Category: Blog – Laredo

Since its debut in 1969 with the (then non-TAG) Heuer Monaco 1133B, the Monaco has enjoyed countless iterations from re-editions and tribute pieces, all the way to belt-driven, tourbillon-equipped high-tech versions like the V4 (hands-on here). What we are looking at today is the TAG Heuer Monaco Calibre 11 “McQueen” Reference CAW211P, which is interesting for a number of reasons: a) it’s a handsome Monaco in blue, b) it promises to be a worthy re-edition of the original, and c) the price is in line with TAG Heuer’s recent (and indeed very welcome) more competitive pricing strategy.

TAG Heuer Monaco Calibre 11 'McQueen' Watch Hands-On: A Worthy Re-Edition Hands-On

TAG Heuer Monaco Calibre 11 'McQueen' Watch Hands-On: A Worthy Re-Edition Hands-On

Fans of TAG Heuer or the Monaco (or, in fact, both) will surely be familiar with the history of this famed square-shaped chronograph – one among only a handful of square dialed watches that managed to catch on. A little refreshing of our memory certainly won’t hurt, though, so let us begin by doing just that.

It was on the 3rd of March, 1969, that Heuer launched what was the first square, water-resistant automatic chronograph – but there was another “big first” to bear in mind: the original Heuer Monaco 1133B was powered by the Chronomatic Calibre 11, which was the first automatic chronograph movement ever offered for sale in the history of watchmaking. Those account for two major premiers and breakthroughs all in just one watch – no wonder, then, that part of the Monaco’s everlasting charm is in part fueled by these accomplishments.

TAG Heuer Monaco Calibre 11 'McQueen' Watch Hands-On: A Worthy Re-Edition Hands-On

TAG Heuer Monaco Calibre 11 'McQueen' Watch Hands-On: A Worthy Re-Edition Hands-On

In what is a fascinating example of how history repeats itself, what played a major role in making the Monaco the globally recognized watch icon as we know it today was Heuer’s move to appoint a… you guessed it: brand ambassador. In 1970, Jo Siffert became the first racing driver to be sponsored by a watch brand, and it was with Siffert that the Monaco found its way to the race tracks – and hence into the spotlight.

TAG Heuer Monaco Calibre 11 'McQueen' Watch Hands-On: A Worthy Re-Edition Hands-On

A year later, Steve McQueen (pictured a bit further above) “insisted on wearing” the Monaco during filming for Le Mans in 1971, which propelled the Monaco from the race track to, well, the race track, but pictured on the big screen. It is no news that brand ambassadors and sponsorships were powerful and effective marketing tools in the ’70s (and before) – it is still fun to see, though, how that applies to watches and watchmaking.

TAG Heuer Monaco Calibre 11 'McQueen' Watch Hands-On: A Worthy Re-Edition Hands-On

Over the years, starting in 2003, TAG Heuer created a number of tribute pieces to the original 1133B, but other than a 1,000-piece limited run in 2009 for the 40th anniversary of the Monaco, it always – arguably on purpose – avoided debuting something for the masses that was as close as possible to the real deal, the original… until now.

At Baselworld 2015, TAG Heuer quietly launched what we are looking at today, the TAG Heuer Monaco Calibre 11 Reference CAW211P, and other than few truly very minor differences, it allows Heuer Monaco fans to get a taste of owning the original – at around half the price of what that 1,000-piece limited edition cost before selling out like hot cakes in 2009.

TAG Heuer Monaco Calibre 11 'McQueen' Watch Hands-On: A Worthy Re-Edition Hands-On

TAG Heuer Monaco Calibre 11 'McQueen' Watch Hands-On: A Worthy Re-Edition Hands-On

Crown on the left, as on the original: tick. Red-filled hour and minute hands, horizontal indices, and red five-minute markers on the dial: all there. “Calibre 11” in the name: tick. Calibre 11 inside? Nope – that, for obvious reasons, couldn’t happen. What clearly is the biggest difference between the original and the 2015 model is the movement inside: on what is more than likely an ETA-replacement Sellita automatic base, a Dubois-Depraz chronograph module is responsible for the stopwatch function as well as the dual sub-dial layout of the dial on the 2015 TAG Heuer Monaco Calibre 11.

TAG Heuer Monaco Calibre 11 'McQueen' Watch Hands-On: A Worthy Re-Edition Hands-On

Having been (considered by many) the first automatic chronograph movement ever, TAG Heuer’s Calibre 11 movement from 1969 is among the few truly noteworthy and important movements that every watch enthusiast should know at least a little bit about… and that is why it is rather confusing why TAG Heuer decided to name a modern movement Calibre 11 – although it is considerably different to the original in more than a few ways – and also to title a modern timepiece “Calibre 11.” Frankly, while tributes and re-editions do great work at keeping traditions and icons well and alive decades after their inception, there is a fine line between paying tribute and causing confusion.

TAG Heuer Monaco Calibre 11 'McQueen' Watch Hands-On: A Worthy Re-Edition Hands-On

The movement is rather exquisitely decorated – as always at this price point and with comparable calibers, the decoration is nice but, of course, you will find no hand-bevelled edges or other haute horlogerie witchcraft. TAG Heuer decided to go with a sapphire crystal case back – a most welcome change from previous editions’ (and the original’s) solid steel case back. The movement is without a shadow of a doubt nice enough to justify such a deflection from the original – I presume even purists will have to agree.

The movement brings the second notable difference: the sub-dial layout of the square dial comprises a 30-minute chronograph counter at 9 and a running seconds sub-dial at 3 – the original in 1969 had 12-hour and 30-minute counters respectively, with no running seconds anywhere on the watch. Once again, a minor difference that only the most hardcore fans would notice – while the added “animation” from the sweeping hand of the running seconds at 3 is, once again, a welcome modification.

TAG Heuer Monaco Calibre 11 'McQueen' Watch Hands-On: A Worthy Re-Edition Hands-On

The new TAG Heuer Monaco Calibre 11 dial is more than handsome: in its deep, albeit a bit faded, non-metallic shade of blue, it gets really close to the original – previous versions of the blue-dialed Monaco from 2003 and 2010 featured shiny, metallic blue dials which looked the part, but were a departure from the original. The central hands, as noted above, now feature orange-red lines in their center with polished edges – a really neat combination with the 5-minute markers of the same color around the circular minute track.

The logo on the dial of the new-for-2015 TAG Heuer Monaco Calibre 11 says Monaco and features the vintage Heuer logo – omitting the TAG part of it, being historically accurate with the original from some 46 years ago. TAG came into the picture only much later, in 1985, when the Techniques d’Avant Garde private holding company with stakes in aviation and motorsports industry-related companies, purchased a majority stake in Heuer.

