Early on Thursday morning, Cartier’s private jet whisked myself and a couple of other UK-based watch writers away from a cold grey London to a snowy La Chaux-de-Fonds. Less than 90 minutes after takeoff, we were walking into the factory located just five minutes from the single-strip airport. There,... Read more
On my recent trip to Geneva I had the opportunity to visit Les Cadraniers de Genève – the place where all the FP Journe dials are manufactured. I had no idea the complexity required to produce a dial and was completely blown away and impressed. I arrived early to... Read more
A TimeZone Interview with Richard Paige
An interview in March 2013 by William Massena TimeZone (TZ): Richard, can you tell us briefly about your life prior to joining TimeZone? Richard Paige (RP): Being a Fourth generation watchmaker, I spent most of my life working in the watch and jewelry retail business, although I also dabbled... Read more
A TimeZone Interview with Carole Forestier-Kasapi, Cartier Head of Fine Watchmaking
An interview in March 2013 by Paul Boutros Smart, warm, and gracious, Carole Forestier-Kasapi is Cartier’s watchmaker extraordinaire. Born into a family of watchmakers, her infectious passion for watchmaking is felt the moment she begins speaking. During a brief interview in Geneva during SIHH 2013, Carole explained how proud... Read more
A TimeZone Interview with Audemars Piguet CEO François-Henry Bennahmias
An interview in February 2013 by Howard Parr In conjunction with the 40th Anniversary of the Royal Oak last year, Audemars Piguet set out to do some deep self-examination. That may sound complex, but in truth the result was a simplification of the message. From a revamped logo and... Read more
Hi All, It was another impressive year for Cartier, with one of the most interesting and comprehensive set of new introductions among all brands exhibiting at this year’s SIHH. Highlights include: * Fine Watchmaking Collection – Two extraordinary mystery watches inspired by mystery clocks sold by the brand as... Read more
Dear VC Fans, For the first time, ladies timepieces were the focus for Vacheron’s new introductions this year. Fortunately, there were a few noteworthy new introductions for men, including: * A stunning platinum version of the Patrimony Traditionelle 38 MM * A new, two-tone dial color for the two-tone,... Read more
Hi All, I had the good fortune of being able to photograph most of Richard Mille’s new introductions at this year’s SIHH during my 30 minute appointment. All pieces were in strong demand – I literally had no more than one minute to take my shots in some cases!... Read more
2013 is the 20th Anniversary of the Royal Oak Offshore, and there are a number of notables in this year’s releases. Two big releases this year come in ceramic. The brand has been interested in working in ceramic for some time, but it was not until the level of... Read more
For the last fifty years Rolex have pursued one policy with an almost myopic vision; that of self-sufficiency. In that period, they have purchased bought almost all of the sub-contractors who used to supply them. Genex, who made cases were one of the first to be bought, then they... Read more
Nick English of Bremont Watches Turn on your TV (if you have one) and you’ll be confronted with advertising. Some is rubbish, the majority of it tedious, some fairly good. Most of the time, if you’re like me, you’ll look with general disinterest and a great deal of annoyance... Read more
Badollet is a “new-old” watchmaker in Geneva specializing in low production, high end watches. The company currently produces as few as 50 watches per year, with a goal of likely no more than 100. The Badollet family represented an uninterrupted line of watchmakers from 1655 until 1924. Jean Badollet... Read more
The famous Swiss retailer has been producing watches since 1919 and the name “Bucherer” is well-known amongst watch collectors. In 2001, the watch division of the Swiss family-owned Bucherer Group was renamed “Carl F. Bucherer”. Ever since, Carl F. Bucherer has taken one ambitious step after the next to... Read more
Who loves posting photos and first impressions of a new watch purchase on TimeZone? I see a lot of hands going up out there! Back in my early days on TimeZone in the late 1990s, “scans” of watches were the norm. And in those days, a scan was really... Read more
A TimeZone Interview with Michele Sofisti CEO SOWIND Group (Girard-Perregaux and JeanRichard)
An interview in October 2012 by William Massena About Michele Sofisti Michele Sofisti has extensive experience in the watchmaking industry. Before creating Sofos Management, his own activity devoted to international strategy, marketing and management consulting, in 2005, Michele Sofisti was President of Swatch AG (Switzerland) for five years. He... Read more
A Video Conversation with Jérôme Lambert, CEO of Jaeger-LeCoultre
A video conversation in November 2012 by Jessica Jaeger-LeCoultre CEO Jérôme Lambert sat down with TimeZone to discuss the new JLC boutiques opening this year in the U.S., including South Coast Plaza that opened this week, along with other topics specific to watchmaking. Amongst the subjects covered are the... Read more
On Wednesday evening, Seiko hosted a very special event at the Royal Observatory, Greenwich. Greenwich, whose name will forever be associated with the ‘G’ in GMT, is not only the place where the 0 meridian begins, but also houses some of the most important timepieces in the world. Walking... Read more
Kari Voutilainen is a quiet, introspective man. During a recent discussion with him about his life’s work, it became apparent that Kari has mastered all areas of watchmaking. In addition to being a technically inventive watchmaker, he is an uncompromising craftsman with an exquisite style. Kari was born in... Read more
In 2009, master watchmaker Martin Braun left the Franck Muller Group. Driven by a passion to build his own movements, Martin partnered with Swiss businessman Antoine Meier to realize the next chapter of his watchmaking journey. Together, the two founded the independent watch manufacturing company ‘Antoine Martin’ in Alpnach,... Read more
