Watch how the world’s most complicated watch are built

Watch how the world’s most complicated watch are built

The amount of meticulous detail and genius craftsmanship and microscopic precision that goes into one of these Patandmaster Chime 5175R is ridiculous. Just watching the little pieces fit together is like seeing the most beautiful puzzle ever get completed. It better be, since the watch costs $2.5 million.

Patek just released the details on what they’re calling, the “most complicated wristwatch of the eminent family-owned watchmaking companies and decidedly one of the worlost elaborate wristwatches.” Which, okay cooce on the flip side) and packs as much watch speak as books about horology and expensive retail space do. Patek:

Its double-face case with a diameter of 47 mm, it accommodates four spring barrels and no fewer than 20 complications, including coveted functions such as a Grande and Petite Sonnerie, a minute repeater, an instantaneous perpetual calendar with a four-digit yeing watches: an acoustic alarm that strikes the alarm time and a date repeater that sounds the date on demand.

The watch’s movement has 1,366 parts and the 18K rose gold case is hand graved. The watch is totally and unapologetically ostentatious but it’s sure as hell fun to see it get made. Watch the process below.

Passion & Money: Your Best Investment 2014 Fits on Your Wrist

Passion & Money: Your Best Investment 2014 Fits on Your Wrist

Passion & Money: Your Best Investment 2014 Fits on Your Wrist

 

Coutts Index reveals passion investments have risen 77% since 2005, outperforming shares

The Coutts Index

Classic cars rise 257%
Classic watches up 176%
Billionaire property doubles in value
Passion investments returned 77% (local currency terms)* since 2005, outperforming shares, according to the first edition of The Coutts Index: Objects of Desire. Launched today, the new Coutts Index aims to provide the global benchmark for monitoring the performance of passion assets.

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The Index, developed in conjunction with Fathom Consulting, captures the price return in local currency (net of the holding costs) of 15 passion assets across two broad categories: trophy property and alternative investments. Alternative investments can be further broken down into fine art, collectibles and precious items.

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Of all the alternative investments Coutts examined for the Index, classic cars have returned the most since 2005, rising by 257%, outpacing all other investments by more than 80 percentage points over the seven and-a-half-year timeframe. Classic watches have also proved they can stand the test of time, rising by 176% from 2005 to 30 June 2013.

Jewels returned 146% in comparison, while the standout performer in the fine art space is the traditional Chinese works of arts sector, which rose by 163% between 2005 and 30 June 2013.

Over the past seven and a half years, the Coutts Index, based in US$ terms, has risen by 82% – over the same period, the MSCI All Country Equity Index has risen by 53%, based in US$ terms.

The Coutts Index incorporates a real estate component supplied by Savills World Research. Trophy property comprises ‘billionaire’ residential properties in the ten prime global city locations and ‘leisure’ properties in the world’s most desirable leisure destinations associated with these cities. Both measures lost value in the run-up to the global recession, but billionaire property values have risen strongly since, rising 100% from 2005 to 30 June 2013.

Mohammad Kamal Syed , Head of Strategic Solutions at Coutts, said: “The Coutts Index has been created to measure passion assets, or objects or desire, in terms of performance, cost of storage and currency. But while many alternatives have provided spectacular returns, there is more to investing in these assets than price appreciation. For many people, profit is furthest from their mind.”

He added that for many ultra-high-net-worth individuals, it is less about investing and more about purchasing – purchasing assets driven by their emotions.

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“The benefit is more than just profit. Owners can bond with like-minded people in an elite network, with assets offering escapism and a chance to re-enact history. Indeed, there is one thing that the Coutts Index, for all its robustness, can’t measure – and that is happiness. The idea of someone paying $50m for an uncomfortable old car, with windows that don’t work and a noisy engine, seems illogical. In many ways it is. But the happiness such a car can bring is immeasurable.”

Coutts commissioned articles and interviewed experts for its first edition of the Coutts Index. They included Stanley Gibbons, the world’s leading stamp dealer, Berry Bros. & Rudd, the wine merchant and auction houses Sotheby’s and Christie’s.

Quentin Willson, broadcaster and classic car specialist, looked under the bonnet of the classic car market. He wrote: “If you had bought a 1970s Ferrari Daytona for £50,000 in 2003, it would be worth £250,000 today. A 1960s Aston Martin DB5 bought for £60,000 a decade ago would now command £350,000.”

