Watches / Insights

New Omega Seamaster Diver ETNZ

The watch is a stylish and technologically advanced update of a 2001 model.

July 03, 2013

—ROBERTA NAAS, ATimelyPerspective.com 

We recently brought you a behind-the-scenes look at Emirates Team New Zealand and the new AC72 catamaran set to compete in the Louis Vuitton Challenger Races for the America’s Cup. Behind the team is Omega, which has been a a proud sponsor of the team for years. Now it has released the new 44mm Seamaster Diver ETNZ Limited Edition watch.

“The new watch is the model that was first unveiled in 2001, the Aqua Terra, but with updates,” says Stephen Urquhart, president of Omega, in a private interview. “We listened to the team about design and functions they wanted.”

Among those updates: the polished and brushed steel case sports a matt black ceramic bezel ring. Offered on a black rubber strap with red Omega on it, the watch celebrates the red and black colors of the team. The screw-in caseback is embossed with the ENTZ logo and the watch number and “Challenger for the 34th America’s Cup” are engraved on the caseback. Just 2,013 numbered pieces are being made.

The COSC-certified chronometer column-wheel chronograph watch (with 30-minute chronograph recorder) also offers the five-minute countdown to the start of a regatta in increment indications. The self-winding timepiece is powered by the Co-Axial Caliber 3330, equipped with a SiL4 silicon balance spring. Making it ever more versatile, the ETNZ watch features a helium escape valve for professional diving to 300 meters. The watch will retail for just about $6,000.

Founder and editor-in-chief of ATimelyPerspective.com, Roberta Naas is a veteran award-winning journalist in the watch industry with more than 25 years of experience. She was the first woman watch editor in the US market—breaking in to an “all boys network” with a pioneering spirit that would be her signature to this day. Naas brings responsible, factual—yet always timely and insightful—reporting of the watch industry to the forefront.

By Roberta Naas

 

Audemars Piguet Royal Oak Offshore

Three versions of the new watch are a hit in design, function, and feel.

June 26, 2013

—ROBERTA NAAS, ATimelyPerspective.com 

Taking a closer look at powerful timepieces, our top pick this week is the Royal Oak Offshore Chronograph Perpetual Calendar by Audemars Piguet. This bold watch packs a punch in design, function, and feel. All three renditions are distinct and impressive: platinum with a blue dial and strap ($128,500), rose gold with a black dial ($91,900), and titanium with a black dial ($67,200).

The watch offers complete perpetual calendar indications, chronograph, hours, minutes, and small seconds. Each is water resistant to 100 meters and features the Grande Tapisserie pattern on the dial—a signature look for the true Royal Oak fan. The movement is comprised of 436 parts and 50 jewels and offers 38 hours of power reserve. The oscillating weight is created in 21-karat gold. It doesn’t get much better than this.

Founder and editor-in-chief of ATimelyPerspective.com, Roberta Naas is a veteran award-winning journalist in the watch industry with more than 25 years of experience. She was the first woman watch editor in the US market—breaking in to an “all boys network” with a pioneering spirit that would be her signature to this day. Naas brings responsible, factual—yet always timely and insightful—reporting of the watch industry to the forefront.

By Roberta Naas

 

Richard Mille's New 3D Panda Watch

The RM 26-01 Panda, the latest 3D tourbillon watch by Richard Mille, is a masterpiece.

June 19, 2013

Richard Mille 3D Panda Watch.
The RM 26-01 Panda is Richard Mille's latest limited-edition 3D watch design.

—ROBERTA NAAS, ATimelyPerspective.com

Richard Mille, one of the first watchmakers ever to introduce the concept of 3D watches to the world, has done it again with the stunning RM 26-01 Panda high-jeweled watch. In three-dimensional beauty, a giant panda created in gold with black sapphires and white diamonds rests among bamboo shoots on the dial of the tourbillon timepiece.

The giant panda enjoys global recognition as a friendly, loveable, and protected species and is considered a symbol of peace. Richard Mille opted to embrace the spirit of the panda in this newest watch. The tourbillon caliber features a base plate machined from black onyx, which is said to absorb negative energy and bring emotional stability to the wearer. The panda is sculpted in white gold and integrated into the tourbillon. The bamboo forest of leaves and bark is hand sculpted in yellow gold and hand painted. Just 30 pieces of the RM 26-01 Panda will be made in white gold and 30 in rose gold.

