Protecting the “Swiss-made” Luxury Watch Label

Written by Debbie. Posted in More News

Switzerland, home to almost each and every luxury watch brand in the world, is seeking tougher rules to protect its “made in Switzerland” label.swiss-made-quality

It’s not only luxury watches that the Swiss Government is seeking to protect, it’s all luxury goods made in that country, from cheese and penknives to men’s and women’s luxury watches.

It’s known that when something is labeled “made in Switzerland” consumers are willing to pay for that certification; up to 20% more.

This label along with the white on red Swiss cross logo has been stolen by counterfeit companies looking to produce and sell cheaper version of luxury goods. China is king of this practice and luxury watchmakers like the Swatch Group, Rolex and Richemont, which owns brands like Cartier watches, Jaeger-LeCoultre and Panerai, among others, are feeling the brunt of this.

To toughen the use of the right to use the “Swiss made” label, the government is proposing that “60% of the manufacturing costs of industrial products are accrued in Switzerland.”

The luxury watch industry currently demands that at least 50% of a timepiece’s mechanics must be made in Switzerland to qualify as “Swiss”, but has already proposed an increase even for itself of 80%.

When shopping for a luxury watch its critical to make sure that the watch is certified and comes with a trackable serial number. However, it also pays to realize that one need not purchase a men’s or women’s luxury watch from the brand’s boutique or another retailer; there are many online sellers that offer the real deal at less expensive prices.

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A. Lange & Sohne Takes Top Notch Luxury Watch Prize

Written by Debbie. Posted in More News

For the first time ever, the coveted “Golden Hand” award was given to a non Swiss luxury watch manufacturer. A. Lange & Sohne won the top honor at the recent 2009 Grand Prix d’Horlogerie de Geneve event for its watch called Zeitwerk (as pictured). A. Lange & Sohne is a German watchmaking company.Zeitwerk

For nearly ten years the “Golden Hand” or “L’Aiguille d’Or” as it is known award has been like winning an Academy Award inside the world of haute horlogerie.

The Zeitwerk went up against 362 other luxury watches and when the prize was accepted by A. Lange & Sohne’s founder, Walter Lange, he was understandably emotional. He mentioned how the fall of the Berlin Wall in 1990 was fundamental to a revival of watchmaking in Germany and how he himself returned to Germany after this event. One year later, the company which bears his grandfather’s name was established.  Since then the German brand has produced popular men’s watches like the Lange 1 and Tourbillon “Pour le Merite.”

Zeitwerk1Today A. Lange & Sohne produces women’s watches and men’s watches, ones that range from “elegant three-handed dress watches to masterpieces of great complexity.”

The Zeitwerk presents outsized jumping digital displays for the minutes as well as the hours, in addition to a conventional power reserve indicator and subsidiary seconds with a stop function. 

The case, which measures 41.9mm in diameter and 12.6mm in height, “displays brushed finishing on its central section, and a rich polish on such sections as the strap lugs and bezel.  The solid silver dial is characterized by a ‘time bridge’ central section in contrasting German silver, which elegantly unifies the digital hours, digital minutes, and traditional subsidiary seconds.  The symmetric arrangement is completed perfectly by the semi-circular power reserve scale at 12 o’clock which sweeps gradually to and fro to indicate the degree of tension remaining in the spring barrel.”

The Zeitwerk is comprised of 388 hand – finished parts and the 66-jewel Lange Calibre L043.1 features the company’s signature elements of a “three-quarter plate in untreated German silver with Glashutte ribbing, a hand-engraved balance cock, and certain movement jewels (two, in this instance) set in screwed gold chatons.”   

The watch is available in 18K pink, yellow or white gold, as well as platinum.

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Jaeger-LeCoultre Watches Worn on Summit of the Himalyas

Written by Debbie. Posted in Jaeger-LeCoultre

Summiting the Himalaya Mountains in Nepal is one of the most physically and psychologically challenging conquests that man dreams of. Many have tried and failed, often giving their lives in the process. The name Himalaya means “house or adobe of snow” and is a mountain range in Asia that separates the Indian subcontinent from the Tibetan Plateau. It is the world’s highest point and includes other famous peaks known as Mount Everest and K2.himalayas

Those that do summit the Himalayas successfully get worldwide praise and much attention is given to the equipment that the hikers used. Recently three hikers made it to the top with the support of Swiss luxury watch brand Jaeger-LeCoultre. All three mountaineers; a Swiss climber named Stephane Schaffter, a 19-time Everest veteran Apa Sherpa, and another known as Little Karim, wore Jaeger men’s watches.