“The question is whether the classic car market has peaked. I’ve been wondering whether the bubble will burst ever since prices started to rise in 2009. But they have kept on rising and were up 27% in the first half of 2013.”

Nick Foulkes, author, historian and watch enthusiast, revealed why he has been fascinated with watches since he was a child. He wrote: “I can still remember writing an article in the 1980s, saying that the price of an old ‘Paul Newman’ Rolex Daytona was about to overtake the price of a new one. Now you will be lucky to find one for under £70,000.”

“But not all watches will burn a hole in your pocket. Rolex recently launched some particularly attractive Day-Date models with brightly coloured dials. These recalled the original ‘Stella’ dialled Rolexes and are now creeping up in value, but these Day-Date models can still be purchased for four figures. And I still think that vintage Cartier watches are hugely undervalued.”

About Coutts

Coutts is the wealth division of Royal Bank of Scotland Group. Coutts serves clients from over 40 offices across the world offering tailored wealth management, banking, trust and tax services. Coutts is headquartered at 440 Strand, London with offices in other key international financial centres in Zurich, Geneva, Hong Kong, Singapore and Dubai. The division includes Adam & Company providing private banking services from Edinburgh, and RBS International, based in the Channel Islands, which provides offshore banking.For further information please visit www.coutts.com

Follow on twitter: @couttsandco

Step back in time: Cartier Tank 1917

Step back in time: Cartier Tank 1917

Created in 1917, the stunning yet understated Cartier Tank was the brainchild of none other than Louis Cartier. He gave birth to what is now considered to be one of the finest and most sought after horological masterpieces ever produced.

Believe it or not, this design did not carry any name but later took its inspiration from what appears to be a tank’s cockpit used during the First World War that Cartier observed on the Western Front. Its square aesthetical look and name was the signal for the exclusive Cartier Tank.

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The original sample was given as a present to General Pershing, a general officer belonging to the US Army responsible for the American Expeditionary Forces during World War I.

It was not until two years later that the Tank was introduced to the watch market blending its sleek feminine curves alongside a forward thinking art nouveau inspired square face which was clean, simple and completely new.

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Completely crisp and seamless, its appearance has given birth to a number of different wrist watch variations, but has remained true to its particular distinctiveness.

The lines and equal sizes were identical to these tanks that were marching across a variety of battlefields at the time. But what is the Tank’s defining features?

It not only provides its signature dial with the numbers corresponding to Roman numerals but steel hands are dagger-shaped with chemin-de-fer chapter rings and a sapphire cabochon.

In 1919, as soon as the Tank was placed into Cartier’s official salon in Paris, history changed forever. Cartier was then able to take his rightful place among the horological greats for this iconic model which set the standard in pioneering design.

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As movements of a different kind were on the up such as Cubism, Futurism and Bauhaus, these trends led Cartier to consider several points. He intended to create something that focused on modernistic influences where less was certainly more.

Form and function had a definite role to play which was reflected in the original prototype in 1917. The solution to the problem came in the form of the Cartier Tank which many watchmakers have struggled to enhance.

With the brancards extremely close to the band, the Tank is unwavering, unapologetic and extremely understated with an impact that has never been matched to this day.

The perfect square shape as well as the similar brancards measurements ensured the smooth continuity of this incredible formed outline. It is design in its purest and most innocent form.

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The straight bars are a simple yet ingenious concept that was way ahead of its time and has made the Tank a true legend. This model is not just construction in its finest form but an evolution of grace that captured the true essence of the Zeitgeist.

As Cologni declared in his book Cartier the Tank Watch, this model was, “the first elegant wristwatch destined for the modern man of action.” In the first year of production, only six Tank watches were ever produced.

By 1920, 33 models had been manufactured. The Tank was finished in a wealth of materials including yellow gold, white gold, pink and platinum.

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So what was going on the world when Monsieur Cartier introduced this fine piece? In 1917, revolution was very much in the air thanks to Vladimir Lenin and the Bolsheviks.

April saw Jeannette Rankin as the first female member to be elected into the U.S. House of Representatives.

