversee this process.

Michael Margolis
Michael Margolis

“I am very excited and honored to join an iconic brand like Girard-Perregaux,” said Michael Margolis, the man who has been chosen to do the job. “I have admired the brand and its heritage from afar for many years.”

Girard-Perregaux does have an impressive and illustrious heritage. Although the Girard-Perregaux name was not established until the year 1856, the brand is generally considered to have been founded in 1791, by an orphan named Jean-François Bautte, when he signed his first watches at the age of 19. Bautte, an industrious youth, learned the various trades associated with watchmaking and became popular for the extra-thin models that he made. When he set up a manufacturing company in Geneva, Bautte decided to keep all of the various watchmaking trades under the one roof, and idea that was quite innovative at the time. In his lifetime, Bautte went on the trade with all the European courts and was even visited by the future Queen Victoria. Since that time, the company that would eventually become Girard-Perregaux has been renowned for innovation, style and prestige.

Right: 1840 Lepine Pendant Watch signed by J.-F Bautte & Co.; Center: 1870 Cross shaped pendant watch; Left: 1889 La Esmerelda Pocket Watch with Three Gold Bridges Tourbillon - owned by the President of Mexico, General Diaz.
Right: 1840 Lepine Pendant Watch signed by J.-F Bautte & Co.; Center: 1870 Cross shaped pendant watch; Left: 1889 La Esmerelda Pocket Watch with Three Gold Bridges Tourbillon – owned by the President of Mexico, General Diaz.

Some historical highlights:

• 1867 – Girard-Perregaux won a prize at the Paris Universal Exhibition for a new tourbillon design. (The tourbillon was developed around 1795 by Abraham-Louis Breguet as a way to counteract the negative effects that gravity has on the more sensitive pieces of the watch escapement. By placing the escapement in a rotating cage, the pallet fork, balance wheel and hairspring were more insulated against shocks, gravity, magnetism and imbalance within the watch itself. Many variations on the tourbillon have been developed since.)

• 1880 – Constant Girard-Perregaux developed a wristwatch concept for German naval officers. Although Kaiser Wilhelm I ordered the watches and 2,000 were made, wristwatches did not gain in cultural popularity until the following century.

• 1889 – Constant Girard-Perregaux’s masterpiece, the famed Three Gold Bridges Tourbillon won a gold medal at the Exposition Paris Universal Exhibition; this piece so dominated the industry that it was disallowed from further competition in 1900.

• 1930 – Predicted by Girard-Perregaux some fifty years earlier, the wristwatch exceeded the pocket watch in popularity.

• 1945 – The rectangular, art deco inspired model was created. Fifty years later, it was revived and called the Vintage 1945.

Girard-Perregaux Vintage 1945 with Three Gold Bridges Tourbillon
Girard-Perregaux Vintage 1945 with Three Gold Bridges Tourbillon

• 1966 – Girard-Perregaux’s in-house R&D team developed the first high-frequency movement, at 36,000 vibrations per hour. These chronometers performed so well that, in 1967, a full 70 percent of certificates issued by the Neuchatel Observatory were awarded to Girard-Perregaux High Frequency Chronometers.

• 1970 – One of the first Swiss watch companies to get on board with the production of quartz wristwatches, Girard-Perregaux set the universal standard frequency at 32,768 Hz.

• 1981 – Girard-Perregaux was also one of the first to return to traditional mechanical timepieces after quartz had turned the Swiss watchmaking industry upside-down. Girard-Perregaux released a pocket watch containing the three gold bridges Tourbillon.

• 1992-1993 – Italian entrepreneur, architect and former racecar driver, Luigi Macaluso took over Girard-Perregaux and signed a “co-branding” agreement with Ferrari.

Girard-Perregaux Ferrari Watch
Ferrari watch face designed by Girard-Perregaux

• 1997 – Villa Marguerite, the building that would house the new Girard-Perregaux museum was purchased.

• 2004 – The first Girard-Perregaux boutique opened in Gstaad.

Margolis, the man who will now bring Girard-Perregaux into the US in the 21st century, was born in the States. He graduated from the University of Connecticut with a double major in Latin American Studies and Foreign Languages; he is fluent in English, Spanish, Portuguese and German. Margolis has held positions at Crest Reprographics and at Nikon. It was while working for TimeZone.com, however, that he developed a passion for luxury watches. He moderated that site for almost 11 years before taking a job with Hublot as US sales director. Now he will be overseeing Girard-Perregaux’s advance into that same marketplace.

“Mike is a remarkable individual, with true passion for the craft,” said Sofisti. “We are glad to have him on board to lead the US team into this new phase of the brand.”

Margolis will assume office on Thursday, March 1.