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Parmigiani Fleurier updates its Tonda collection with a cleaner, pared-down sub-collection dubbed Tonda PF. The new line exhibits a less ornamented Tonda dial design, which the watchmaker attributes to a carefully considered ‘sartorial’ approach to the update.

The new Parmigiani Fleurier Tonda PF collection includes a chronograph, a split-seconds chronograph, an annual calendar and a two-hand, time and date model. With the exception of the split-seconds edition, the three new Tonda PF debuts are all available in steel with a platinum hand-knurled bezel or in a rose gold case.

It’s not just the wide-open dials that characterize the new Tonda PF. The newly designed, extra-long openwork hands are now made of solid gold. The new bezel echoes many of the brand’s original Tonda designs, but adds a subtle knurling that, surprise, is made by hand in luxurious platinum.

The bezel on each steel Tonda PF is hand-cut in platinum.

This rare combination speaks volumes about the details Parmigiani Fleurier has built into this handsome new collection. Ever modest, the watchmaker claims the platinum flourish is “Not for the sake of exclusivity, but because it provides a better, shinier play with light and a more artisanal feeling once polished by hand.”

In my mind the platinum bezel is a hidden treasure – not unlike Parmigiani Fleurier itself.

And finally, Parmigiani Fleurier has updated the bracelet for the new collection. Now wider near the bezel and narrower along the length, the bracelet exudes a tailored approach to watchmaking and likely feels slimmer when worn. The horizontal-satin-finished surface here perfectly echoes the upper surface of the lugs.

The new Parmigiani Fleurier Tonda PF Micro-Rotor.

Tonda PF Micro-Rotor

This slim 40mm by 7.8mm two-hander underscores its name with a luxurious platinum micro-rotor to echo the bezel (on the steel model).

The precious oscillating weight (pictured above) powers the latest iteration of Parmigiani Fleurier’s caliber PF703. The dressy date/time display offers a date disc colored to exactly matches the minute track, all placed within a matte guilloché dial, and cut to a turn. Prices: $22,900 (steel) and $53,900 (rose gold).

The new Parmigiani Fleurier Tonda PF Micro-Rotor, in rose gold case and bracelet.

The Tonda PF Chronograph

With its integrated high-frequency (5 Hz, or 36,000 vph) Caliber PF070 movement, this 42mm model retains a clean two-register chronograph layout alongside a small seconds subdial. The new lightly guillochéd dial design extends to its bezel with a sandblasted minute track and counter edges.

The Tonda PF Chronograph

The case is dressy, with subtle teardrop pushers, and when turned over reveals a beautifully finished openwork rose gold rotor with a PF logo (pictured below). Prices: $31,000 (steel) and $69,700 (rose gold).

The Parmigiani Fleurier Tonda PF Chronograph, in rose gold.

Tonda PF Annual Calendar

In its 42mm case, Parmigiani Fleurier’s Caliber PF339 powers the Annual Calendar, which displays a retrograde date, day, month and a moon phase aperture, showing both hemispheres.

The new Tonda PF Annual Calendar.

New here is Parmigiani Fleurier’s placement of the date onto the minute track and a careful addition of subtle subdial outlines to a grey guilloché dial. The dial font is ultra clean and the moon phase indicators seem to glow against the dial. Prices: $38,700 (steel) and $77,500 (rose gold).

The new Tonda PF Annual Calendar, rose gold edition.

The Tonda PF Split Seconds Chronograph

At the top of the collection’s price range, this complicated model is offered as a limited series of twenty-five, meant to celebrate the brand’s twenty-fifth birthday.

The watch offers a dial, case and bracelet made of platinum and a stunningly beautiful high frequency, open-worked movement built from gold. The watch’s integrated split-seconds chronograph allows the user to time two events starting at the same time, down to the tenth of a second.

The Tonda PF Split Seconds Chronograph.

If a gold movement and platinum case aren’t luxurious enough, add on the platinum bracelet to match the case and you have a genuine high-end offering in every sense of the word.

The Caliber PF361 inside the watch is a new version of Parmigiani Fleurier’s most high-end caliber, namely the inspired and GPHG-award winning ChronOr. In addition to a solid rose gold mainplate we see extensively open-worked, satin-finished and beveled bridges. Exquisite. $171,600.

By Laurent Martinez

I would like to share with you a recent conversation I had with John Demsey, executive group president at the Estée Lauder Companies.

Demsey is well-versed in beauty, luxury, and creativity, so it may not come as a surprise that John is a watch guy too, with a love of timepieces that stretches back to his childhood.

At six years old, Demsey got his first watch, which was a Timex, and as he recalls it, a big deal. He came into possession of his second watch as a teenager during a trip to Japan when he picked up a special edition Seiko watch made for the Osaka Expo 1970 world fair.

As LED became the fashionable watch technology of the decade, John’s father then gave him a futuristic Pulsar timepiece.

However, what came next was Demsey’s “first real watch,” and it’s what most of us will agree is an absolute grail-worthy piece.

On his sixteenth birthday, Demsey’s father gifted him a Royal Oak, the very one that Gerald Genta designed for Audemars Piguet. Not only did John get a first-generation Royal Oak, but his dad bought himself a matching one too.

On his sixteenth birthday, Demsey’s father gifted him a Royal Oak.

