The Horological Society of New York (HSNY) raised $81,396 at its online Timepieces for HSNY: 2021 Charity Auction, presented by Phillips in Association with Bacs & Russo from June 7 to June 14. The 2021 figures nearly doubled the $45,000 raised by HSNY in 2019.
All seven of the auction lots sold, either at or above their estimated prices. HSNY reports that more than sixty horological enthusiasts were placing bids from around the world.
Highlights from the auction include HM Horological Society New York, a unique timepiece made especially for HSNY by Arnold & Son, which sold for $30,240, well above its high-end estimate. Additional lots included watches made by Rolex (pictured at top), Patek Philippe, Grand Seiko, Ulysse Nardin and Greubel Forsey.
“The incredible results from Timepieces for HSNY: Online Charity Auction 2021 will enable HSNY to further expand our annual financial aid programs, including scholarships for watchmaking students and grants for watchmaking schools,” said HSNY executive director Nicholas Manousos.
All proceeds from the auction will benefit HSNY in its ongoing mission to advance the art and science of horology, which includes offering financial aid to watchmaking institutions and full-time watchmaking students in the United States.
In 2021, HSNY offered four financial aid opportunities, and introduced the Benjamin Banneker Scholarship for Black Watchmaking Students and the Oscar Waldan Scholarship for Jewish Watchmaking Students. In all, HSNY awarded $70,000 in scholarships and awards in April 2021.
De Bethune bills its new DB25 GMT Starry Varius as the smaller (42mm) alternative to the 45mm DB25 World Traveller, which debuted in 2016. For the most part, that’s true, though you won’t find a series of city names positioned around the dial on this new dual-time model to quickly display global times.
The new watch, however, adds a GMT function to the displays, which smartly retains the original model’s multi-level, concentric spheres and its unusual miniature gold and blued-steel orb, dubbed the ‘microsphere.’
In its smaller guise (42mm by 11.8mm), the new watch also retains other characteristics De Bethune builds into its entire DB25 Starry Varius collection. These include a polished grade-5 titanium case, a starry sky accompanied by its Milky Way and De Bethune’s characteristic integrated, open-worked lugs.
Reading the dial
With the date visible in the central disc visa a jumping hand, the two time zones can be discerned with a check of the blued central hands (local time) and the mysteriously circling dual-metal orb (second ‘home’ time). You’ll even know whether it’s daytime or nighttime at home thanks to the orb’s two halves: one blue (evening) and the other pink gold (daytime). For added realistic affect, the slow-rotating microsphere very gradually reveals both sunrise and sunset.
To add an even more poetic display to the dial, De Bethune places a polished pink gold sun in the dial’s center, just across from the beautifully blued and polished titanium miniature night sky dotted with white gold ‘star’ pins.
De Bethune powers its new DB25 GMT Starry Varius with its hand-wound Caliber DB2507, the independent watchmaker’s twenty-ninth movement.
Visible through the watch’s sapphire caseback, the movement operates by drawing on an extensive list of advanced features, all of which again underscore De Bethune’s well-earned reputation for technical mastery.
Just a partial list of these features includes: A titanium balance with white gold inlays, a balance spring with a De Bethune flat terminal curve, an escape-wheel made of silicon and a regulator held in place by a triple pare-chute system which combines a titanium bridge held in place by a leaf-spring system. The movement’s two barrels, which are partially visible from the caseback, boast an impressive five-day power reserve. Price: $110,000.
Through a new in-store digital application, Bulgari watch customers can now design their own Bulgari Octo Roma Naturalia, a 44mm manual-wind watch with a tourbillon and eye-catching stone-set bridges and mainplate.
The Bulgari app, called Maestria, allows the budding watch designer/owner to choose from three decorative natural stones: onyx, lapis lazuli and malachite. Any of these three stones can be placed onto the Octo Roma Naturalia’s skeletonized bridges/markers and on the mainplate within a rose gold, titanium or platinum case.
Available since April at Bulgari boutiques, and planned for the brand’s high-jewelry events in the future, the Maestria process starts when a Bulgari salesperson logs on and leads the customer through a series of steps that offer the customer a choice of stone, case material, case setting (including diamonds) and any engraving on the back.
Bulgari explains that once the design is chosen, its watchmakers will select the customer’s favored stone, which will then be hand cut and polished. When this step is complete, watchmakers will then insert thin slices of the same stone onto the skeletonized components as both markers and as the watch’s mainplate.