Each man wore a different Jaeger watch; one was a “Jaeger-LeCoultre Geophysic Chronometer from 1958, a classic three-handed wristwatch with an anti-magnetic stainless steel case and luminous hour and minute hands.”

Jaeger HimalayasAnother was “the Jaeger-LeCoultre Master Compressor Extreme LAB timepiece, a highly acclaimed and technically exclusive model with a tourbillon introduced in 2007. The Extreme LAB presents a medley of highly technical constructive and horological elements including a titanium case, a tourbillon cage in magnesium alloy, and a mechanism which has been designed to operate free of lubricant.”

And the third, was a watch that has yet to be released to the public, however now that it has passed the grueling conditions of the Himalayas, this watch which is in its final design stages and will be introduced at the 2010 SIHH (Salon International de la Haute Horlogerie) exhibit in Geneva, is sure to receive much acclaim and attention.

As a tribute to Jaeger-LeCoultre’s involvement with this adventure, the mountain has received the official title of “Antoine LeCoultre’s Peak”. In 1833, Antoine LeCoultre founded a small workshop which eventually became Jaeger-LeCoultre. Among watch connoisseurs, Jaegar-LeCoultre watches are thought to be some of the best in the world. The company’s mantra has always been that “the aesthetics of a watch needed to reflect its inner beauty.”

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Porsche Family Donates Luxury Watches

Written by Debbie. Posted in News

The actual, real Porsche family must be large and generous because members recently donated 49 women’s luxury watches and men’s watches to London-based auctioneer Bonhams. All proceeds from these sales will go to benefit the Oncology Research Department of the Robert Bosch Hospital in Stuttgart, Germany.Porsche_logo

If you look at the Porsche logo you’ll notice that the name Stuttgart is emblazoned on it; that’s because although many people may mistake this luxury automobile manufacturer to be Italian, its origins are German and the company is based in Stuttgart, Germany.

Some of the luxury watches that were sold came from well-known brands like Panerai, Eterna, Audemars Piguet, Jaeger LeCoultre, Breitling, Omega Watches and even some from the watch branch of Porsche called Porsche Design. The estimated total value for these 49 watches is about $170,000.

Panerai watches are some of the most coveted in the watch industry. They are not mass produced and only recently have become commonly available in the U.S. Their extra large faces and simple, classic designs have made them extremely popular men’s watches.

porschedesignwatchTAG Heuer is the one watch brand that has a partnership with Porsche and produces a Carrera and Grand Carrera line. Panerai has a partnership with Ferrari, while Breitling and Bentley have joined hands.

Breitling is a brand that has been around for a long time and although started out and remains dedicated to producing men’s watches for aviation pilots, Breitling watches have become quite the status symbol as well.

Audemars Piguet, Omega watches and Jaeger LeCoultre are other brands which all have strong footing in the luxury watch world and will be hot items at this auction which takes place on December 2, 2009.

Aside from luxury watches, there will be other items for sale; the full list totals 280 items. Although the auction will take place in London you can register online at Bonhams.com.

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New Classico Collection of Luxury Watches by Ulysse Nardin

Written by Debbie. Posted in News

The first thing you will notice about this new collection by Ulysse Nardin of men’s and women’s watches is the color…purple. Perhaps an odd color for a watch and perhaps the company is taking risk on marketing this color to both men and women, but it does make this new collection quite unique.UlysseNardinClassico

Inspiration for the men’s watch came from another collection by UN called the San Marco line and the now discontinued Ulysse I model. The men’s watch is made from either 18k white or rose gold and comes in a 40mm sized case. The dial has a lustrous polished shine which makes the leaf hands and hour markers really stand out.

In the rose gold version, one can choose between a black or silvered dial and in the white gold version a classic Ulysse Nardin feature is included: the lustrous blue dial made from enamel and created using the painstaking “grand feu” technique.

The women’s version of these new Classic watches is made from 18k white gold and measures 35mm in diameter. Both the bezel and lugs are set with rows of round, sparkling diamonds. This is the perfect setting for stunning kiln-fired dial which is also set with diamonds. The dials depict delicate birds with full plumage. The gorgeous color of the enamel perfectly matches the colored hand-sewn alligator leather strap. The final touch is white gold winding crowns that are accented by a row of blue sapphire cabochons.

Both the men’s watches and women’s watches in this Classic collection feature self-winding mechanical movements. With the women’s model, only the time is shown, while the men’s version offers a sweep seconds function and a rapidly correctable date display. Both versions display fine decorative finishing and 22K gold centrally-mounted winding rotors through sapphire crystal exhibition windows in the caseback. The power reserve of the UN-815 calibre that these luxury watches run on is approximately 42 hours.