Hearing John tell the story, you can feel the emotion that surrounds this special occasion. It’s a memory that is as vivid and clear as if it happened yesterday. I love hearing about fathers and sons owning identical watches; I find it to be a beautiful and symbolic expression of tight familial bonds and being connected by time. For John, watches represent a continuation of life when special pieces are handed down from generation to generation.

Design appreciation

Watches are, of course, a combination of beautiful art and industrial techniques, which parallels Demsey’s upbringing with a mother who was a painter and a father who ran a steel processing plant. His appreciation for design and beauty goes far beyond timepieces, as John is also an avid collector of art, photography and furniture.

For Demsey, watches are one of the few objects that men can wear to signify personal style. He learned from an early age about the subtle cues a watch could tell another person. It can speak volumes about who the wearer is, what he finds stylish, how he regards time, and what his passions are. On a recent trip to Japan for example, Demsey observed the frequent pairing of designer jeans and Rolex Sea-Dweller watches.

Demsey also associates watches with certain periods of life, especially with milestone events like graduation, career achievements, and so on. Buying a special watch is a way to give added significance to an event and it can also be a meaningful way to memorialize certain places, experiences and people. 

Similar to other collectors, John Demsey’s collecting journey has ebbed and flowed according to changing personal tastes and preferences. His focus has always been on the design of the watch, whether the color, bracelet, or style, rather than movements or timekeeping.

For example, he went through a period of collecting every single rendition of Andy Warhol Piaget watches—in seven colors. He found the design so special that he even custom-ordered dials, which is telling of John’s appreciation for timepieces with unique style.

Demsey’s Andy Warhol Piaget watches, plus a Patek Philippe Ellipse.

The Classics

But that’s not to say he doesn’t appreciate the classic icons either. He’s a big fan of Rolex, especially Daytona “Paul Newman” chronographs, and given his early discovery of Audemars Piguet’s famed sports watch, he’s also a fan of Gerald Genta hits like the Royal Oak and the Nautilus.

Up close on an ‘Andy Warhol’ Piaget.

He enjoys the hunt of finding a special watch that few have. His decisions are not random but purposeful, as he takes the time to stay up-to-date with the watch market. He follows auction houses, reads Hodinkee and IW Magazine, and his social media feed includes watch brands and watch influencers. A good watch purchase for John is a mix of an emotional connection, a striking aesthetic, and topnotch quality.

While he used to stick to the “one in, one out” rule when collecting watches to ensure that they all got good wrist time. While the guideline has changed slightly to “three in, one out,” Demsey still believes that watches should be worn and not locked away in a safe. He doesn’t buy them for a future return on investment but simply because he loves them. He purchases watches using a variety of sources, including auctions, dealers, boutiques, online platforms, and can sometimes get an insider’s tip on an available piece via a phone call too. However, he says that his best watches were found during trips to Milan and Rome.

Three very special Rolexes.

When I asked Demsey how he feels about luxury watch brands selling their timepieces online, he doesn’t think anything can replace the experience of an in-boutique purchase. Trying on watches in a store or discovering a hidden timepiece in the back of the shop is all part of the excitement of in-person watch shopping. Yes, you can certainly find and buy watches easier online and the Internet can help you locate a seldom-seen reference, but the sense of discovery and anticipation can also be lost.

However, the online watch world is a great place to get educated about watches. For example, if Demsey finds something he likes, he does his research online first to make sure prices and other details are in order before pulling the trigger.

It’s no secret that watch buying and collecting has flourished over the last fifteen years or so. Demsey believes that this phenomenon is fueled in part by people seeking objects that are timeless in design and built to last. We’re bombarded with so many disposable items today that grounding ourselves with beautiful and long-lasting pieces like art, furniture or watches can give immense pleasure.

Independents

The watch market is certainly not immune to fleeting trends; we’ve witnessed so many watch styles over the decades, from the understated and restrained to the opulent and oversized. Gold metals moved aside for white metals, only to come back again in full force. Demsey believes that there will be a rebirth of the aerodynamic designs that were prevalent in the 1970s joined by the smaller Art Deco-inspired pieces that gained prominence in the 1930s.

Demsey also admires exclusive independent watchmakers like F.P. Journe that find their voice and produce small batches of high-quality timepieces for an enthusiastic following. In fact, during these past eighteen months, Demsey became even more interested in watches. This is despite being tethered to his at-home computer screen where the time is always on display and he has fewer occasions to wear his watches out in the world. Yet, he discovered new watch brands and models, just like the H. Moser & Cie piece strapped around his wrist during our interview. He clicked with the brand, just like he did with Urban Jürgensen and Ressence.

Demsey’s H. Moser & Cie Streamliner.

After hearing John speak during our interview, I have a sense that his appreciation of art, love of collecting, and emotional connection to beautiful objects were rooted at a young age and have become an integral part of his life. His enthusiasm for watches is one way in which he expresses his passion for great style and it was a pleasure to learn about his story.

 

Laurent Martinez is the proprietor of Laurent Fine Watches in Greenwich, Connecticut. Read more by him at blog.laurentfinewatches.com or visit his store’s site at www.laurentfinewatches.com

 

 

Bulgari this week pays tribute to Gerald Genta with a renewed version of the famed designer’s Mickey Mouse watch. At the same time the watchmaker/jeweler adds a world time watch to its Octo Roma collection and revives a Papillon central tourbillon design, now set in an Octo Roma case. The original Papillon was a Daniel Roth jumping hour invention with ‘butterfly’ hands.