TAG Heuer Monaco Calibre 11 'McQueen' Watch Hands-On: A Worthy Re-Edition Hands-On

Even the “Swiss Made” text is where it should be, above the square date aperture at 6 – although the original just said Swiss, TAG today felt inclined to spell it all out for you. Despite such extremely minor differences in the fine print section, the 2015 version does stellar work at replicating the charm and easy elegance of the racing-inspired dial of the original.

TAG Heuer Monaco Calibre 11 'McQueen' Watch Hands-On: A Worthy Re-Edition Hands-On

The case of the TAG Heuer Monaco Calibre 11 measures 39 by 39 millimeters – that is one millimeter over the original and the 1,000-piece tribute from 2009. Beyond mere dimensions, the case replaces the rounded pushers of the original with square-shaped ones, adds larger lugs, and features a raised sapphire crystal on the front.

TAG Heuer Monaco Calibre 11 'McQueen' Watch Hands-On: A Worthy Re-Edition Hands-On

TAG Heuer Monaco Calibre 11 'McQueen' Watch Hands-On: A Worthy Re-Edition Hands-On

While it may look simple at first, the square-ish cushion shaped case, the sharp, completely vertical case profile, the stubby, defined lugs, and the instantly noticeable crown and pusher placement all make the Monaco stand out from the rest – while the raised sapphire crystal really is just the icing on the cake. The case feels and looks robust and yet also elegant and, if we may say so, relevant today in its unusual way. Attached to the steel case is a perforated calfskin strap with a deployant buckle, sporting the vintage Heuer logo for that added bit of vintage flair.

TAG Heuer Monaco Calibre 11 'McQueen' Watch Hands-On: A Worthy Re-Edition Hands-On

TAG Heuer Monaco Calibre 11 'McQueen' Watch Hands-On: A Worthy Re-Edition Hands-On

It took 46 years for TAG Heuer to get so close to essentially re-releasing the original Monaco – as there is no real visual difference – but in 2015, that is exactly what has happened. If you want the charm of the original Calibre 11, you will have to go vintage – but go with the new, and enjoy the better quality materials, beautiful execution, arguably greater long-term reliability, and the fact that you can put the miles on it yourself.

Article courtesy of ablogtowatch.com.

See more timepieces from TAG Heuer at Deutsch & Deutsch Jewelers in Laredo, McAllen, El Paso, and Houston, Texas.

Hot off the digital presses, and a long eight months after it was announced at Baselworld 2015, comes the final reveal of the new ‘TAG Heuer Connected’- the first attempt by a luxury Swiss brand to combine the worlds of traditional watchmaking with Silicon Valley tech. It’s no secret that the smartwatch space is becoming a crowded one, so TAG Heuer has come to market with a Taylor Swift-style #squadgoals win – Intel and Google are the technology key partners for the new Connected. If you’re going to go tech, your team couldn’t get any beefier, or better. Of course, this isn’t the first smartwatch to hit the market, but it’s the first one to be backed by the twin towers of Intel’s processing power and Google’s operating system.

NEW YORK, NY - NOVEMBER 09: The overall general view at the TAG Heuer Connected Watch event on November 9, 2015 in New York City. (Photo by Rob Kim/Getty Images for Tag Heuer)

Haven’t We Met Before?

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The first thing you notice about the Connected is that it looks like a watch. Meaning that you feel like you’re wearing a watch rather than a calculator or a Garmin running computer strapped to your wrist. The case is large (46mm) to allow for a legible screen, but to balance this out it’s made from lightweight Grade 2 titanium. Fit and finish looks to be first rate, and it needs to be, because Apple has set the standard when it comes to quality smartwatch touch and feel.

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Customisation

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Smartwatches are all about customisation, and TAG Heuer hasn’t let us down offering three dial colours, seven strap colours and three dial “faces”- and that’s just the beginning. Other dial options will be added down the track- available of course from the Google Play App store. Expect to see TAG Heuer’s crew of global ambassadors designing their own dials for further personalisation. Below you see the Chronograph dial with the three colour “themes”- white, blue and black.

TAG Heuer Connected Chronograph

Tech Corner

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OK, you’ve seen the watch, but what can it actually do? Let’s flip the hood. The Connected is an Android-Wear powered watch (working with both iPhone and Android phones) with an Intel Atom SOC (System on a Chip). Those of you who hate tech specs should look away now:

  • 1.5 in. transflective LTPS LCD
  • RAM- 1GB
  • Storage- 4GB
  • Battery- 410mAh

Other key features included are Bluetooth, Wi-Fi, built-in microphone, gyroscope, tilt-detection sensor and haptic engine. Telling you that the battery has “410 mAh” doesn’t help much with the obvious question about battery life- TAG Heuer says that with real-world use, you can expect a day from a single charge.

In terms of functions, you can expect the following:

  • GolfShot Pro (golf) and RaceChrono Pro (motor racing) apps to be provided free
  • Google Fit, Google Translate and “OK Google” voice activation are already onboarded
  • 4000 more native apps available for download

NEW YORK, NY - NOVEMBER 09: The overall general view at the TAG Heuer Connected Watch event on November 9, 2015 in New York City. (Photo by Rob Kim/Getty Images for Tag Heuer)

The watch is controlled through the sapphire touch-screen and the digital crown. For example, when you are in chronograph mode, tapping the screen once starts timing, a second tap stops timing and a double-tap will reset the chronograph to zero.

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Trading in Your Smartwatch

SAR8A80.FT6045_107U TAG Heuer has taken a novel approach when it comes to the paradox of how a luxury brand can sell an ephemeral, technology-driven smartwatch by offering buyers a trade-in. After two years of ownership you will be able to trade-in your presumably obsolescent Smartwatch for a new Calibre 5 Carrera that has the same design. The price of the Calibre 5 replacement watch is locked in today and is the same as the initial outlay for  the Connected.

NEW YORK, NY - NOVEMBER 09: The overall general view at the TAG Heuer Connected Watch event on November 9, 2015 in New York City. (Photo by Rob Kim/Getty Images for Tag Heuer)

TAG Heuer Connected- Australian price and availability

Version 2Speaking of price, the TAG Heuer Connected will retail for $2000, and availability has yet to be confirmed. Though we’re expecting to see the watch on-sale in the next few days at TAG Heuer’s Australian boutiques.

Article courtesy of timeandtidewatches.com.

Watchfinder & Co. presents: Inside the Rolex Submariner, a demonstration of the intricacies of the Rolex calibre 3135. Watchfinder Head Watchmaker Tony Williams shows you how this famous movement is taken apart and reassembled.