An additional slice of the chosen stone will also be inserted into the movement itself. All watches will be set with the Bulgari manual-wind caliber BVL206 with flying tourbillon.
In all, Maestria will offer the customer thirty customizable variations of the Octo Roma Naturalia. Base prices: $89,000 (onyx in titanium), $129,000 (malachite in rose gold) and $243,000 (lapis lazuli in platinum with diamonds).
The dial on the latest elegant Grand Seiko Spring Drive watch beautifully mimics the undulations of lake Suwa when its surface is frozen, a natural phenomenon called Omiwatari.
Grand Seiko says its watchmakers and dial designers were inspired by the lake to create the ice-blue dial on the new SBGY007, a 38.5mm steel watch.
To make the dial, Grand Seiko artisans at the Shinshu Watch Studio near Lake Suwa hammered the dial’s mold to create the visible edges and the round shape, then polished the indexes and sharpened the hands.
Thanks to these angles and colors, light glimmers across the hands and dial, a result said to reflect Grand Seiko’s Nature of Time design philosophy.
Grand Seiko powers the watch with its own hybrid, super-precise Spring Drive Caliber 9R31, with dual barrels that deliver a power reserve of 72 hours when fully wound. Turning the watch over, viewers can eye the nicely finished Spring Drive movement, beautifully flecked with tempered blue screws and its power reserve indicator.
Grand Seiko expects this new SBGY007 to be made available in early July at Grand Seiko Boutiques and retail partners. Price: $8,300.
Specifications: Grand Seiko Elegance Collection SBGY007
Movement: Manual-winding Spring Drive Caliber 9R31. Driving system: Spring Drive with accuracy: ±1 second per day / ±15 seconds per month (average) power reserve: 72 Hours.
Dial: Hand-hammered ice blue, polished and faceted hands and markers.
Case: 38.5mm by 10.2mm steel, water resistant to 30 meters.
Just ahead of the annual Mille Miglia, the 1,000-mile classic car race in Italy slated for June 16 to 19, long-time race sponsor and participant Chopard has released its ode to the race, the new Mille Miglia 2021 Race Edition.
While this year’s race will run in the reverse direction (counter-clockwise) starting in Brescia, on to Rome and returning to Brescia to pay homage to the race’s original 1927 route, Chopard moves forward, offering two models of the new watch.
Chopard is making one of the new Mille Miglia 2021 Race Edition chronographs with a steel case, limited to 1,000 units, and will also make a second model cased in both steel and rose gold, limited to 250 units.
Each is a sporty 44mm chronograph with either a stainless steel or polished ethical rose gold bezel with a black ceramic insert with white ceramic markings. Chopard has designed the bezel to mimic dials and gauges of the types found in classic automobiles that annually participate in the Mille Miglia.
The watch also sports a grey dial with a circular satin-brushed finish, all highlighted by red accents on the chronograph hands and for the race’s historic ‘Red Arrow’ pennant.
Chopard secures the back with screws and engraves a checkered flag, the ’1000 Miglia’ logo and the inscription ‘Brescia > Roma > Brescia.’ Though it’s not visible, the ETA-based COSC-chronometer-certified automatic movement offers a 48-hour power reserve, stop-seconds function, water-resistance to 100 meters and a glare-resistant sapphire crystal.
And finally, the watch’s calfskin leather bracelet features perforations and red or black stitching reminiscent of 1960s Dunlop racing tires, echoing examples from previous years.
I am the proud owner of a 1965 Accutron Spaceview with its humming tuning fork. Love to hold that baby up to my ear and listen to that tuning fork just hum its little heart out!
Obtaining this watch was no easy task. Thank goodness for the expertise of John at Budget Accutron in Waterford, Michigan. The watch looks like new!
So, one year ago, when I first read about Accutron’s intention to possibly release their electrostatic Spaceview 2020, I dreamed about possibly having one on my wrist.
And then the announcement came and Accutron’s 60th Anniversary electrostatic Spaceview was due for release at the end of October 2020.
I began to investigate the possibility of working out a trade with for one by saying goodbye to some of personal favorite timepieces. All served me well over the years and brought me much happiness.
I found my way to Exquisite Timepieces in Florida, where Evan Richardson is the proprietor. Communications went back and forth concerning three watches that I hoped I could put toward a trade for this technological marvel.
So, with my Meistersinger Monograph, my Tissot Squelette and my Ball Watch Trainmaster Power Glow and the balance in U.S. currency, I was able to order my newest edition!