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New Version of Chopard Mille Miglia Mens Luxury Watch

Written by Debbie. Posted in Chopard

The Mille Miglia collection of men’s watches by Chopard is one of the brand’s best known and truly one of the most attractive watches out there.ChopardMigliaSplitSeconds

These days, many luxury watch brands are choosing to enhance current collections rather than invest the time and money into creating and producing completely new ones. This is what Chopard is doing with the Mille Miglia. A split-seconds chronograph complication is the newest addition and will be available in only 500 pieces.

Called the Chopard Mille Miglia GT XL Chrono Split Seconds, this men’s watch offers both the popular chronograph function and comes in a luxurious case crafted from 18k rose gold. Stylistically this newer version is similar to its predecessors, known as the 1000 Miglia collection. The 44 mm sized case gives a feeling on strength, as do the lugs and the engraved tachymeter bezel for the calculation of average speeds. The dial is a bright white with both 12 hour and 30 minute chronograph totalizers that sit on a raised silver subdial which features the date as well as an additional subdial for small seconds. The hour markers are in large, modern looking Arabic numerals, all which sit under the slightly arched scratch-resistant sapphire crystal with anti-reflective coating.

What makes the Chopard 1000 Miglia GT XL Chrono Split Seconds watch special is the “third pusher at the 7 o’clock position, and a second central chronograph hand, which lies superimposed beneath the primary one. These elements are visual hallmarks of the split-seconds chronograph or rattrapante–a brilliant variation of the chronograph which pushes horological technique to its highest point, and allows the timing of two events taking place simultaneously.”

The rattrapante chronograph has complicated inner workings that are controlled by an elaborate version of the ETA-Valjoux 7750 chronograph caliber, a self-winding movement that is considered one of the most precise, strong, and reliable ever made. “Equipped with a smooth balance beating at 28,800 vibrations per hour, this movement can record elapsed chronograph time to the nearest 1/8th second.” Despite the demands imposed by the split second function, the power reserve is still 42 hours.

Each of these new 500 Chopard Mille Miglia GT XL Chrono Split Seconds watches come with a crocodile leather strap with white stitching that makes for a handsome contrast.

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New Women’s Watch Collection by Raymond Weil

Written by Debbie. Posted in Raymond Weil

With its release of the Noemia collection, Raymond Weil brings its offerings of women’s luxury watches to new heights. The name Noemia is a tribute to Raymond Weil’s granddaughter which may explain why these are such unique, feminine and different watches than anything offered before by this Swiss brand.Raymond Weil_Noemia

The Noemia timepieces feature large, round faces and the diamonds sparkle nicely against the stainless steel cases. The roundness of the cases creates soft, feminine curves and the diamonds give a sense of elegance. These watches come in two different sizes and with two different straps; you can choose between a 27 mm or 32 mm sized case and between a stainless steel bracelet that features a brushed center link and polished outer links or a white, saddle-stitched leather strap. You can also select how you would like the diamond settings to look; with a set bezel or with case lugs with two rows of stones. Both options are pictured here.

All Raymond Weil women’s watches are classic and elegant and those from the Noemia collection are no exception. The hour markers are made up of four, large, polished Roman numerals and eight sparkling diamonds. The tapered and highly polished hour and minute hands add a complimentary stylish look. The gentle curve of the sapphire crystal adds another dimension of femininity to these women’s watches, while the blue cabochon crown gives them a sense of royalty. These watches are run by quartz movements.

Raymond Weil’s motto is “independence is a state of mind” and the Noemia collection is a perfect example of how this independent-owned luxury watch brand continues to create stylish, well-crafted men’s and women’s watches.

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Designer Watches at Discount Prices

Written by Debbie. Posted in Fashion Watches

What could be better? A brand new, never worn, designer watch at a price you can afford from top brands like Breitling, Bvlgari and TAG Heuer to Cartier watches, Gucci watches and Michele watches.cartier watches

Breitling typically makes men’s watches; with large faces and complex functions, these are known as “instruments for professionals”, specifically for aviation pilots. However, for the woman with an adventurous spirit there are Breitling women’s watches as well, like the Windrider Starliner that comes with diamonds.

Bvlgari needs little introduction or description. Any fan of Italian luxury goods will know and love Bvlgari. The great thing about Bvlgari watches is that almost every single one comes with the well-known Bvlgari bezel, making it a true designer watch in every way. Whether you’re talking Assioma, Diagono or Rettangolo, these styles are guaranteed winners.