It was the same year where the British Royal family changed their title to Windsor whilst across the pond, Woodrow Wilson begun his second term as US President.

 

Written by Simon Lazarus

Newswatch: Audemars Piguet sues over Royal Oak infringement

Newswatch: Audemars Piguet sues over Royal Oak infringement

Revolution is certainly in the air. Forget your Che Guevara t-shirts and sit down protests, the Royal Oak by Audemars Piguet has been causing a stir of its own recently.

Recent reports have revealed the Swiss manufacturer has been carefully watching other timepiece companies very closely.

In fact they have already filed a suit in the last few weeks against a number of different brands including the Movado Group as well as Tommy Hilfiger.

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Now what’s poor old Movado and Tommy H done I hear you cry? Well it turns out that AP has accused both respected brands of copyright.

The brouhaha is said to have unfolded over the Royal Oak watch that spookily resembles their versions. Why not see for yourself!

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When it comes to the burning issue in question, the dispute seems to be over the TH Elon model that Movado is responsible for producing.

Audemars Piguet claims this particular model is very similar to their own Royal Oak product.  If it is a copy then it’s a damn good one, but Royal Oak watches are sublime in their own right.

Let’s step back in time to Baselworld 1972 where time stood still for just a moment. Audemars Piguet  launched their brand new steel watch which incoporated a number of different revolutionary features.

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This included the likes of an integrated bracelet that had bold and innovative design at the heart of it. In addition to this, the AP Royal Oak took its inspiration from a diver’s helmet and offered a striking bezel in the shape of an octagon.

This was secured in place thanks to eight clearly visible screws as well as being waterproof with a dial that was beautifully adorned. Meanwhile, this particular watch was extremely slim at less than 8mm with a diameter measuring 39mm.

The AP Royal Oak has a rich and diverse history which has put it among the most glorious timepieces of its generation.

When it came to the movement, the self-winding Calibre 2121 was the weapon of choice, whilst the  “Grande Tapisserie” motif is synonymous across the world.

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The name itself derived from a nautical based theme with Audemars Piguet selecting Royal Oak, named after a collection of eight vessels, corresponding to the unique octagonal design.

These particular eight ships belonged to the British Royal Navy which in turn led to one of the most iconic names being christened in this most famous of Swiss watch makers.

Back to reality and legal papers were officially filed on August the 13th in New York City. It clearly states that AP have “protested, in writing” and have given their viewpoint on the areas where Movado has clearly breached.

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This features charges relating to trade dress infringement not to mention a registered trademark infringement with Audemars Piguet looking for an injuction wherby it hopes to prevent any extra production of the controversial watches in question.

They are also hoping for not only the annihilation of the so called current watches but extra punitive damages on top. Time as they say is most definately man’s worst enemy in this case!

Written by Simon Lazarus

Step back in time: Omega Chronostop Genève 1970

Step back in time: Omega Chronostop Genève 1970

Gentleman, synchronize your watches and call up Marty Mcfly as we head back to 1970 for a glimpse at the Omega Chronostop Genève.

Back to the future

But before we do, we must stop to doth our caps at the wonder of Omega’s craftsmanship. Originally created in 1848, this high end Swiss watchmaker has been a favourite with many companies over a long period of time.

In 1917 when war rang out over Blighty, the British Royal Flying Corps selected Omega as their principal timekeepers whilst the US army took the same decision one year later.

In addition, Omega has been the weapon of choice for NASA and their astronauts whilst it even landed on the Moon at the end of the 1960’s. Now that’s cosmic!

Yet Omega has a number of different sporting connections and has had close ties with the Olympic Games for the best part of 70 years. Since 1932, it has acted as the timekeeping device and will be in the full spotlight when it comes to Rio 2016.

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Currently, they are aligned with a wealth of actors and sporting stars including the likes of George Clooney, Spanish golfer Sergio Garcia and 2012 US PGA champion Rory Mcllroy. Now that’s the way to strike a winning partnership.

So what of the Omega Chronostop? As classic as a Disney film at Christmas, the 1970’s sparked a genuine retro design appearance. The Chronostop was launched four years earlier in 1966 and is considered to be one of the great sports watches of its kind.

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In fact, the Chronostop version has received notoriety thanks to awards at the respected “Federation Horologer” contest.