Viva México: the 2012 SIAR Watch Fair Howard Parr 7 October 2012 Earlier this week, I went to the SIAR (Salon Internacional Alta Relojeria) in Mexico City. This was the 6th Edition of the watch fair, and included the most exhibitors yet…44 brands! Most of the brands had scheduled... Read more
Last night was closing night of the Inside Basel Geneva 2012 tour. The event was held at the Beverly Hills Hotel and included over 40 brand exhibitors and watchmakers. Some photos of this year’s novelties, exhibitors and attendees: During the cocktail reception, Jeff Kingston shared a wrist shot of... Read more
A Conversation with Thierry Stern, President of Patek Philippe
A conversation in September 2012 by Jessica TimeZone met with Patek Philippe President Thierry Stern during his visit to the Patek Philippe Boutique on Rodeo Drive. Steeped in over 170-years of continuous history and tradition, Thierry Stern shared the values of his family-owned company and insight into the Ladies... Read more
This past couple of weeks I had the good fortune to be in Paris. Aside from the usual sightseeing and gastronomic opportunities, I had the pleasure of being able to sit down for a few hours with Carlos Rosillo, co-founder and CEO of Bell & Ross, and a few... Read more
An iconic watch represents many facets of a brand, and iconic watches are so enduring that they are representative of the brand itself. For example, the Jaeger Le-Coultre Reverso (Reverso), the Cartier Tank (Tank) and the Rolex Submariner (Submariner). Throughout its 200-year history, Girard-Perregaux has produced several magnificent timepieces... Read more
Premiere Viewing of the Parmigiani Fleurier Bugatti Vitesse Jessica Parmigiani Fleurier officially launched its new Bugatti Vitesse during the Pebble Beach Concours d’Elegance weekend. In keeping with the weekend’s theme of classic cars, the event included the unveiling of a rare 1935 Bugatti T57S Electron Torpedo. Parmigiani Fleurier CEO... Read more
A Weekend with Vacheron Constantin, Chef Thomas Keller, and Rolls-Royce Paul Boutros Dear Friends, Last weekend, I had the good fortune and great pleasure of attending an extraordinary set of events in Carmel, California thanks to Vacheron Constantin. Coinciding with the prestigious Concours d’Elegance, an annual competitive automotive event... Read more
When the Timex Intelligent Quartz Flyback Chronograph was announced during Basel 2012, I was impressed by its looks. However, I was skeptical whether Timex could produce a watch outside of its premium TX line that would appeal to me as a watch collector. I was pleasantly surprised. This affordable... Read more
During the 1970s, Swiss watchmaker Michel Parmigiani earned a distinguished reputation for his restoration of exceptional and complicated historical timepieces. In 1980, his skills were so highly regarded that the Sandoz Family Foundation retained him as the official restorer of their legendary collection of clocks, watches and automatons. Then,... Read more
In the 1780s, Abraham-Louis Breguet became known in England, where George Prince of Wales was one of his earliest clients and admirers. A.-L. Breguet visited London several times in 1789, 1790 and 1791 to obtain new orders and collect payment for purchases made by the prince. Over the years,... Read more
Our friends at Seiko provide TimeZone with a look at some of the 2012 Novelties, including special edition Ananta and Grand Seiko models, as well as the new Astron GPS Solar. Ananta For 2012, the Ananta collection pays tribute to the richness of Japan’s cultural heritage. Seiko commissioned master... Read more
On Monday and Tuesday of this week, Cartier invited around 100 of the world’s top watch writers and journalists to their La Chaux de Fonds factory, where they unveiled their second concept watch, the ID Two. Due to an oversight at Cartier, I was also invited. Here is my... Read more
For over fifty years, it has been the accepted knowledge that the history of the diving watch is intimately coupled to the history of recreational diving. Both Rolex & Blancpain (who equally claim to have invented the diver’s watch) use the introduction of the SCUBA (Self Contained Underwater Breathing... Read more
Cartier are the flagship brand of the Richemont group, with the biggest stand at the Salon (actually two of them), yet they seem to garner little interest on the forums or very much respect from Watchnuts. And I think I know why; their product range is so wide and... Read more
While many of us admire the styling of the new instrument collection from Bell & Ross, some do not know the actual flight instruments that inspired them, so here’s a quick tutorial on what they are and how they are used. BR01 Turn Coordinator The BR01 Turn Coordinator is... Read more
At this year’s SIHH watch fair in January, we were introduced to the Deep Sea Vintage Chronograph, a 2-register chrono with the heirloom details we’ve come to see on the Deep Sea Alarm models, as well as the Grande Reverso Tribute to 1931 US Edition. 40.5mm case–like the Deep... Read more
Gems from the “Breguet: Watchmaker, Aviator, Innovator” Exhibit Jessica Starting in New York City, Breguet embarks on a two month exhibition tour entitled ‘Breguet: Watchmaker, Aviator, Innovator‘ that traces the history of Breguet in aviation and showcases the brand’s legacy of innovation with a variety of historical timepieces including... Read more
Introduction Over the past year, Vacheron Constantin has delivered two exciting things to the US market that American collectors have long hoped for. Please allow me to explain through a personal, true story… Flashback to 2006 – just one year after Vacheron Constantin’s 250th anniversary. I was fortunate to... Read more
George III ascended the throne in 1760 when he was 22 years old. That same year, George III built the Kew Observatory with the original purpose of observing the transit of Venus. Eventually, he located his collection of 2,000 timekeeping and scientific instruments to the observatory; the greater part... Read more
A Moment with Dominique Fléchon, Author of ‘The Mastery of Time’
A conversation in May 2012 by Jessica The Foundation de la Haute Horlogerie (FHH) recently hosted a cocktail reception to launch “The Mastery of Time” by French author Dominique Fléchon, an historian and expert in antiquarian horology. The 456-page tome divides the major breakthroughs in watchmaking in six thoroughly researched chapters.... Read more