Rolex watches are available at Deutsch & Deutsch Jewelers in Laredo, El Paso, McAllen, and Houston, Texas.

For 2015, Hublot has introduced a new bracelet option for the Big Bang UNICO watch collection. Since 2005, the Hublot Big Bang collection has been almost synonymous with being paired with a strap – often a rubber strap. In fact, one could make the argument that Hublot was a major player in the “luxurification” of rubber when it comes to watch strap materials. Whereas rubber was traditionally a more “utilitarian” material associated with sports such as diving, brands like Hublot helped thrust it into the arena of luxury sport watches, a genre than was exploding in the mid 2000s.

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One of the more rare types of Hublot Big Bang watches were those that came on bracelets. I would venture to say that many Hublot customers did not even know that the Big Bang watch came on a bracelet. Hublot clearly is a brand that thrives on watches that come on a range of straps, but the bracelet option is always interesting.

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In my writings on the topic in the past, I’ve always made it very clear how much I like watches that come on bracelets. It was perhaps the great Gerald Genta who solidified (for me) the value of having a watch bracelet and case that fit together in visual harmony. Think of the famous Audemars Piguet Royal Oak (designed by Genta) that has a case which gracefully tapers into the bracelets designed specifically for it. I’ve always found this type of design harmony to be much more interesting than a case matched to a strap which just happens to look good despite the fact that it is easily interchangeable.

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While watches on bracelets aren’t rare, per se, they are less common than watches on straps. Watch retailers might point to the fact that some consumers prefer a strap over a bracelet (which is certainly true), but another important reason is the simple truth that straps are significantly cheaper than bracelets. Not only in terms of unit production cost, but they are also cheaper in terms of research and development. Bracelets must be engineered and, in many instances, use countless more parts than the relatively simple item which is a watch strap. So within the larger context of discussing watch bracelets, let’s return to the newer bracelet option available for the Hublot Big Bang UNICO – which is an updated Big Bang watch model with an in-house made Hublot movement originally unveiled in 2013.

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One of the interesting features designed into the Hublot ig Bang UNICO collection (originally debuted in the Hublot Big Bang Ferrari) are small pushers on the lugs which are meant to release the straps so that the user can swap them. This same system is, of course, on this Hublot Big Bang UNICO with the bracelet, which means that this is perhaps one of the rare watch bracelets which can also be quickly released and swapped out with a strap – or even another bracelet. That means if you are interested in the Hublot Big Bang UNICO on a bracelet but also want the option of wearing it (say, for more sporty purposes) on a rubber strap, you can do so very easily and without tools by using the quick-release pushers.

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At launch, Hublot is offering four versions of the Hublot Big Bang UNICO bracelet (with a matching watch case, of course). There is a titanium bracelet as well as an 18k king gold (basically, red gold), and each comes with either a center link in metal or black ceramic. The ceramic and metal bracelets are meant to go with cases that have a matching black ceramic bezel. With that said, even those watches that do have a black ceramic bezel might look good with an all metal bracelet – that tends to look a bit classier overall. The black ceramic insert gives the design a sportier and more youthful feel – but that isn’t what people are always going for.

Of course, the “baller” version is really the full 18k King Gold case and matching bracelet which, in addition to being quite hefty, offers a mixture between Hublot’s modern sports watch appeal, and the pure luxury of wearing a lot of gold. The bracelet has a butterfly-style deployant clasp, which is nice because it doesn’t add a lot of thickness to the bracelet.

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Like the previous generation Big Bang bracelet option, the one for the Hublot Big Bang UNICO isn’t entirely made of metal. While the links are metal on the top, on the bottom, there is rubber which makes the bracelets theoretically more comfortable – but they won’t “last” as long, since the materials other than metal aren’t particularly known for their durability over long periods of time.

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It is true that wearing the Hublot Big Bang UNICO on the bracelet makes the watch feel larger. The Hublot Big Bang UNICO case is already 45mm, and it will feel a bit larger (especially visually) with this newer bracelet option. The good news, of course, is that the bracelet also fundamentally changes the look of the Hublot Big Bang UNICO. I hope that Hublot will offer the bracelet as something that can be independently purchased for those people who already have a Hublot Big Bang UNICO to match it with.

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I am going to spend very little time discussing the actual Hublot Big Bang UNICO 45 watch itself because I’ve done so previously on a series of occasions. The watch is 45mm wide and, with the bracelet, comes in either titanium, titanium with black ceramic, 18k king gold, or 18k king gold with ceramic. Inside the watches are the Hublot-made caliber HUB1242 UNICO automatic flyback chronograph movements which are always good looking through the skeletonized dial. We continue to feel that among the best Hublot pieces to get these days is the Hublot Big Bang UNICO, and with the bracelet, your Big Bang watch options just got more plentiful.

Prices are $22,900 on the titanium bracelet (411.NX.1170.NX),  $24,600 on the titanium ceramic bracelet (411.NM.1170.NM), $55,100 on the King Gold bracelet (411.OX.1180.OX), and $48,200 on the King Gold Ceramic Bracelet (411.OM.1180.OM). hublot.com

Article courtesy of ablogtowatch.com.

Hublot watches are available at Deutsch & Deutsch in Laredo, McAllen, and El Paso, Texas.

For 2015, Rolex added a new member to the Pearlmaster watch family with the Rolex Datejust Pearlmaster 39 – debuted here in a range of interesting stone-decorated varieties. This is exactly the type of watch that allows Rolex to both earn its merit among certain audiences and, at the same time, annoy fans of the brand mostly interested in their more classic sport watches.

While the Rolex Pearlmaster is generally considered a lady’s watch (often referred to as the “Lady-Datejust Pearlmaster” in smaller case sizes), this new 39mm-wide model does have a distinct feminine touch, but is also something that I know for a fact will appeal to male customers in various parts of the world. For that reason, I feel more than comfortable putting on what is essentially a woman’s watch that is, for at least some clients, good enough for a man. Of course, this is an interesting phenomenon, as most lady’s watches are actually smaller versions of men’s watches, and the reverse is quite uncommon.

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As far as I know, every Rolex Datejust Pearlmaster watch has some type of precious stone decoration (at least, that I have seen). The collection seems to have begun as a more “formal” or decorative version of the Rolex Lady-Datejust. The Rolex Datejust Pearlmaster watch collection begins with a petite 29mm-wide version, which goes up to 34mm wide, and now, 39mm wide. Each of them shares a special type of bracelet which is decidedly more “jewelry-like” than most other Rolex bracelets. Rolex simply calls this five-link bracelet the “Pearlmaster,” and it has a very smooth and pleasant feel when moving the links as well as wearing it.