Founder and editor-in-chief of ATimelyPerspective.com, Roberta Naas is a veteran award-winning journalist in the watch industry with more than 25 years of experience. She was the first woman watch editor in the US market—breaking in to an “all boys network” with a pioneering spirit that would be her signature to this day. Naas brings responsible, factual—yet always timely and insightful—reporting of the watch industry to the forefront.

By Roberta Naas

 

4 Top Watch Brands Win Awards

Tutima, Shinola, Magellan, and TW Steel emerged as winners during Couture's recent show.

June 13, 2013

—ROBERTA NAAS, ATimelyPerspective.com

At Couture’s recent show, I was honored to be—for the third year running—a Couture Time judge along with fellow jurors including watch collectors Sam Yukon and celebrity chef Nick Stellino, journalist Keith Strandberg, author John Reardon, and Daryn Schnipper of Sotheby’s.

Judging is a big responsibility as there are many particularities that go into judging a contest and you have to hold your own true emotions at bay to offer a fair and just verdict. There were many great entries this year as with other years—and, in fact, we have covered three of the four winners on ATimelyPerspective.com in detail in recent months.

The winners were:

Tutima won for technical excellence with its Hommage Minute Repeater, which is made entirely in-house in its new Glashutte workshops.

Shinola won for innovation with its Runwell watch—quite an achievement considering it’s not every day a new watch brand starts up in America.

Magellan won for architecture with its Magelluna for a wonderfully daring case and dial design.

TW Steel won the people’s choice award for its $100,000 diamond CEO Tech World Centennial watch, proving that the public really does still love big watches with lots of glitz.

Congrats to all of the brands who participated in Couture Time, and thanks to Watch Journal for making it happen.

Founder and editor-in-chief of ATimelyPerspective.com, Roberta Naas is a veteran award-winning journalist in the watch industry with more than 25 years of experience. She was the first woman watch editor in the US market—breaking in to an “all boys network” with a pioneering spirit that would be her signature to this day. Naas brings responsible, factual—yet always timely and insightful—reporting of the watch industry to the forefront.

By Roberta Naas

 

Montblanc Workshop's Timeless Perfection

A visit to Montblanc's factory in Villeret was a lesson in elite watchmaking.

June 06, 2013

—ROBERTA NAAS, ATimelyPerspective.com

Earlier this year in Switzerland, we had the opportunity to take a private tour of the small, exclusive Montblanc watch factory in Villeret. Here, every single piece of every single watch movement (except the base plate) is made by hand, polished by hand, and assembled by hand. Even the hairsprings are made in-house. Just 250 watches are born out of this workshop a year—and all carry the name Minerva on the movement and Montblanc, Villeret on the dial.

The Minerva watch brand has roots dating back to 1858, when Charles Ivan Robert and his brother, Hyppolite, purchased the factory in Villeret and began to create watches under the H. & C. Robert name. The workshops were soon renamed Minerva, after the Roman goddess of reason, and the brand went on throughout the 1900s to win awards and become a leader in the field. In 2006, the Richemont Group purchased Minerva and later “gifted” it to the Montblanc brand, which continued with the exclusivity of high watchmaking done there.

Upon entering the workshops today, things look very much like they did 150 years ago. The tools of the trade include hand-run machines that yield traditional techniques of watchmaking. The Minerva name has been changed to Villeret, reflecting the brand’s tiny hometown nestled in the Jura Mountains, and the name to be carried on the dial of the Montblanc watches made there.

In many watch factories, a dozen or more CNC machines exist, along with a great deal of CAD equipment, but at Villeret, just three CNC machines are used and strictly for the initial cutting of the base plates. Thereafter, everything—every screw hole, even—is made by hand using traditional hand tools and machines. The making of a single screw hole in the base plate takes three to four different operations and takes hours to complete. The polishing, angling, and finishing of each movement component takes days, and then the assembly of a final movement can take up to six weeks to build depending on its complexity.