What makes this all so sweet is that I own an original Accutron Spaceview. By 1962 the Accutron wristwatch was adopted by NASA’s Mercury 7 astronauts, United States Air Force and civilian test pilots, and even by CIA pilots flying the A12 reconnaissance aircraft.
And now I have the two side by side. What is old, using a technology that was state of the art back in the 1960s has again truly become new and revolutionary, once again, in 2020.
Zenith’s newest Revival, the Chronomaster Revival Safari, reinterprets the historical Zenith A384 chronograph from 1969, but instead of the original’s 37mm steel case we now have a micro-blasted 37mm titanium case.
The watch’s deep matte green dial with contrasting black registers and tachymeter scale is new, while the beige SuperLumiNova on the applied baton markers and hands is distinctly vintage.
The rubber strap takes on the same khaki-green tone as the dial, and is fixed to a matte micro-blasted titanium pin buckle. Price: $9,000.
(Reference: 97.T384.400.57.C856, a boutiques & e-commerce edition.)
Movement: El Primero 400 automatic chronograph with column-wheel, frequency of 36,000 Vph (5 Hz), a power reserve of 50 hours. Functions: Hours and minutes in the center, small seconds at nine o’clock. Chronograph: central chronograph hand, 12-hour counter at six o’clock, 30-minute counter at three o’clock. Date indication at 4:30.
Case: 37mm micro-blasted titanium, 50 meters of water resistance
Dial: Khaki green with black counters, tachometer scale, hour-markers and hands are rhodium-plated, faceted and coated with beige SuperLumiNova.
Bracelet: Khaki green “cordura effect” strap and white stitching. Micro blasted titanium pin buckle.
Early diving watches were purpose-built instruments designed to tackle the rigors of our underwater environments. In the earliest examples the focus really was on function. The ability to withstand the static and dynamic pressures of submersion was joined by the need to register time under water at a glance as well as being able to tell that the watch was in-fact running.
These basic needs drove the form-follows-function groundwork for all diver types now homologated under the ISO 6425 standard.
During the early days of hard hat and SCUBA diving, these designs first came to life as underwater tools that have now (d)evolved to become themselves an iconic look that both SCUBA and desk divers alike have come to appreciate.
In the case of the Ulysse NardinLemon Shark Diver series you can be assured that the sensual interaction with the watch confirms it is in-fact a well-built timepiece comfortable in or out of the water. And while some brands take the basic type into stranger waters with extraneous bells, whistles, and shocking palettes of color, the Ulysse Nardin Lemon Shark watch is, like the Lemon Shark itself, a subtler example of evolution.
The Ulysse Nardin Lemon Shark won’t jump off your wrist and demand to be seen like the “porthole” watches from the early days of our universe any more than a Lemon Shark will jump fifteen feet out of the water to grab a seal like its bigger cousin, the Great White.
Playing with a luxury watch like the Ulysse Nardin Lemon Shark is always a multi-faceted experience. The click of a unidirectional rotating bezel excites both aural and physical feedback and can quickly indicate the nature of the watch under it. Connoisseurs look for a smooth action paired with a subtle “snicking” of 120 (or 60) clicks with little to no backlash – as opposed to the sandy crunch of lesser watches that have rotating bezels that sound and feel like you’re working a peppermill over your Caesar salad.
Details like the easy-grip concave bezel (protecting the crystal), machined crown (easy to manipulate), and recycled netting strap (clean conscience) don’t necessarily leap out at you by themselves, but they combine to form a complete wristwatch that is well built, tough as nails, and easy on the eyes.
Even the touches of yellow are not overdone. Ulysse Nardin could have easily decided to place an all-yellow dial with black accents on the Lemon Shark – and few would argue that is not a great look, but that bold look has been done time and again. Credit to the brand for taking a more sober and refined approach to this 42mm black DLC beauty.
Under the recessed and slightly domed sapphire crystal is a matte-finish dial, wide stick-type hands, and applied markers with touches of “lemon” yellow and superior lume on the hands and markers.
Rated to 300 meters without using the superfluous helium release valve, the Lemon Shark is powered by the automatic winding mechanical caliber UN 816. The 816 will hum away at 28,800 bph for 42 hours when fully wound and benefits from Ulysse Nardin’s long history using silicium components in the escapement for both accuracy and longevity. Limited to 300 pieces, each Lemon Shark Diver features three sharks on the oil-pressed case back and retails for $7,300.