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The 2015 Rolex Oyster Perpetual Datejust Pearlmaster 39 watch collection has a lot of similarities to another new-for-2015 Rolex release. Both the Rolex Datejust Pearlmaster 39 as well as the new Rolex Day-Date 40 watches (hands-on here) share the fact that they are the first watches to include ceramic inserts in the gold bracelets (more on that in a moment), as well as the 3235 family of movements. The Rolex Day-Date 40 watches contain the Rolex 3255 automatic movement rather than the 3235, but the only major difference, as far as I know, is the addition of the day of the week indicator disc in the 3255, whereas the 3235 has the time and date.

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So, let’s discuss the movement for a moment. I actually recommend anyone keenly interested in the movement to read our above discussion on the 2015 Rolex Day-Date 40 watches. I referred to those watches as perhaps the finest timepieces that Rolex has produced to date. What makes the 3235 movement special is how dedicated it is to accuracy. In addition to the standard COSC Chronometer rating given to each individual movement, Rolex now employs their own barrage of tests to ensure accuracy and reliability over time – that they simply call the “Rolex Chronometer Tests.”

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Inside the 3255 and 3235 automatic movements are the new Rolex Chronergy escapements along with variable inertia balance wheels. There is also a fancy Paraflex shock absorbing system to ensure more accuracy over time. While the 3235 movement isn’t about adding functionality, it is about further refining the longevity and performance of a Rolex movement. The 3235 further has a 4Hz (28,800 bph) operating frequency and a nice power reserve of about 70 hours. Rolex has mentioned that this new family of in-house made movements offers the most consistent high level of accuracy performance out of all the movements they have produced thus far. I fully expect that over time (though it will be slow), some of these new movement technology developments will find their way migrating to the movements used in more Rolex watch collections.

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Above, I mentioned the ceramic inserts in the Rolex Pearlmaster bracelets. Let me explain that these inserts aren’t something you can see, but are rather hidden within the construction of the bracelet. The purpose of the ceramic inserts is to prevent any gold “stretching” that can sometimes occur over long periods of time where due to the softness of the metal, the links slowly deform. The ceramic inserts also protect the links from wearing over time as they fold over one another.

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Having visited Rolex and seeing their production as well as product testing, this new feature feels like a very logical outcome of their routine durability tests. Rolex is perhaps the only watch brand I am familiar with who I’ve seen stress test their watches by artificially mimicking years of wear. Robots wear watches and move around to simulate long periods of wear. Rolex then carefully studies the results of these tests to see where weakness exists and to determine how best to improve their products. I suspect that the inclusion of the ceramic inserts into the links is a direct result of such testing and policies at the company.

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At 39mm wide, the new larger Rolex Datejust Pearlmaster 39 case loses the “Lady” designation and now feels like something that men would feel comfortable wearing. There are going to be plenty of people on this post complaining that no man should be seen wearing this timepiece, and I won’t argue with them, as that is a matter of taste. These would not be my first choice of stone-decorated Rolex watch, but the bold colors and beautiful detailing simply got me curious about wearing them.

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Those models which have stone-decorated bezels with color gradients are uniquely fascinating to behold and require considerable gemological effort in-house at Rolex’s gem-setting department. Finding and arranging the right colors and sizes of stones requires a huge amount of effort. People recall the “rainbow Daytona” with its colorful bezel, but few know that each rainbow-colored, precious-stone bezel requires about two weeks to produce.

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Each of these watches, save for the Rolex Datejust Pearlmaster 39 with the full pave dial, have bezels with 48 baguette cut sapphire stones of various colors. Each stone is, of course, hand-set. That same rule applies to each of the stones on the dial, including the diamond hour markers as well as the diamond-set Arabic numeral hour markers. I find it interesting that despite the Pearlmaster nature of the collection, the dials merely read “Oyster Perpetual Datejust” on them. The dials feature colors such as “olive green,” “cognac,” and “red grape” which match the stone colors on the bezel. Again, the colors themselves might not appeal to everyone (not that they are trying to), but what everyone should appreciate is the technique and the excellent use of stones and colors by Rolex.

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Interestingly enough, for 2015, there are a few 18k yellow gold versions of the Rolex Datejust Pearlmaster 39 as well as an 18k white gold model, but nothing in 18k Everose gold. I suppose Rolex is waiting to offer an Everose gold version – if it decides to do so at all. It is important to note that gem-set watches such as this represent the more high-end world of Rolex watches, as these timepieces are several times more expensive than most Rolex timepieces that are sold. A lot of the value comes from the complexity of setting the watches with a range of stone colors that nevertheless must live together in harmony.

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Rolex intentionally played with color, doing things such as having a blue to yellow/green gradient or purple to blue. These are exercises in color and gem-setting that just happen to mark the debut of the new 39mm-wide version of the Rolex Datejust Pearlmaster. While in the West, these would no doubt represent timepieces for women, there will be male buyers in the East, for sure.

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Rolex has been on an interesting kick lately, debuting new movement technology in very high-end watches – often with precious stones. For example, last year in 2014, Rolex debuted their silicon Syloxi balance wheels in the new women’s Datejust collection (decorated with a lot of precious stones). Here, again, you see the debut of the 3235 automatic movement that will likely inhabit more mainstream Rolex Datejust watches in the future, but presented in the glamorously niche Rolex Oyster Perpetual Datejust Pearlmaster 39 watch collection.

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Prices are as follows: reference 86348 SAJOR 42748 (18k yellow gold with olive green dial) and 86348 SABLV 42748 (18k yellow gold with cognac dial) at 71,200 CHF, reference 86349 SAFUBL 42794 (18k white gold with red grade dial) at 83,200 CHF, and the 18k yellow gold with full pave diamomd-set dial reference 86348 SAJOR 44748 at 128,000 CHF. rolex.com

Article courtesy of ablogtowatch.com.

Visit Deutsch & Deutsch in Laredo, McAllen, Houston, and El Paso, Texas to see our selection of luxury swiss watches from Rolex.

The story in a second

The ultimate power watch has had a major upgrade.

The big question

How long will it take for the next-generation movement technology showcased in the Calibre 3255 to trickle into Rolex’s more accessible collections?

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There’s a weight to a gold Rolex that’s measured in more than grams. A gold Rolex is a powerful signifier – of success, of prestige, and of quality – far more so than any other comparable gold watch. And the most iconic iteration of the gold Rolex is, without doubt, the Day-Date, commonly referred to as ‘the President’.