These debuts were just three Bulgari highlights at Geneva Watch Days 2021, where the Italo-Swiss watchmaker launched nine new models. These also included new models in the jeweled Divas’ Dream lineup and three Divina Mosaica watches, including one spectacular diamond-set model fitted with Bulgari’s thin minute repeater movement.

The new Gerald Genta Arena Retrograde with smiling Disney Mickey Mouse.

Gerald Genta Arena Retrograde with smiling Disney Mickey Mouse

Bulgari’s retro Retrograde watch, starring the world’s most famous mouse, pays tribute to the genius of Gerald Genta, who placed Mickey Mouse (and other Disney characters) on his own high-end watches starting in 1984. The Gerald Genta Mickey Mouse watches are today much sought-after by collectors.

You may recall that Bulgari in 2019 launched the first ode to Genta with its 50th Anniversary Arena Bi-Retro, which Bulgari released with only Gerald Genta’s name on the dial. Last year we saw a titanium version of the watch.

Those debuts recalled Bulgari’s acquisition of the Gérald Genta and Daniel Roth brands in 2000, a purchase that has played a significant role in building Bulgari’s haute horlogerie expertise.

Gérald Genta, who died in 2011 at the age of 80, designed many of the icons of modern watch design, including the Universal Genève Polerouter, the Audemars Piguet Royal Oak, the IWC Ingenieur, Cartier’s Pasha, the Omega Constellation, the Bvlgari Bvlgari and the Patek Philippe Nautilus. Many of these designs remain bestsellers for their respective brands.

This new Gerald Genta Arena Retrograde with smiling Disney Mickey Mouse marks the return of one of the most sought-after Genta designs. The watch’s debut also marks the next level in Bulgari’s ongoing reboot of the Gerald Genta line as its own brand. To accompany that expansion, Bulgari is developing a new Gerald Genta website.

The new watch almost perfectly mimics many of the original Gerald Genta designs, here nicely settled into 41mm steel Gerald Genta Arena case. In this version you’ll find Mickey showing the time amid an also-playful rhodium-plated sunray dial. Mickey’s left arm and white-gloved hand indicates the minutes on a 210-degree retrograde dial as a jumping hour indicator shows the hour at the 5 o’clock position.

Bulgari is making the Gerald Genta Arena Retrograde with smiling Disney Mickey Mouse as a limited edition of 150-pieces, all available only online at Bulgari. Price: 16,500 euros, with January 2022 delivery.

Octo Roma WorldTimer

Bulgari developed a new movement, Caliber BVL257, to power this world time watch, a first for the Octo Roma collection. And as a travel watch, it features instant reading of the time in twenty-four cities, which corresponds to the world’s primary time zones. This launch comes just days after the debut of another well-received Bulgari travel model, the Aluminum GMT watch.

The new Bulgari Octo Roma WorldTimer.

Echoing classic world timer dial layouts, the Octo Roma WorldTimer offers a central display of the hours, minutes and seconds combined with a double rotating disc on the outer edge. One of the disks is set with the names of the reference cities while the second displays the 24-hour scale. When read in tandem, they allow the wearer to read the time in multiple time zones.

The Octo Roma WorldTimer is also available with a black DLC case and black rubber strap.

Bulgari took some liberties with the cities listed around the dial of this new watch, opting to swap the more common Bermuda for St. Barts, and representing cities where Bulgari has (or will soon have) one of its own hotels.

This sporty watch is built within the brand’ excellent multi-faceted Octo Roma 41mm steel case with a blue dial and matching steel bracelet. A stealthier version can be had in a black DLC case with a black textured rubber strap. Price: $8,350.

We’ll have more details about Bulgari’s Geneva Watch Days launches in upcoming posts. We’ve posted a few teasers below for those who can’t wait until then.

The new Octo Roma Central Tourbillon Papillon. At the end of the 60 minutes indicated by one of the “butterfly” hands, the disc jumps to display the new time in the aperture.
The incredible Bulgari Divina Mosaica Minute Repeater.
Two debuts in the Divas’ Dream collection include models with dials in lapis lazuli (pictured) and malachite.

 

Specifications: Gerald Genta Arena Retrograde with smiling Disney Mickey Mouse

Movement: Mono-retrograde movement, jumping hour aperture at 5 o’clock, retrograde minutes hand on a 210-degree sector, 28,800 vph, 42- hour power reserve.

Case: Jumping hour aperture at 5 o’clock, retrograde minutes hand on a 210-degree sector.

Strap: Red textured padded rubber with Gerald Genta folding clasp in polished stainless steel.

Price: 16,500 euros, with January 2022 delivery.

 

Specifications: Bulgari Octo Roma WorldTimer Stainless Steel

Movement: Automatic BVL257 with World time display, hours, minutes and seconds, 24 time zones and 24-hour indicator; 42-hour power reserve, frequency of 28,800 vph (4Hz).