Beyond the watches, Ulysse Nardin has partnered with Chris Fischer and the Ocearch research team as well as the Florida International University to sponsor research and conservation of lemon sharks as well as other marine species and also supports the Aquarius underwater research habitat for humans located 63 feet under water off of Islamorada in the Florida Keys.
In 1944, a Swiss engineer and employee of the Federal Swiss Railways named Hans Hilfiker created a clock that became the Official Swiss Railways Clock.
If you have ever traveled by rail in Switzerland you’ve seen the clocks at every station. Each is exceptionally easy to read with its white-dial, large black hands and markers and red seconds hand. That famous red seconds hand completes a rotation in 58 seconds and then pauses at the 12 o’clock mark for two seconds while the black minute hand jumps forward, starting its next rotation.
In 1986, this clock inspired the Bernheim family, which owns the Mondaine watch company, to turn the design into a watch collection — with official license from the Federal Swiss Railways. In 2013 Mondaine launched its Stop-to-Go watch collection comprised of watches that mimic the two-second-stop clock feature.
In 2017, Mondaine launched Essence, a so-called ‘watch of the future,’ with timepieces made with the latest in watch technology, along with seventy percent of the parts built from reusable materials.
International Watch recently interviewed Mondaine CEO Andre Bernheim about his company’s far-reaching sustainability programs. He offered updates on this topic with particular attention to Mondaine’s expansion of its Essence collection.
Below is our full interview.
International Watch:Mondaine is among the few brands with an easily identifiable and iconic design with the Swiss Railway watches. What strategies do you use to maintain and possibly increase the brand awareness and keep momentum in the business?
Andre Bernheim:The Mondaine station clock design is a Swiss icon and has remained unchanged since 1944. It first launched as a wristwatch and wall clock in 1986, and thanks to the minimalistic design is as modern as it was then. Mondaine continues to expand the collection, without jeopardizing its design.
For example, the Backlight technology, offering at-a-glance visibility in any lighting, on our Stop2Go and Giant series, is a simple but very effective and useful patent. SuperLuminova is applied on the back of the hands, so that it does not affect the design but allows the viewer to read the time in darkness, like a ghost light.
The other strong pillar of Mondaine is sustainability. Mondaine has been active in sustainability for almost fifty years. Our Essence collection is made of a castor-compound material (case and strap), alternative straps are made of recycled PET bottles and the gift box is made entirely of rPET bottles and can be used as a handy pouch.
All Mondaine watches are being produced in our own Swiss factory, where we generate up to eighty percent of the electricity needed for production with our photovoltaic system on our roof.
Our second family, Mondaine’s Helvetica collection, is another icon with a clean, minimalistic design paying homage to Latin word for Swiss (Helvetica is the Latin word for Swiss – what can be more Swiss than Swiss? Beside that it is the most used font in the world, created in Switzerland, of course).
Another innovation is our pay chip, a contactless chip, which consumers can insert easily into the strap, or a patented loop that allows them to have a hands-free payment device on their wrist.
The technology has been implemented in Switzerland, Netherlands, United Kingdom and Belgium since 2016, and we hope to introduce pay chip in the United States soon now that more and more consumers use contactless payment terminals in shops and department stores.
The new Essence collection integrates up-cycled and/or recycled materials. How and when was the decision made to use a more eco-friendly approach and assign this a unique line within the Railway series?
Mondaine has been focused on sustainability for over fifty years, so the Essence collection was simply an evolution of efforts. We saw the opportunity to expand on our sustainability efforts in 2015. We then produced the line and launched the Essence collection in 2016.
The cases are made of a castor oil compound, which is made up of seventy percentnatural materials. The straps come in different but sustainable materials, such as a castor-compound, recycled PET, cotton. Production of the watches is done using up to eighty percent solar energy. The gift box is made of recycled PET bottles as well and can be used as a mobile phone pouch afterwards.
With your new carbon neutral certification as well as the solar array producing eighty percent of Mondaine’s electricity, it’s clear that you’re addressing environmental concerns. With this in-mind, have you considered a rechargeable battery system (induction or port supplied) for your quartz watches to eliminate one-time use batteries?
Yes, indeed! The issue is that there has been no such movement available in Switzerland sincethe mid 1990s.However, back in the 90s we did produce a Mondaine railway design watch with solar cells. But we are working on something better and newer to continue our commitment to sustainability.
Are there other sustainability goals that Mondaine is working on?