The President

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There is some confusion about exactly what a Rolex President is. The term is used to variously describe the Day-Date model, the jubilee bracelet, or the combination of the two. What’s less confusing is the inspiration behind the name; Presidents Dwight D. Eisenhower, John F. Kennedy and Lyndon B. Johnson wore different versions of a gold Rolex on a jubilee bracelet.

Always very marketing-savvy, Rolex capitalised on the prestigious association – running a campaign from 1956 until the late ’60s with the tagline: “Men who guide the history of the world wear Rolex watches”. In a battery of print ads, the Day-Date was referred to as “the presidents’ watch” and later as “The Rolex President Day-Date”, and even today, the brand has kept the connection going, describing it as a model worn “by more presidents, leaders and visionaries than any other watch.”

Rolex advertisement from 1966 via rolexblog.blogspot.com.au

The close association of this watch – only ever available in precious metals – with the world’s political elite creates a strong aura of authority around the Day-Date that makes it the go-to choice for anyone wanting to make a power statement with their wrist. It’s also a watch that’s becoming increasingly significant for the ever bullish vintage Rolex market – with the Phillips ‘Glamorous Day-Date’ auction yielding impressive hammer prices. The Day-Date is being noticed by a younger generation of collectors, and is very much on-trend at the moment.

The Day-Date 40

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Which brings us back to the Oyster Perpetual Day-Date 40. There’s a lot that’s new about this watch. New case, new movement, new size, new dial finishes. The Day-Date 40 will replace the 41mm Day-Date II, but still sit alongside the 36mm Day-Date. Individually, the changes in the Day-Date 40 are all small, but taken as a whole they represent a significant upgrade to Rolex’s flagship model. We reviewed an Everose version, but it’s also available in platinum or yellow gold.

The dial

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The clearest indication that we’re looking at a brand-new Rolex is the dazzling array of new textured dials on offer. The texture is achieved through a new technique for Rolex, achieved by laser etching over a sunray finish. This example is a Sundust dial with a stripe motif, but there’s also a quadrant finish and an ice blue diagonal motif that’s unique to the platinum model. These new dials aren’t for everyone, but they add interest and texture to the watch as well as referencing the brand’s rich history of exotic dials, which often have wonderful names such as ‘tapestry’, ‘linen’ or ‘honeycomb’. And by the way, these dial finishes are exclusive to the Day-Date 40.

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Aside from the dial itself, the Day-Date 40 comes with either stick markers or ‘deconstructed’ roman numerals. And of course the instantaneous change day and date indications. These pictures don’t fully capture just how gold this dial is. You could be mistaken for thinking it’s champagne, but trust us: in reality it’s very gold. I can imagine in certain lights, the gold dial/hands/case combination might make telling the time more than a moment’s glance, but let’s be honest, legibility isn’t the main purpose of the Day-Date 40.

The movement

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While the new case and dials are important, the exciting – and really significant – news is the calibre 3255 that powers the Day-Date 40. Calibre 3255 is Rolex’s next-generation movement, and we expect to see it (or versions of it) rolling out through their collections in the years to come. Aside from the instantaneous date change (meaning that the day and date flip within a fraction of a second at the stroke of midnight – already a feature on the Day-Date and the Day-Date II) the Calibre 3255 boasts performance twice as exacting as COSC standards, a new Chronergy escapement (a more energy efficient version of a Swiss lever escapement), Parachrom hairspring, thinner barrels, upgraded gear train and new lubricants.

These innovations have resulted in a power reserve that is now 70 hours, a 50 per cent gain on the previous movement. It also means that Rolex – already renowned for their hardworking, reliable movements, are continuing to research and develop in this area to keep step with impressive competitor advancements like Omega’s Master Co-Axial series. While it might not have been the sexiest new Rolex release at Baselworld, the Calibre 3255 is the most important. And not just for what it is, but what it represents.

On the wrist

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The Day-Date 40 was a dream to wear. The bracelet is nothing short of amazing. Buttery soft and yet still supple. Rolex have also gone to some effort to future-proof it by adding ceramic inserts in the links so that the soft metal won’t wear away and loosen over time. Beyond the excellent bracelet, the case is, for me, slightly more reasonably proportioned than the Day-Date II. What a difference one millimetre makes. But beyond all the tangible factors, there’s just something about slipping on a solid gold Rolex. You can’t escape that cultural weight we mentioned earlier. It was also less bling than expected. Don’t get me wrong, thanks to the fluted bezel, gold dial and multifaceted bracelet, the Day-Date 40 sparkles in any light, but the Everose is warmer and less harsh than yellow gold. As always Rolex have offered the complete package with the Day-Date 40 – and further proof (if any were needed) that they’re still at the top of the game.

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The knowledge

Talking point

Guess how many US Presidents have worn this watch?

For the watch forums

What’s the next watch that’s going to benefit from the next-generation movement technology?

Who’s it for?

The promise of the Day-Date is unchanged. It’s a watch made for captains of industry and leaders of men.

What would we change?

I’d like to see a little more contrast on the dial – but to be fair that’s less of an issue with some of the other dial variants.

Rolex Oyster Perpetual Day-Date 40 Australian pricing

This version of the Rolex Day-Date 40 has an RRP of $47,550.

Specifications
Brand: Rolex
Model: Oyster Perpetual Day-Date 40
Reference No.: 228235
Case Size: 40mm
Case Material: 18 ct Everose gold
Dial: Sundust, stripe motif
Strap: President bracelet, semi-circular three-piece links, Concealed folding Crownclasp
Movement: Calibre 3255, Manufacture Rolex
Crystal: Scratch-resistant sapphire, Cyclops lens over the date
Functions: Centre hour, minute and seconds hands Instantaneous day and date in apertures, unrestricted rapid-setting. Stop-seconds for precise time setting
Bezel: Fluted

Original images by Jason Reekie

Article courtesy of timeandtidewatches.com.

Rolex watches are available at Deutsch & Deutsch in Laredo, McAllen, Houston, and El Paso, Texas.

Author’s Note: It was a cold day in March, earlier this year, when we paid a visit to the home of Cartier to understand how its new watches are developed and to see key aspects of the manufacturing process. We came away with a clear appreciation for the balance of technology and craftsmanship employed at Cartier – the very latest manufacturing technology often sits right alongside traditional manual watchmaking skills. It was quite a day. We’re excited to share this with you, any thoughts or comments please contact us.