Another brand which needs little explanation is Cartier. Cartier watches are by far some of the most continually sought after watches in the industry. Cartier men’s watches are popular among both sexes and with their balance between power and style, can be worn whenever, wherever. Even if you are not that familiar with watch names, there is little doubt that you’ve heard of the Santos, the Pasha or the Tank.

TAG Heuer carreraGucci watches are yet another hot buy and go for less than a Bvlgari or Cartier watch, making them a great buy. For women especially, Gucci offers so many styles to choose from, many of them being jewelry watches which gives the wearer the added benefit of owning a watch that also looks like a fine piece of jewelry.

Speaking of “for the ladies”, Michele watches are watches made for the woman that is bold, confident and not afraid to show it. Michele watches are classy and sexy and with their easily interchangeable bands, can be worn from work to a hot date and make you look great.

TAG Heuer watches are for those that want to look good and wear a watch that can withstand some serious heat. Promoted and worn by some of the world’s top athletes, TAG watches are always a winning choice.

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Zenith Opens First Middle East Boutique

Written by Debbie. Posted in Zenith

The word in the luxury watch business is: head to the Middle East! Following recent news that TAG Heuer opened yet another location in the Middle East (marking a total of eight points of sale), Zenith Watches has officially inaugurated its third and biggest boutique in the Arab world.Zenith logo

During the opening ceremony the CEO and President of Zenith Watches, Mr. Jean-Frederic Dufour, declared, “Zenith has had a great influence on the luxury segment since its inception in 1865. The brand was instrumental in developing the watch industry and succeeded in achieving 170 patents and winning 1500 prizes for the precision of its watches. Zenith is part of LVMH, the leading luxury group in the world. This 1st Zenith boutique in the Middle East is a new strategic step in the development and success that the brand is implementing”.
Another claim to fame that not all luxury watch brands can make, but that Zenith can, is that it is its own “manufacturing company”, meaning that it conceives, manufactures and assembles all its own movements in its workshop in Switzerland. The two mechanical movements for which the company is most known for is the Elite (standard movement) and the El Primero (chronograph movement).

Zenith boutiqueZenith watches marry technical skill and performance with spectacular style. Their luxury women’s watches really show this; collections like Star Love, Star Rock, Star Sea and Starissime are gorgeous watches with unbelievably unique designs. If you want to be different and not wear what everyone else does, go with a Zenith women’s watch.

Their men’s collections like the ChronoMaster, Defy Classic and Defy Extreme are examples of how Zenith creates strong, unique looks for men’s watches, merging power with precision and style.

The new Zenith boutique will be in the Dubai Mall and “reveals a new exclusive concept of the Zenith boutique generation and represents the essence of the brand in its design and the use of sophisticated materials and luxurious displays. On entering the Zenith boutique, a warm and contemporary environment has been created using the color brown (Zenith’s color of choice as seen in its logo).

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TAG Heuer & Lamborghini Launch Luxury Phone

Written by Debbie. Posted in TAG Heuer

TAG-Heuer-MERIDIIST-Automobili-Lamborghini-luxury-phoneTAG Heuer, a Swiss luxury watch brand and Automobili Lamborghini, an Italian luxury automobile brand, have announced a partnership to create a limited edition luxury phone. Called the TAG Heuer MERIDIIST Automobili Lamborghini, only 1,963 of these quad-band Bluetooth phones will be sold worldwide. The number is a tribute to the year that Lamborghini was founded. The inspiration for the phone’s design comes from the Murcielago (which means “bat”) by Lamborghini; one of its sleekest, fastest and most exclusive cars. The phone measures about 4.5 inches by 1.8 inches, has an above-average battery life: seven hours of talk time or 28 days of standby power. Standard cell phone features include a WAP 2.0 Web browser, a 2-megapixel camera, and 2GB of internal memory. The handset is made from “black titanium carbide coated 316L stainless steel” and has the Murcielago signature on the battery cover, which is similar to the one seen on this car’s LP 640’s V12 engine block. The case is made from brushed stainless steel (a metal often used in TAG watches) and has a “backlit mechanical stainless steel keypad customized with Automobili Lamborghini’s trademark Taurus bull on the steel central button.” The display is made from scratch resistant sapphire crystal, another common feature of luxury watches. The phone is built by ModeLabs.TAG-Heuer-MERIDIIST-Automobili-Lamborghini-luxury-phone-2 As of now, you can reserve one of these new phones through select TAG Heuer and Lamborghini retail locations. It comes in different colors of real leather or alligator skin, but so far there is no price listed. Hopefully, it’s closer in price range to a TAG Heuer watch than a Lamborghini! You can learn more about this phone on TAG Heuer’s official website.

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