Easily setting Villeret apart is the fact that the company makes its own hair springs, a tedious and time-consuming job. Essentially, a top-secret alloy is created and spun in threads onto large bobbins that are then placed on machines. The operators of those machines stretch the alloy to get it incredibly thin. Four strands of thread are then hand-wound into the initial spiral that will be set onto the balance wheel. One person is responsible for correctly setting the spiral to the proper regulating speed, and for cutting the spring at the precisely right spot for optimum performance. Villeret also has a custom watch department, but that is another story. Stay tune on ATimelyPerspective.com.

Founder and editor-in-chief of ATimelyPerspective.com, Roberta Naas is a veteran award-winning journalist in the watch industry with more than 25 years of experience. She was the first woman watch editor in the US market—breaking in to an “all boys network” with a pioneering spirit that would be her signature to this day. Naas brings responsible, factual—yet always timely and insightful—reporting of the watch industry to the forefront.

By Roberta Naas

 

Baume & Mercier Rolls Out Retro Clifton

The new Clifton GMT keeps track of two time zones in style.

May 30, 2013

Baume & Mercier's sleek Clifton GMT watches are inspired by a 1950s hit.

—ROBERTA NAAS, ATimelyPerspective.com

For the busy traveler who wants time in two zones at his fingertips, Baume & Mercier answers the demand—and does so in style. The Swiss watch brand with 183 years of history and tradition has now unveiled the retro-styled Clifton GMT. Two styles are being released of the 43mm brushed satin-finished steel watch. One features a silvery dial, while the other is an anthracite dial with a sun-satin finish.

The Clifton GMT houses an automatic mechanical movement—the ETA 2893-3—and features a second time zone indication via a 24-hour slim hand with a red dot at the end that revolves around the dial once every 24 hours. The date is indicated via an aperture at 3 o’clock. The domed sapphire crystal of the watch is anti-reflective, and the watch is fitted with a sapphire case back to view the movement. The anthracite dialed watch is offered on a maroon strap, while the silver dial watch with red accents and 24-hour indications features a classic black strap. The all-new Clifton GMT watches retail for an amazing $3,300.

Inspired by a 1950s vintage timepiece from the brand’s archives, the Clifton collection of watches was first released earlier this year and offers a clean, retro dial design in a contemporary interpretation. Other timepieces in the line include two 41mm automatic watches (with three hands) and a manual wind (LaJoux-Perret 7381) 42mm piece in 18-karat rose gold. What makes this series so special is the incredible retail price ranging from $2,700 to $6,300.

Founder and editor-in-chief of ATimelyPerspective.com, Roberta Naas is a veteran award-winning journalist in the watch industry with more than 25 years of experience. She was the first woman watch editor in the US market—breaking in to an “all boys network” with a pioneering spirit that would be her signature to this day. Naas brings responsible, factual—yet always timely and insightful—reporting of the watch industry to the forefront.


 

Hublot LaFerrari Watch

The innovative timepiece speaks to car and watch enthusiasts alike.

May 23, 2013

—ROBERTA NAAS, ATimelyPerspective.com

While in BaselWorld, ATimelyPerspective.com posted on our Facebook page about the new Hublot LaFerrari watch—created to celebrate the partnership between Hublot and the sleek and stealth Ferrari brand. As those who love cars and watches know, the Ferrari brand has partnered with other watch brands before Hublot: Girard-Perregaux and Panerai are among them.

However, the relationship with Hublot may have been made with the idea in mind by both parties to create as something bold and uniquely different. The LaFerrari being the first example therein—created with input from both the car and watch sides. The question is, does it deliver what car and watch lovers want?

The new watch features a bold case shape that is designed to emulate the look of the stealth car. The materials used are high-tech, as is the technology. This watch holds a thus-far world record in the power reserve field. It offers a massive 50 days of power reserve—not 50 hours like many watches—50 days. Thus, one can wear this watch for just over a month and a half without having to wind it. The indication of power reserve is visible on a cylindrical readout.

The complex movement, which contains 637 pieces, includes 11 spring barrels lined up in the center of the watch and resembling a crank shaft; underscoring the automotive motif. With a full sapphire crystal, much of the movement is visible to the eye. Time (hour and minutes) is displayed on cylinders opposite the power reserve readout. The watch—which also houses a large 14.5mm flying tourbillon escapement—offers seconds on an aluminum cylinder attached to the tourbillon cage.