We will always continue our path of becoming better, step by step. We are constantly reducing our CO2 footprint by improvements in the supply chain, using longer-lasting materials with lower footprint and more natural matter, reducing weight and volume of our gift boxes and using more sustainable packaging.
In 2020, we became entirely CO2 neutral, as one of the first watch companies worldwide, thanks to our reduction efforts and CO2 compensation by reforesting with Fairventures. One of our goals is to phase in the use of a leather alternative for straps, even though we are using leather from the meat production and not from so-called ‘leather cows’ which are bred for its leather only.
We do have many straps made of other materials already, such as rPET, cotton, rPET felt, and are currently testing alternative materials made of natural products which come extremely close to the touch and feel, and quality, of leather.
Is it more expensive to use up-cycled or recycled materials to make your cases?
It is, but cost increase is minimal. Our goal is to produce watches that are affordable, like our Essence collection, which is below $200, and prove sustainability doesn’t always need to be more expensive than materials that are not good for our planet.
Besides using better materials, we are also on our path from cradle to cradle – from raw material to the end of product lifecycle. Therefore, we introduced a watch-recycling program, probably again as one of the first watch brands to do so.
Consumers can return their old watches to our factory, and we will dismantle and dispose the components of the watch to recycling plants as good as possible. We not only take our watches back, but also other brands, except their plastic watches. We are planning to expand this service to the United States as well.
Other brands have developed straps made from various “trash” plastics using fishing nets or plastic bottles. Do you see this as an option for Mondaine?
We are looking at these developments, too. For the Mondaine brand, we are currently using recycled PET bottles for making nylon straps as well as felt. For Luminox, the other brand I own alongside my brother, we launched a watch last summer with a case and strap made of recycled ocean waste developed by the Swiss company TIDE.
Does Mondaine have any conservation or charitable partners that you’d like to highlight?
As mentioned above, we are supporting reforesting with Fairventures, which is doing really fantastic work, not only by reforesting in a bio-diverse way, but also involving the local people in a very economical way so that they can earn money now and in the future. For more information on who we support, please see our sustainability report.
I would like to add a word about green washing in the watch industry if I may, please. I am the head of sustainability at the Mondaine Group, beside the president of the board. I am deeply passionate and involved in this area. Unfortunately, the watch industry is far behind many others in this area but many realize that there is a need to be part of it.
With modern consumerism and pressure to be sustainable, consumers need to be wary of companies green washing. Green washing is the process of conveying a false impression or providing misleading information about how a company’s products are more environmentally sound which happens often in our industry, unfortunately.
I am not saying we are the best or even good, but at least we are doing efforts to become better and better, step by step, along the supply chain, within our factory and headquarters for almost fifty years.
For this reason, I do strongly believe that we are one of or the most sustainable watch groups, and since 2020, we are CO2-neutral, again, probably as one of the first ones worldwide.
This is not only in some parts of our business. Our CO2 balance is calculated for all watch parts used, our factory operation, headquarters energy and our business travels.
We are continuously improving our CO2 emissions, along with the 3 R’s of sustainability, and compensate any CO2 we still create. Our sustainability report explains more about our sustainability path.
If you’re in Geneva between June 16 and June 26, we suggest you visit the historic headquarters of Patek Philippe on Rue du Rhône. There, the watchmaker is exhibiting more than seventy-five Rare Handcrafts items from its collection.
In its largest such collection of rare handcrafts masterpieces, Patek Philippe mixes in several of its 2021 Rare Handcrafts with a curated selection of seventy 2020 artisanal items, including one-of-a-kind limited editions. These include pocket watches, wristwatches, dome table clocks and bracket clocks made using a broad range of artisanal skills.
These skills include manual engraving, precious miniature painting on enamel (a Genevan specialty), flinqué enamel on hand guilloching, paillonné enamel, enamel with Limoges painting, fauré enamel (relief enamel), Longwy enamel on faience, and gem-setting.
Patek Philippe has even included several rarely seen examples of wood micro-marquetry as well as mixed-technique pieces that combine marquetry, manual engraving, and flinqué enamel.
While exploring the exhibits, visitors can also observe the artisans at work as they demonstrate their expertise in enameling, miniature painting on enamel, engraving, marquetry and guilloching.
The “Rare Handcrafts 2020-2021” exhibition at the Patek Philippe salons in Geneva on Rue du Rhône 41 is open to the public from June 16 to 26, 2021, every day (except Sundays) from 11 a.m. to 6 p.m. Visitors should register at http://www.patek.com/rhc2021/ in advance.