Case: 41mm by 11.35mm 904L stainless steel with satin-brushed/polished finish, satin-brushed/polished bezel, transparent back, screw-lock steel crown set with a ceramic decoration and serving to set the time as well as the cities indication; water-resistant to 100 meters.

Dial: Blue sunburst, applied brushed rhodium-plated gold hour-markers.

Bracelet: Satin-brushed/polished steel bracelet with triple-blade folding clasp.

Price: $8,350.

 

Specifications: Bulgari Octo Roma WorldTimer Steel DLC (Diamond-Like Carbon)

Movement: Automatic BVL257 with World time display hours, minutes and seconds, 24 time zones and 24-hour indicator; 42-hour power reserve, frequency: 28,800 Vph (4Hz).

Case: 41mm by 11.35mm 904L steel, black sandblasted DLC (Diamond Like Carbon) finish, transparent caseback, screw-lock crown in DLC black steel set with a ceramic decoration and serving to set the time as well as the cities indication, water-resistant to 100 meters.

Dial: Matte black sandblasted, hour-markers, hours and minutes hands enhanced with SuperLuminova.

Strap: Black textured rubber strap with DLC steel pin buckle.

Price: $8,350.

Ulysse Nardin focuses on its rich history as a premier manufacturer of marine chronometers as it debuts seven new models within its Marine Torpilleur chronometer collection.

All of the debuts feature in-house calibers with silicon balance spring, and most also feature the brand’s Diamonsil (a silicon and diamond mix) escapement wheel and anchor. Among the offerings are two new movements, and all seven models are offered as numbered and limited editions.

Ulysse Nardin chronometers, new and old.

To signify the LeLocle watchmaker’s 175th anniversary, each model will feature “Chronometry since 1846” printed at 6 o’clock on the small seconds counter.

Marine Torpilleur Panda

For Panda dial enthusiasts Ulysse Nardin adds this variation of its Marine Torpilleur sporting two small dark blue dials. One at the top of the dial displays the power reserve indicator and the other shows the second hand and date. ) The watch is Ulysse Nardin’s first panda-style display.

The new Ulysse Nardin Marine Torpilleur Panda.

So-called ‘panda’ displays, which feature solid-colored subdials placed amid a light-colored primary dial, were given their moniker decades ago when early dials with the design were said to recall the face of a panda bear.

Inside Ulysse Nardin fits its own UN-118 movement, a solid caliber made even more precise and efficient with silicon and Diamonsil components. Limited to 300 pieces, the 42mm diameter steel-cased Marine Torpilleur Panda comes with a choice of either a brown or blue leather alligator strap, metal bracelet, a rubber strap or a R-Strap. Price: $8,200.

The new Marine Torpilleur Annual Chronograph.

Marine Torpilleur Annual Chronograph

With a dial design inspired by Ulysse Nardin pocket watch chronometers produced from 1936 to 1980, this eye-catching two-register 44mm steel chronograph also features a second useful function: annual calendar.

Ulysse Nardin is widely known for its mastery of the annual calendar, a function Ludwig Oechslin brought to the brand’s wristwatches within his perpetual calendar from 1996. With all settings adjustable both forward and backward by using the crown, the Ulysse Nardin annual calendar offered easy time-setting capability. This feature, initially found on very few wristwatches, remains a strong selling point throughout Ulysse Nardin’s collections.

Up close on the dial of the Marine Torpilleur Annual Chronograph.

The newest inclusion of that function in this Torpilleur Annual Chronograph finds the date at 6 o’clock with months indicated at 9 o’clock. Powered by the UN-153, an evolution of the earlier UN-150 movement, the debut offers a varnished white or a matte blue dial. Three hundred pieces will be made. Price: $12,100.

The Ulysse Nardin Marine Torpilleur Moonphase with a Grand Complication Pocket Watch from 1920.

The Marine Torpilleur Moonphase

As critical to sailors as a precise chronometer, a moonphase indicator can be found on late 19th century Ulysse Nardin timepieces. When used together with a sextant, the lunar indication allowed sailors to devise more detailed navigation. In more recent years, the watchmaker has launched numerous high-profile astronomic-centered watches, notably the Ludwig Oechslin-devised Trilogy of Time series in the 1990s.

While the new Marine Torpilleur Moonphase is hardly as complex as any of those specialty items, the moonphase display reminds collectors of this brand’s deep history of creating astronomical displays, which likely spurred the inclusion of a moonphase model within this 175th anniversary collection. When adding the moonphase function to this watch, Ulysse Nardin creates UN-119, a variation of its UN-118 movement.

This new 42mm steel-cased watch comes with either a blue or white dial and will be offered as a limited edition of 300. Price: $9,900.

Ulysse Nardin chronometers, like this one from 1919, could be found on U.S. Navy ships.
Ulysse Nardin sold deck chronometers until 1980.

Two additional debuts

We’ll feature the remaining two models in the new Ulysse Nardin Marine Torpilleur collection in an upcoming post.

The two models each feature an enamel dial. One is a stunning blue-enamel-dial edition of the power reserve model with the panda dial (noted above) and the Marine Torpilleur Tourbillon Grand Feu. The latter, a rose-gold watch with a black enamel dial, is powered by caliber UN-128 Constant Manufacture with a flying tourbillon that features the technically advanced and patented Ulysse Nardin Escapement.