Cartier is synonymous with Paris. A quick glance through the brand’s history shows you that it is as much a story about the emergence of a boom city during the Belle Époque era of the late 19th Century as it is of the eponymous company founded by Louis-François Cartier in 1847. But despite this link, some of the most innovative Cartier products are created far from the romantic French capital. Welcome to Switzerland – home to Cartier’s flourishing watch business. And we do mean flourishing – in terms of turnover Cartier are one of the watch industry’s biggest players.

Cartier manufacture

Towns like La Chaux-de-Fonds are why we think of Switzerland as something straight off a chocolate box lid. It’s a picturesque part of the world, but make no mistake, inside the quaint buildings and cutting edge architecture, you will find people industriously making watches and army knives. Take a drive down Rue Louis-Chevrolet (yes, that Chevrolet) and you’ll drive past TAG Heuer, then Breitling before hitting the main road that leads to Cartier’s impressively modern factory. Across the road from Cartier is Sellita, the movement manufacturer. Girard-Perregaux, Corum, Ulysse Nardin and Bell & Ross are also in town. It’s Disneyland for watch lovers. But despite having one of the largest presences in the town, Cartier is a relatively recent arrival to the region.

The short history of Cartier watches

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It didn’t take Monsieur Cartier long to produce his first wristwatch, with the first model launched in 1853, six years after the company was founded. Back then Cartier was what is known as an établisseur, which means a manufacturer who designs and makes its own cases, but buys in movements from other specialists. This was standard practice in the days before vertically integrated manufacturing. Cartier made sure it bought from the very best – Jaeger-LeCoultre, Audemars Piguet, Patek Philippe and Rolex all supplied movements to Cartier.

Cartier wasn’t content to merely make the cosmetic components of the watch; the spirit of innovation was there right from the start. In addition to releasing the Santos – the first commercially produced wristwatch in 1911, they also innovated on other aspects of the watch. The deployant “folding clasp” that you see on many watches today? Cartier invented that in 1910. Cartier’s modern focus on watches began in 1977 when it was decided to seek out an industrial partner in the heart of Switzerland, eventually choosing Ebel. As Cartier’s business grew, they bought Ebel’s watchmaking business as well as a range of the smaller suppliers throughout La Chaux-de-Fonds to consolidate watchmaking at the new factory that opened in 2000. And it was here that the next major step was taken- to become a full manufacture and design and produce watch movements, the first being the Ballon Bleu series in 2008.

Cartier In-house movements

Cartier watchmaking today

Cartier  La Chaux-de-Fonds

Cartier’s watch business today is spread across six production sites in Switzerland:

  • La Chaux-de Fonds: Corporate headquarters and haute horlogerie
  • Glovelier- stamped cases
  • Les Brenets- cases/ assembly
  • Fribourg- cases/ assembly
  • Geneva- Geneva Seal haute horlogerie
  • Couvet: team of 300 producing standard movements and quartz

As you can see, each site has its own speciality and together they cover the full range of parts and components that go into making the brand’s range of quartz and automatic watches, as well as the hand-made haute horlogerie masterpieces.

Cartier  La Chaux-de-Fonds

Where Cartier watches are born

Cartier,  La Chaux-de-Fonds

The development team is responsible for designing all new watches. As we walked in with our camera, computer screens were quickly changed from working on the next big thing to showing 3D drawings of existing models – secrecy is paramount. The process is a lot more involved than simply designing a pretty watch. This team also designs all of the components inside the new design, as well as any new tools that need to be created to make those components. Computers simulate which parts will wear and after how long, meaning that all the hard design work is done before a single part is stamped in the metal. The most impressive part? This team also work out how tightly every screw should be tightened, which is then specified to the watchmakers assembling the parts.

Once a virtual design has been signed off, the next step is to create wax models using the 3D printers, such as the one below.

Cartier 3D Printing

Cartier,  La Chaux-de-Fonds

These printers are impressive pieces of hardware and can print an entire watch- including a bracelet with movable links – in a single print. Even complex dial designs can be produced. It’s an important stage, because no matter how good the design looks on the screen, this is the first chance that a designer has to assess how the new model sits on the wrist.

Cartier

The Ballon Bleu

Cartier

One of the highlights of the visit was the chance to see alternative design proposals for Cartier’s best-selling series- The Ballon Bleu. Cartier claims that if Ballon Bleu was a watch brand rather than series, it would be the fourth largest Swiss watch brand ranked by sales.

The Ballon Bleu (“Blue Balloon” or “Blue Ball”) refers to the blue sapphire-tipped crown that has become a Cartier tradition. The heritage stretches back to the famous Panther broach made for the Duchess of Windsor, where a jewel-encrusted Panther sat on a blue ball.

You can see that the watch on the right below has no lugs and a crown guard far more integrated than the final design. The watch on the left is not the final design, but much closer to the watch we see today.

Curved glass

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Having seen the technology used to develop Cartier’s watches, the next stop was at the other end of the spectrum, involving the art of creating a curved watch crystal, one that has largely been abandoned by most manufacturers. Cartier fits these hand-made crystals to models such as the Crash range. Yes, sapphire crystal is preferred for flat surfaces, but if you want curves, then you have to use mineral glass.

Cartier-Skeleton-01

These crystals are made by taking flat piece of glass and placing it on top of a mould. That mould is then rotated under a bright flame, which heats the crystal to 600 degrees, melting the glass into the mould. This is an incredibly delicate operation and it’s very easy to end up with a pile of useless broken pieces of glass.

From this stage, the crystal is then hand polished before it’s ready to be fitted to the case.

Man meets machine – making links

Cartier

The theme of technology and craftsmanship extends to the humble bracelet link. The first steps are pure machine- solid gold rods are inserted into a CNC machine which machines the raw links. These links are then given a preliminary polish in a tray of yellow ceramic beads.

But from here, man takes over. The links are painted pink before being polished by hand. Every. Single. Link. The reason for the coating is so that the polisher knows which surface has been polished and which hasn’t.

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The same process is used for polishing watch cases, as you see below. The final polish is often done entirely by hand with polishing paste and no machines at all.

Cartier

The Art of hands

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Hands are one of the most delicate parts of a watch and of course one of the parts most on show. They are initially made by stamping metal, but again, the hard parts are all done manually, including shaping and polishing. Oh, and the luminova on the hands? All painted by hand.

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 …And The finished watch

Cartier

We’ve only told the story of small elements of the manufacturing process, but each of which highlight Cartier’s watchmaking philosophy, and again it comes back to this fusion of technology and traditional watchmaking. Yes, the brand uses advanced technology, but only for the design and what we’ll call the initial manufacturing stage. But what sets these watches apart is the finishing, and that is done by hand. You come to appreciate the sheer time that goes into making a watch and of course the skills of those who make them.

Cartier

Article courtesy of timeandtidewatches.com.