This came before Omega’s intention to enter the International World Exhibition which took place in Montreal the following year. That’s quite enough build-up don’t you think so let’s drill down into the features of this particular model.

Genéve timepieces can plunge to depths of 30 metres while they offer more than 15 individual jewels and a host of impressive movements. There are big rectangular hour markers that can be seen on the 35mm face as well as a striking black dial.

Check out the bright orange timing feature not to mention the predominant oval bezel made from polished steel. This is precisely the same for the case back and is officially stamped.

Meanwhile, the highly regarded Omega Chronostop can be found toward the upper dial with the hippocampus symbol above the 12 o’ clock mark. Other highlights include Omega’s very own 865 movement reflecting their timely contribution to quality.

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Suitable to impress at a casual pub lunch or dressed up at a trendy box social, this elegant beauty is ideal for any occasion. But as this timepiece was causing a stir, what about those world events?

Forget about tablet devices and Ipads as 1970 saw the floppy disc invented and the World Trade Centre was finally completed. It was also a time of sorrow and coming together for many screaming teens and adults as the Beatles finally said Adieu and parted company.

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Perhaps they were right…maybe all you need is love.

 

Written by Simon Lazarus

Step Back in Time: Rado Musketeer VI Automatic

Step Back in Time: Rado Musketeer VI Automatic

As London swung their pants to the beats and sounds of the early 1960’s, the Rado Musketeer VI burst onto the watch scene.

With today’s models around the four figure mark such as the Jubilé and the Ceramica series, why not delve into the back of your wardrobe to see what’s lying around. Yet some models featuring high end baguette diamonds can fetch in the region of £100,000.

Diamonds are certainly forever as Shirley Bassey harped on about, but since the late 1950’s this Swiss watch maker has stood the test of time.

This is thanks to its innovation and high level of creativity which back in 1962 led Rado to bring out its first ever scratch resistant timepiece called the Diastar.

After this period, the brand were notorious for their diverse variety of materials including high tech ceramic and have even manufactured the world’s toughest watch known as the V10K.

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Although there’s no need for a shovel, let’s dig deeper into why the Musketeer should go straight into the vintage hall of fame. Get ready for that classic countdown theme pop pickers.

Well on first glance, the TV style aperture coupled with a host of bronze tones really evokes a golden period when The Waltons were just a bunch of baby faced television assassins!

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In addition to this the batons and hands are made from chrome while there is a nifty calendar window that includes both the day and date.

This particular Rado is resistant to any scratches and features a stainless steel bracelet not to mention acrylic crystal, a movement which boasts 25 jewels and a subtle 36mm diameter.

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Porthos and Dogtanian wait in line as this Musketeer oozes style and class. The patterned satin white dial radiates brightly and would make a fine piece of arm candy.

On the face of it (no pun intended) you can take advantage of a number of additional features such as a bevelled case made from stainless steel, a sunray grid and the “Musketeer VI” itself emblazoned at the 4 o’ clock mark.

Meanwhile, the Rado symbol is embossed for all to see not only on the fold over clasp but on the case back. This is all finished off with an impressive gold-filled bezel that definitely has the Midas touch.

Even back then clients were looking for a taste of the Swiss Family Robinson. Yet owning a Rado such as this was considered to be a status symbol even more than 40 years ago.

But what other timely events were happening around the world at the beginning of the 1960’s? This killer watch may have influenced the great Alfred Hitchcock as Psycho was released.

As the Musketeer VI Automatic grabbed the attention of many a watch groupie, the world was in crisis. So what’s changed you might ask!

In 1961, the Berlin Wall was constructed which was coupled with the infamous Bay of Pigs Invasion. Unfortunately what has stood the test of time is David Hasselhoff’s performance when the wall finally came down in 1989.

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Check it out here and watch out for the Hoff’s flashing leather jacket which no matter how hard the crowd clapped would not set alight.

1962 saw the Cuban Missile Crisis and the launch of one of the biggest movie franchises in cinematic history. How about another martini Mr Bond?

It was also the same year where events were shaken up with the death of iconic actress Marilyn Monroe and the first ever Wal-Mart store.

Watch out next time for…the Omega Chronostop Geneve 1970.

 

Written by Simon Lazarus