The Horological Society of New York (HSNY) last week launched its Chronometer Certification Program, a new testing service for watchmakers and watch manufacturers that seek to have their watches chronometer certified.

The organization, one of the oldest continuously operating horological associations in the world, will conduct testing protocols that exceed the international standards outlined in ISO 3159. Testers will only utilize visual testing procedures, which typically result in more reliable results than the sound-based testing found on traditional watch timing machines, according to HSNY.

An example of the Chronometer Certificate from HSNY.

The new testing service joins those offered to watchmakers by the widely used Official Swiss Chronometer Testing Institute (COSC) and Geneva Seal, as well as those developed in recent decades from the Fleurier Quality Foundation, METAS, Besancon Observatory and a few others.

All watch tests will be conducted referencing a range of temperatures and positions over a fifteen-day period. If a watch passes the tests, HSNY will issue a physical HSNY Certified Chronometer certificate with specific test results. For more details about the testing protocol, see chronometer.org.

“Independent chronometer testing and certification is a valuable service for both watchmakers and watch collectors,” said Nicholas Manousos, executive director of HSNY. “With a certificate from HSNY, watchmakers can advertise their chronometers with confidence, and watch collectors can be assured that their watch is indeed a chronometer. I look forward to welcoming many brands from around the world to test their watches in New York.”

The Massena LAB Erwin LAB03.

HSNY reports that Massena LAB, a New York-based company founded by watch expert William Massena, is the first brand to offer a HSNY Certified Chronometer for sale. That watch, the Habring2 x Massena LAB ERWIN LAB03, features a movement from Habring2 with a dial designed by Massena and created by dialmaker and watchmaker Joshua N. Shapiro.

The Massena Lab ERWIN LAB03 movement is stamped with the HSNY Seal.

“HSNY plays a pivotal role in expanding and educating the public on the artistry and craftsmanship that is fine watchmaking,” says Massena. “This new program continues the organization’s mission of providing best-in-class resources for both watchmakers and watch collectors alike.”

HSNY’s Chronometer Certification Program is available to watchmakers and watch manufacturers worldwide, and only new, cased-up mechanical watches with a spring balance oscillator are eligible for testing. These watchmakers and watch brands may then use the HSNY Certified Chronometer certification in their marketing programs. HSNY says it will not guarantee that any watch submitted will pass the testing requirements.

 

By Nancy Olson

With East Coast roots and an American heritage that has served them well, Accutron and Esterbrook have joined forces to produce the Accutron by Esterbrook—a pen collection that commemorates both well-known brands and their inventive spirits.

“Accutron and Esterbrook pens are two storied American brands who share the same DNA,” said Jeffrey Cohen, President of Citizen Watch America, Accutron’s parent company. “Pioneering their respective industries with the spirit of innovation, both brands made history and continue to do so today through these special collaborative projects.”

A bit of history

Richard Esterbrook, a Cornish Quaker, arrived in the United States from England in 1856 and founded the Esterbrook Steel Pen Manufacturing Company in Camden, New Jersey. The company thrived, and Esterbrook eventually grew to include nearly 500 employees, eventually producing about 216 million pens a year. Though it began as a dip pen maker, Esterbrook’s wares grew to include fountain pens as well.

Accutron brings the same penchant for technological advancement and design with new watches powered by electrostatic energy, reimagining the brand’s historical timepieces.

Not long after Accutron released its first watch in 1960, President John F. Kennedy used an Esterbrook pen to write the speech that set the United States on a course to the moon. In another twist of intermingled fate, NASA used Accutron technology on dozens of missions later that same decade, and into the next.

The Accutron Estie Traditional with gold-plated steel nib.

The pens

The new Accutron by Esterbrook Limited Edition pen series includes three models. The Accutron Regular Estie rollerball pen is limited to 110 pieces, while the Accutron Regular fountain pen with a gold-plated steel nib is limited to 300 pieces.

The Accutron Oversize Estie pen with an 18-karat gold nib is limited to 100 pieces, each pen numbered.

The Accutron Oversize Estie Pen with gold nib.

This new Estie pen series is made from a proprietary DiamondCast formula in Accutron’s emblematic green, here blended with gold and diamond dust. Each pen is equipped with a cushion cap closure to provide a secondary seal  ensure an easy start. The fountain pen nibs are specially manufactured for Esterbrook by German nib maker Jowo and may be inked with any international cartridge or converter.

The Accutron Regular Estie Roller Ball pen.

Incidentally, the Estie is one of the most-loved (and prolific) collections within the Esterbrook range of pens. It offer a classic style, numerous nib options and a penchant for color, all of which have made it a favorite among young and old, serious pen collectors and those just seeking a pleasurable everyday pen.

Prices: Accutron Regular Estie Rollerball pen, $350; Accutron Regular fountain pen with gold-plated steel nib, $395; Accutron Oversize Estie pen with an 18-karat gold nib, $750.

 

Shinola has teamed with another high-profile Detroit-based company, luxury automaker Lincoln, to create the Lincoln Aviator SUV Shinola concept, an automotive design that blends Lincoln signature luxury hues with Shinola’s modernistic aesthetic.

The Lincoln Aviator Shinola Concept

The Lincoln Aviator concept, which will be on display at the Pebble Beach Concours d’Elegance on August 15, has Lincoln exploring the use of different colors and new materials in designing vehicles, while also expanding its use of leather as exemplified by Shinola.