Cartier watches are available at Deutsch & Deutsch in Laredo, McAllen, Houston, and El Paso, Texas.

As far as ambassadorships go, the pairing of David Guetta and TAG Heuer seems a little off beat. But TAG Heuer are looking for spokespeople in pressurised environments, not just sport. It actually makes a lot of sense when you consider their “Don’t Crack Under Pressure” slogan is just as relevant to a superstar DJ (Guetta), a Hollywood icon (DiCaprio), or a catwalk model (Delevigne), as it is to a steely athlete like Kimi Raikonnen, or Lewis Hamilton. Their collaboration has resulted in the release of the TAG Heuer Formula 1 David Guetta Special Edition. To market the release and to give us regular folk a peek inside his daily routine, David Guetta has made a short film for us to enjoy. In case you’re prone to violent bouts of jealousy, I should warn you: There are a lot of helicopters and adoring fans.

So it’s just about plausible that Guetta’s lifestyle is sufficiently pressurised to justify his role as an ambassador for the brand. And it’s hardly possible to accuse TAG Heuer of anything other than smart product placement. Guetta is known the world over, and has fans that flock to his gigs and idolise his style and swagger. Strapping a watch on one of those record-spinning wrists surely guarantees excellent exposure – especially so to that younger generation of consumers who most Swiss brands have so far failed to win over and are now trying to connect with. But is it just a name or has this watch actually been inspired by Guetta himself?

TAG Heuer Formula 1 David Guetta watch

I suppose if I were an international music star, known for my globe-trotting, the first thing I’d ask for on a watch bearing my name would be a GMT function. It makes perfect sense for the TAG Heuer Formula 1 David Guetta Special Edition to feature this complication. The black and blue bezel (strongly reminiscent of the Rolex GMT Master II BLNR and effectively identical to TAG Heuer’s previous release, which you can read about here), The black hours (6pm-6am) represent the night, and the blue (6am-6pm) represent daylight.

TAG Heuer Formula 1 David Guetta watch

Let’s not ignore that interesting “wristband” strap. It’s inspired by club-goers’ attire, but does it have a practical purpose too? Disc Jockeying is hard, hot work, and the last thing any self-respecting chart-topper wants is a bracelet sliding around on his or her wrist. This leather band makes constant contact with the skin, improving the stability of the watch on the wrist, and taking advantage of calfskin’s flexibility and absorbent properties.  The strap is fastened by an ardillon buckle, treated with titanium carbide, and engraved with the TAG Heuer logo.

TAG Heuer Formula 1 David Guetta watch

More important still is comfort. Straps of this nature, with a wide leather back, spread the weight around the wrist well. If this watch was made of titanium it would feel practically weightless on the wrist. It is, however, made of titanium carbide-treated 316L stainless steel. The black and blue GMT bezel is made of aluminium. The dial is opaline black with a date window at 3 o’clock – another essential feature for those with hectic schedules. I am kind of surprised that David Guetta didn’t request a day function as well. What with all those late night gigs and hedonistic parties, you’d think he’d have more need of a day/date than most people.

TAG Heuer Formula 1 David Guetta watch

Just in case David Guetta wants to have a pool party, he can feel confident taking his watch along too. Thanks to the screw down back, engraved with the chequerboard so oft associated with TAG Heuer, and the screw down crown, the TAG Heuer Formula 1 David Guetta Special Edition is water resistant to 200m. A sapphire crystal provides a clear and scratch resistant aperture through which the hand polished indices can be fully appreciated. The royal blue Superluminova is really something else. It distinguishes the normal time hands from the GMT hand, which is blue with white Superluminova.

TAG Heuer Formula 1 David Guetta watch

To add a bit of credibility to proceedings, the TAG Heuer Formula 1 David Guetta Special Edition is powered by the automatic calibre 7. It has a balance frequency of 28,800 vibrations per hour, and a power reserve of 42+ hours. It’s a rhodium plated movement, decorated with Geneva Stripes, and engraved with “TAG Heuer Calibre 7 Swiss Made” in gold. All in all, it’s actually a really nice watch. At first, I found David Guetta a strange pairing for TAG Heuer, but now I think I get it. It will be interesting to see if the brand continue to find their ambassadors in less well-trodden fields (it could make for some interesting pieces with potential collector value). The Tag Heuer Formula 1 David Guetta Special Edition has a price of $2,450 excluding VAT, or £1,850 if you’re shopping in the UK.

Article courtesy of ablogtowatch.com.

TAG Heuer watches are available at Deutsch & Deutsch in Houston, El Paso, Laredo, and McAllen, Texas.

Geometry has been a driving force for Cartier from the beginning. Shape was the defining characteristic of Cartier’s first wristwatch (which was the first wristwatch), the Santos. Soon after the Santos came the Tank, inspired by the aggressive rectangle of the first armoured vehicles. More recent is the Ballon Bleu that epitomises the perfect sphere.

Shapes are not just important in Cartier’s past; they play an integral role in their continuing story. And the latest chapter is the shape within a shape that is the Clé de Cartier.

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We sat down with Arnaud Carrez, Cartier’s International Marketing and Communications Director to discuss just how you go about designing a new icon for one of the biggest names in watchmaking. And the pressure that comes with carrying that legacy.

T+T: How does the Clé de Cartier extend the Cartier story?

AC: Creativity is always the essence of the brand. If you look at all of our emblematic models, the Santos, the Tank, the Tortue, the Ballon Bleu and so on. The number of shapes that Cartier has created is difficult to estimate.

T+T: And they’re quite strong shapes.

AC: Yes, because we see ourselves as a master of shapes. We’ve continually created new shapes that have become references in terms of style and part of the patrimony of all watchmakers.

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T+T: It’s easy to forget just how influential Cartier has been in – literally shaping modern wristwatch design. How do you follow on from this century long legacy? How do you come up with what will hopefully be your new icon, the Clé?

AC: The Clé is an interesting exercise. The original brief was to start from the line. A geometric curve. Cartier always starts with distinctive lines. If you look at the Ballon Bleu, which we introduced in 2007, it was a reinterpretation of the circle. It was a different exercise.

T+T: The Clé is different isn’t it? If you look at the iconic models they seem to be faithful to their shape, whereas the Clé seems to be a shape within a shape. There are different lines encasing the central dial.

AC: Yes, this is different for us; it’s a new shape. We see it as a new icon, after the Santos, the Tank and the Ballon Bleu.

Designing-Cartier-cle-2

T+T: What are the considerations when you bring a new line into the family. This is a big move. What are the considerations in creating a new icon?