So, is the verdict in now? Is this what you expected from Hublot genius Jean-Claude Biver? Is this the new generation of Ferrari that everyone was waiting for? It should be noted that this world-first watch (remember 50 days of power reserve) created in a limited edition of 50 pieces retails for $345,000—certainly much less that the million-dollar car, but still a hefty figure.

Founder and editor-in-chief of ATimelyPerspective.com, Roberta Naas is a veteran award-winning journalist in the watch industry with more than 25 years of experience. She was the first woman watch editor in the US market—breaking in to an “all boys network” with a pioneering spirit that would be her signature to this day. Naas brings responsible, factual—yet always timely and insightful—reporting of the watch industry to the forefront.


 

Tissot Celebrates 160 Years with the Powermatic 80

The Swiss watch brand marks a milestone with a technologically advanced timepiece.

May 15, 2013

—ROBERTA NAAS, ATimelyPerspective.com

This year marks the 160th anniversary of Swiss watch brand, Tissot. To honor the milestone, the brand has been very busy, and this year unveils multiple new movements and a host of really cool new timepieces that move it to the next level of sophistication.

Among the new pieces is the Powermatic 80—an automatic watch with 80 hours of power reserve. The watch was made possible thanks to the revolutionary new caliber, the Powermatic 80 movement. To achieve this technical prowess, Tissot strongly reduces the consumption of energy of the watch. The oscillation frequency of the Powermatic 80 is therefore brought down from 4 to 3 Hz. A high-performance synthetic material is used in the construction of the escapement to reduce friction. Thanks to a reduction of the diameter of the barrel-arbor’s core, the mainspring is stretched, thereby increasing the power reserve even further. Finally, the precision is increased with a new and innovative balance.

Making the watch even better is the fact that it is a COSC-certified chronometer. It is available in two sizes appropriate for men and women—33mm and 41mm—and is crafted in steel, steel, and gold-plated, and in versions with diamond adornments. The watch, which looks great and offers superb craftsmanship and precision, retails for a wow price of  $1,075 to $1,575 depending on the model.

Founder and editor-in-chief of ATimelyPerspective.com, Roberta Naas is a veteran award-winning journalist in the watch industry with more than 25 years of experience. She was the first woman watch editor in the US market—breaking in to an “all boys network” with a pioneering spirit that would be her signature to this day. Naas brings responsible, factual—yet always timely and insightful—reporting of the watch industry to the forefront.


 

6 Hot Watches from BaselWorld 2013

A Timely Perspective's Roberta Naas has a first look at some of BaselWorld's top timepieces.

May 09, 2013

—ROBERTA NAAS, ATimelyPerspective.com

Stay tuned on ATimelyPerspective for more BaselWord coverage>>

Founder and editor-in-chief of ATimelyPerspective.com, Roberta Naas is a veteran award-winning journalist in the watch industry with more than 25 years of experience. She was the first woman watch editor in the US market—breaking in to an “all boys network” with a pioneering spirit that would be her signature to this day. Naas brings responsible, factual—yet always timely and insightful—reporting of the watch industry to the forefront.


 

de Grisogono Makes Its Mark on Miami

The flash of de Grisogono comes to Miami.

May 07, 2013


The de Grisogono Tondo Tourbillon Gioiello S01 ($261,600) is cased in white gold pavéd with hundreds of white diamonds. Bal Harbour Shops, 9700 Collins Ave., 305-865-8765

This May, de Grisogono is opening a free-standing boutique in Miami, bringing the brand’s unmistakable flair to town. While de Grisogono—led by talented founder and creator Fawaz Gruosi—is known for its use of black diamonds and offers exquisite jewelry, the company has also made a name for itself with its cutting-edge timepieces for both men and women. “I love to design for women; it is enjoyable to see their enthusiasm when they find something different that they love,” Gruosi says.

Among the more recently released women’s timepieces garnering attention in Miami is the Tondo by Night, with mechanical movement and a high-tech watch material that absorbs sunlight by day and shimmers by night. Another highlight at the new boutique is de Grisogono’s Tondo Tourbillon Gioiello collection. This spectacular Tondo watch features a manual tourbillon (at eight o’clock) for exotic elegance.


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