“Shinola opened up their showroom to us as a playground – allowing us to explore how their brand’s lifestyle ethos could be woven into a new theme for one of our vehicles,” said Kemal Curic, design director, Lincoln.

“Our designers were handed a rare gift, and they made the most of it. The fresh insights our team gained studying popular design motifs make this new Aviator concept a true celebration of craftsmanship.”

Designers from both companies created a new luxury vehicle that “still embodies Shinola’s aesthetic of approachable luxury with thoughtful details,” explains Shannon Washburn, Shinola CEO. “You can see this in the touches of copper inspired by our bike seats and the brand strip incorporated into the leather seats.”

The new Lincoln Aviator Shinola concept features a soft white exterior that echoes Shinola’s mother-of pearl stone watch dials, with hints of blue. In addition, hints of Shinola’s copper accents, as seen in the Shinola Runwell bicycle collection, gleam with a rose-gold hue.

Shinola’s watchstraps and bracelets are also echoed in the car’s woven metal mesh second-row console, displaying the same copper accents seen on the car’s exterior. Lincoln also took cues from Shinola’s brand stripe by weaving a similar textile pattern into the seats in three rows.

The Shinola Canfield chronograph.

“The goal is to impress occupants with our very own expression of craftsmanship, showcasing our meticulous attention to detail,” said Liam Butler, Lincoln color and material designer. “This stripe is unlike anything I’ve ever seen sewn into a vehicle, so we wanted to make sure it was done with care.”

 

 

 

 

Watchmakers have been multiplying their automotive and motorsports collaborations in recent years. Here, we review a few prominent timekeeping/racing alliances.

By Y-Jean Mun-DelSalle

In this final installment of our series outlining automotive-wristwatch partnerships, we highlight Girard-Perregaux and Richard Mille. 

 

Girard-Perregaux

Girard-Perregaux has signed a multi-year agreement as the official watch partner of British automotive manufacturer Aston Martin Lagonda and the Aston Martin Cognizant Formula 1 team. Both brands are commemorating milestones this year: founded in 1791, the Swiss watchmaker is one of the oldest fine watchmaking manufactures still in operation and celebrates its 230th anniversary, while Aston Martin marks its return to Formula 1 after a hiatus of over sixty years.

For the 2021 F1 season, Girard-Perregaux branding appears on Aston Martin F1 car rear-view mirrors and team uniforms. Girard-Perregaux’s and Aston Martin’s design teams have participated in high-level discussions on movements, esthetics, functionality, material usage and ergonomics.

Several limited-edition timepieces will be unveiled, the first of which was released last June.

The Girard-Perregaux Tourbillon with Three Flying Bridges Aston Martin Edition.

Revisiting a Girard-Perregaux legend, the Tourbillon with Three Flying Bridges Aston Martin Edition is an 18-piece skeletonized high-end timekeeper with no dial or bezel. Three black PVD-treated titanium bridges appear to float between panes of sapphire crystal.

Back view of the Tourbillon with Three Flying Bridges Aston Martin Edition.

The lightweight, 79-component tourbillon cage weighs in at only 0.25 grams, thereby reducing energy consumption, while the micro-rotor’s vertical flank is etched with the Aston Martin name filled with white luminescence.

In a world first, Girard-Perregaux introduces an innovative material never used before in watchmaking on its calf leather strap: a central insert in rubber injected with white gold.

“Rarely do we work with others to reinterpret the Three Bridges, explains CEO Patrick Pruniaux. “However, on this occasion, we have made an exception, mindful of Aston Martin’s prowess for design.”

Later in 2021, a second timepiece will be launched, from another of the manufacture’s iconic collections. We can also expect to see Girard-Perregaux clocks in Aston Martin road cars.

Girard-Perregaux has a long history of collaborations with the automotive universe. During the mid-1990s, then owner and car enthusiast Luigi Macaluso began a ten-year partnership with Ferrari, and together they produced the highly-successful Ferrari watches.

“Girard-Perregaux has had strong ties to the automotive world in the past, which we were keen to reactivate in a stronger way,” notes Clémence Dubois, Girard-Perregaux’s chief marketing and product officer.

 

Richard Mille

Calling its timepieces ‘racing machines on the wrist,’ Richard Mille is no stranger to the automotive world, with friends and partners like Jean Todt, Alain Prost, Felipe Massa, Sébastien Loeb and the Venturi Formula E team. The brand even owns an all-women LMP2 racing team.

After discussions for Richard Mille’s collaboration with both Ferrari’s racing and road car divisions were initiated last summer, this year it is partnering two F1 teams – Scuderia Ferrari and McLaren Racing – while continuing personal relationships with F1 drivers Fernando Alonso and Mick Schumacher.

The Ferrari F1 SF21 is Scuderia’s 2021 Formula 1 race car.

The new multi-year tie-up extends from Formula 1, WEC endurance programs and Competizioni GT to the renowned Ferrari Challenge single-model championship for gentlemen drivers worldwide as well as for the Ferrari Driver Academy. Starting in 2022 Richard Mille will launch a series of watches bearing the famous Ferrari Prancing Horse logo, developed by Richard Mille’s team in Switzerland and Ferrari’s designers and engineers.