AC: I would be lying if I told you it was an easy exercise. It’s the result of a lot of work and creativity from a lot of people.

Taking the origin of the curve seemed an easy exercise at first but finding the right proportions and balance were quite challenging.

If you look at it, you see the purity and the simplicity of the lines; the curves are ergonomic and elegant. Rounded, with a very nice profile.

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T+T: And that crown.

AC: Now, the crown is a miracle.

The shape is revolutionary. The watch is called the Clé, which means ‘Key’. And the crown takes its inspiration from the keys that we used to use to wind up pocket watches and clocks. That’s what this crown is. You use the same gesture to wind the crown, as you would have used to wind your pocket watch 200 years ago. That’s the beauty of this watch.

It’s a gesture that is simple, and unique to Cartier. But we’ve also made sure that the watch is designed for the wrist, and is comfortable to wear.

T+T: Stepping back from the Clé, what are the values and philosophy that underpin Cartier’s design philosophy?

AC: Timeless, universal elegance. We create extraordinary products with a strong design and shape that makes them successful across the years.

At Cartier we like to be audacious, we have a pioneering spirit when we create. We surprise people with new objects. Innovation and creativity are our key mottos. Innovation is the essence of the maison.

Images by Jules Tahan

Article courtesy of timeandtidewatches.com.

Cartier watches are available at Deutsch & Deutsch in El Paso, McAllen, Houston, and Laredo, Texas.

The story in a second

Hublot’s Big Bang was a game-changer when it first hit the scene 10 years ago.

The big question

Has age faded the Big Bang’s glory, or is it stronger than ever?

Most of the reviews we do here are new models – the latest and greatest. Not today. Today I’m taking a close look at a watch that changed an industry, and can be largely held responsible for the ‘big watch trend’ that’s dominated design since its release a decade ago.
Could the Hublot Big Bang – reference 301.SB.131.RX (catchy huh?) please stand up?

Even though Hublot have released what seems like thousands of subsequent Bangs in every conceivable colour, flavour and material the original is still in their catalogues, and still a strong performer.

The case

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The Big Bang is all about the case. The complex construction, incorporating traditional and modern techniques and materials embodies ‘the art of fusion’ – a philosophy at the centre of the brand’s identity. In 2005 the combination of steel, ceramic and rubber was novel, but in the subsequent decade the rest of the industry has caught up with Hublot’s trend-setting ways. Still, the 44mm case holds up well, and is a pleasure to wear. I found the riot of textures and materials constantly engaging.

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Fusion is about more than just unconventional material hybrids as the Big Bang demonstrates a stylistic fusion too; the traditional tropes of luxury sports watch design are partnered with a far more industrial aesthetic – heavy knurling on the bezel edge and exposed screws (the proprietary H-shaped bit is a nice touch) really works. It might sound like something cribbed from a press release but to appreciate the Big Bang you really do need to understand the importance played by the concept of fusion in their design process. The interplay of materials and textures is key to this watch’s appeal and what makes it so fun to wear.

The dial

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The use of unconventional materials continues on the dial with woven carbon fibre providing a texture that contrasts well with the mirror-like finish of the ceramic bezel. Happily, for all their fusion, Hublot haven’t confused the fact that the prime purpose of a watch is to tell the time. The dial is supremely legible – with broad luminova-filled hands, big rhodium-plated indices and unobtrusive printed subdials. I really loved the numerals and indices; they pick up on the industrial sensibilities that run through the watch. Each applied marker is cut-through with a machined groove, but while the groove itself is polished, the rest of the marker is brushed. It’s a small detail, but one that many lesser brands would overlook. Like the rest of the watch, the Big Bang’s dial is all about the materials and finishes, but function doesn’t get lost in the form.

The movement

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When it was first released, the Big Bang would have been powered by a modified Valjoux 7750. These days it’s rocking the Calibre 4100, which is a high-grade ETA 2894-2 base with a chronograph module on top. This movement is a proven performer, and there’s no real issue with brands using outside movements. And let me labour this point, for a simple but profound reason. The majority of Swiss brands use ETA movements or similar in their wider range, even the big players like Patek Philippe, and it’s nothing to get snobby about.

The logic is strong. Why reinvent the wheel if an existing and available movement is perfect for the job? I’ve no doubt that for this watch, an ETA movement is the right choice. Still, it’s worth noting that for many, a $16K price tag on a steel watch with a fairly unmodified ETA inside twinges the hip pocket nerve. I understand that for some consumers this isn’t really an issue, but I personally think the value proposition is more compelling on Hublot watches with the new in-house Unico movements.

The strap

The rubber strap is an integral part of the Big Bang’s identity, grounding the luxury watch in practicality – and even here, Hublot have managed to inject personality. The diamond tread-like pattern (it vaguely reminded me of a waffle iron) is distinctive and almost aggressive. Certainly not boring. Visually the hooded lugs conceal the point where strap meets case, adding to the impression of a seamless whole. The strap is secured by a single fold deployant with a characteristically big and chunky buckle. While it’s solid and secure, I must admit I found the lines a little too sharply machined to be comfortable.

On the wrist

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I’ve got to say, the Big Bang was FUN to wear. It’s large and in charge: flashy and unashamedly awesome. It was also comfortable and legible. And while the brash look might not be for everyone, I’d be amazed if anyone could wear this watch for a day and not be sold on its premise. The most impressive thing for me was just how well this watch has held up over 10 years. It’s a bold, innovative design. Too often designs like this date really quickly, but not the Big Bang.

Hublot Big Bang Australian price and availability

The Hublot Big Bang 301.SB.131.RX has a retail price of $16,200.

The knowledge

Talking point

Hey, check out my Hublot.

For the watch forums

Is the Big Bang the most iconic watch design of the early 21st century? OR, How do we feel about the movement to price equation?

Who’s it for?

If you’re into a bit of avant-garde bling, then this is your watch.

What would we change?

It’s a small thing, but if Hublot softened the lines of the clasp they’d have a more comfortable watch.

 

Specifications
Brand: Hublot
Model: Big Bang
Reference No.: 301.SM.1770.RX
Case Size: 44mm
Case Height: Satin-finished Stainless Steel
Dial: Carbon Fiber Dial Satin-finished Rhodium-plated Appliques Hands with White Luminescent
Strap: Rubber strap with Stainless Steel Deployant
Movement: HUB4100
Crystal: Sapphire with Anti-reflective Treatment
Bezel: Vertical Satin-finished Black Ceramic

 

Article courtesy of timeandtidewatches.com.

Images by Marcus Flack

Hublot watches are available at Deutsch & Deutsch in El Paso, Laredo, and McAllen, Texas.