Ferrari F1 Racer Charles Leclerc, wearing the RM 67-02.

“Richard Mille has since its inception been viewed as the Formula 1 of watchmaking,” says Tim Malachard, Richard Mille’s marketing director. “The inspiration of materials and technology found in F1 being applied to produce extremely technical, ergonomic and light timepieces. It is also not a secret that those who like cars and motor racing are also fans of watches. Ferrari and Richard Mille share many common values, and many of our customers are owners of either brand, so another good reason to collaborate over the next few years.”

The RM 40-01 Automatic Tourbillon McLaren Speedtail.

To mark its fifth year of partnership with McLaren Automotive, Richard Mille launched the RM 40-01 Automatic Tourbillon McLaren Speedtail last May in tribute to the fastest road-going car the British carmaker has ever built, with a top speed of 250 mph. The watch is available in a limited edition of 106 timepieces to match the exclusivity of the 106 Speedtail hypercars.

The platinum and red gold winding rotor on the RM 40-01 is inspired by the Speedtail’s hood.

“There are many similarities between the way that Richard Mille and McLaren approach common design and engineering challenges, such as saving weight, reducing vibrational impact and minimizing resistance,” says Rob Melville, McLaren automotive’s design director.

The Speedtail is a streamlined hypercar that is the fourth car in McLaren’s Utimate range.

The watch’s lines mimic the car’s teardrop shape – significantly wider at 12 o’clock than at 6 o’clock – and its bezel indentations evoke bonnet openings while its pushers recall air outlets behind the front wheels.

The watch also debuts numerous firsts in a Richard Mille-manufactured automatic tourbillon: in-house power reserve display, oversize date and function selector complications. Richard Mille’s casing department required an unprecedented 2,800 hours over eighteen months to perfect the contours of the titanium and Carbon TPT case, with the conception of five prototypes before the optimum shape was reached.

As the case tapers between the bezel and caseback, Richard Mille developed an innovative upper crystal glass featuring a “triple contour” to protect the movement.

 

Y-Jean Mun-DelSalle is a freelance journalist and editorial consultant who has lived on three different continents. She meets with inspirational individuals in pursuit of excellence: emerging and established artists, designers and craftsmen, engaging entrepreneurs and philanthropists, and the movers and shakers of the world today. She contributes regularly to regional and international titles such as Artsy, Asia Tatler, Design Anthology, Forbes, Portfolio, Robb Report, Shawati’ and Vogue, shining a spotlight in particular on art, architecture, design, horology and jewelry.

 

Watchmakers have been multiplying their automotive and motorsports collaborations in recent years. Here, we review a few prominent timekeeping/racing alliances.

By Y-Jean Mun-DelSalle

In this Part III of our recently expanded four-part series outlining automotive-wristwatch partnerships, we highlight TAG Heuer.

TAG Heuer

Historically rooted in motorsports, TAG Heuer has worked with many car companies, starting with Scuderia Ferrari, but also McLaren, Mercedes, Audi and, more recently, Aston Martin.

As one of the most highly-anticipated watch/car partnerships with authentic motor racing heritage and on-track success, the friendship between TAG Heuer and Porsche has existed for decades and is now transformed into a strategic partnership ranging from sports competition to product development.

From a 1959 Ralley.

Racing fans and watch fans will know that the Carrera Panamericana road race in Mexico gave its name to creations from both brands. Porsche named its most powerful engine the Carrera after its class win in the 1954 Carrera Panamericana, and Edouard Heuer’s great-grandson, Jack Heuer, conceived the first Heuer Carrera chronograph in 1963.

Jo Siffert, wearing Heuer.

Thereafter, Jack Heuer struck a sponsorship arrangement with Jo Siffert at the wheel of various Porsches with the Heuer logo on his car and suit. Siffert was the Swiss racing driver on which Steve McQueen had based his character during the filming of Le Mans in 1970 in which he drove a Porsche 917.

The Porsche 911 Carrera, from 1972.

In the 1980s, TAG Heuer and Porsche developed the TAG-Turbo engine that led the McLaren team to three consecutive F1 world titles. Porsche also created its own Formula E team with TAG Heuer as title and timing partner in 2019, the Swiss watchmaker being a founding partner of the electric racing championship.

The TAG Heuer Porsche Formula E Team tackles its second season running the Porsche 99X Electric race car in 2021.

And there is more. The two brands will be collaborating in the FIA World Endurance Championship and the Porsche Carrera Cup worldwide one-make cup series. For their first joint timepiece, they produced the 44-mm TAG Heuer Carrera Porsche Chronograph, powered by the in-house Caliber Heuer 02 with 80-hour power reserve.

In the Porsche colors of red, black and gray recalling historic Heuer models, the watch features a rotor in the shape of Porsche’s trademark steering wheel. Arabic numerals suggesting the numbers on Porsche dashboards are set against an asphalt-effect dial.

The TAG Heuer Carrera Porsche Chronograph Special Edition.

“Time is at the very core of racing. Without its mastery, there is no competition, no progress,” says Frédéric Arnault, TAG Heuer CEO.

Back view of the TAG Heuer Carrera Porsche Chronograph Special Edition, showing the Caliber Heuer 02.

“From its early years, Heuer made it its specialty to develop tools like chronographs, stopwatches and dashboard timers, which helped drivers, teams and race organizers keep time in increasingly accurate ways,” Arnault continues. “The company served a very tangible purpose in motor racing from the start; it was in its DNA. Later, it was Jack Heuer who saw the natural connection from a branding perspective, and we became the first non-automotive brand to sponsor a F1 team. We started with Carrera as it’s an iconic name we share, but that was just the first step.”

 

Y-Jean Mun-DelSalle is a freelance journalist and editorial consultant who has lived on three different continents. She meets with inspirational individuals in pursuit of excellence: emerging and established artists, designers and craftsmen, engaging entrepreneurs and philanthropists, and the movers and shakers of the world today. She contributes regularly to regional and international titles such as Artsy, Asia Tatler, Design Anthology, Forbes, Portfolio, Robb Report, Shawati’ and Vogue, shining a spotlight in particular on art, architecture, design, horology and jewelry.

 

Watchmakers have been multiplying their automotive and motorsports collaborations in recent years. Here, we review a few prominent timekeeping/racing alliances.

By Y-Jean Mun-DelSalle

In this Part II of our four-part series outlining automotive-wristwatch partnerships, we highlight Casio and Ernst Benz.

Casio

Casio has been partnering with the AlphaTauri Racing Team since September 2020 and launched the second Edifice x AlphaTauri model last March.

Casio Edifice has been an Official Partner of the Scuderia AlphaTauri team since 2016.

Designed together with the F1 team around the theme of “speed and intelligence”, the super-sporty ECB-10AT in signature Scuderia AlphaTauri navy blue features a dial made of 6K carbon – a material used in racing car wings and floors – with the team’s logo engraved on the dial, caseback and band loop.

The super-sporty Casio Edifice ECB-10AT in signature Scuderia AlphaTauri navy blue.

For men on the move, the timepiece includes a schedule timer function that syncs with a smartphone’s calendar app and also sets the watch to local time automatically.

Demonstrating its dedication to motorsports, Casio Edifice has also teamed with Honda Racing for the past three years, resulting in five Edifice x Honda Racing models, with the latest released last September.

The Casio Edifice EFS-560HR-1A, with the Honda Racing logo.

That watch (EFS560HR-1A) sports a black Cordura strap with red accents to match the team’s emblematic colors, while its carbon-fiber dial mirrors the appearance of an asphalt racetrack and displays the Honda Racing logo, along with gold Edifice lettering to mark the model’s 20th anniversary.

 

Ernst Benz 

Inspired by 1940s and 1950s aviator watches and the cockpit gauges that pilot, engineer and inventor Ernst Benz himself produced in the 1960s and ’70s, the brand is known for its timepieces that attest to its slogan: “Precision Instruments for Timekeeping”.

Ernst Benz and its affiliation with the world of motorsports evolved naturally from the field of aviation, according to Leonid Khankin, CEO of Ernst Benz. Both fields require accuracy, durability and performance.

“There is a natural connection between automotive timing and wristwatches, as wristwatches and chronographs were developed especially for aviators and timing cars,” Khankin notes. Both fields require accuracy, durability and performance and often share instruments. Benz was a gauge and instrument manufacture for two decades before creating his first wristwatch. 

The Ernst Benz Coca Cola ChronoLunar

As the official timekeeper of the Nascar Coca-Cola 600 race, held last May at the Charlotte Motor Speedway, Ernst Benz presented the winner, Kyle Larson of Hendrick Racing, with a special edition of the Ernst Benz ChronoLunar Officer tool watch commemorating a decade since the ChronoLunar’s first release. Since it debuted, the ChronoLunar has become the best-known Ernst Benz collection, with the Officer being the most recent interpretation.

Larson’s prize ChronoLunar has been customized with Coca-Cola red details, a brushed stainless steel case, black dial and alligator strap with red top-stitching. It pairs a chronograph with calendar functions, while its 47-mm diameter size optimizes legibility.

Mario Andretti wears his Ernst Benz ChronoScope at the ROVAL 400.

Ernst Benz has also served as the official timekeeper of the Nascar AAA 500 at the Texas Motor Speedway, as well as the Nascar All-Star Race and the Roval 400 in Charlotte, for which it will renew its participation in October 2021.

Personal approach

“We take a personal approach when we partner with motorsports brands,” explains Khankin. “ We look at each race on a case-by-case basis to create watches directly themed to the particular event.”  That approach, he adds, is recognized by the racers and the fans as more heartfelt and generates a strong bond between Ernst Benz and its partners.

“I’m extra proud that car guys love our watches,” Khankin adds.

The Ernst Benz Chronoscope Camaro Fifty, with 47mm DLC brushed steel case.

 

Y-Jean Mun-DelSalle is a freelance journalist and editorial consultant who has lived on three different continents. She meets with inspirational individuals in pursuit of excellence: emerging and established artists, designers and craftsmen, engaging entrepreneurs and philanthropists, and the movers and shakers of the world today. She contributes regularly to regional and international titles such as Artsy, Asia Tatler, Design Anthology, Forbes, Portfolio, Robb Report, Shawati’ and Vogue, shining a spotlight in particular on art, architecture, design, horology and jewelry.