Tag Archives: Switzerland

The Underrated Luxury Watch Brand: Swiss Army

The Swiss are known as being experts in many things, banking, watches, and gadget-filled knives being a few of the most well-known areas of expertise. The Swiss have long been seen as the stewards of wealthy men and women’s bank accounts, with their discretion and ability to remain neutral during regional and global conflicts serving as a highly valued source of stability. The Swiss were also key in creating clocks and watches for centuries, and played a key role in the development of quartz-based timekeeping in watches during the 1960s, a standard that remains in place to this day. Swiss Army Knives are ubiquitous for their usefulness, with a seemingly endless number of applications packed into a tiny package.

However, one of the less well known but equally deserving Swiss products is the Swiss Army Watch. Manufactured by Victorinox, the same company that makes Swiss Army Knives, the Swiss Army Watch is a high-quality and relatively affordable timepiece that has all of the benefits of Swiss watch making expertise combined with the utilitarian and robust features their armed forces require.

The Swiss Army Watch is rare in the sense that it is one of the few timepieces that is considered a luxury brand and a utilitarian brand while remaining relatively affordable, especially when compared to other Swiss watch brands. Every Swiss Army watch is developed and manufactured using the same centuries-old techniques used by the Swiss, which ensures a reliable and long-lasting product. Swiss Army watches also incorporate a military inspired theme, and can be worn with anything from a gym shirt to a tuxedo.

There are a number of Swiss Army Watch models to choose from. The following are a few excellent choices to consider:

Steel Alliance Chrono:

The Steel Alliance Chrono is a steel plated timepiece with a classy but modest leather wristband. This model is perfect for everyday use while also looking great with a suit and tie. Unlike many other Swiss brands, the Steel Alliance Chrono can be purchased new for comfortably under $1000, and will last for decades with proper care.

Original LE:

The Original LE was the first Swiss Army Watch created by Victorinox back in 1989. Retailing for under $500, it is a great option if you are looking to just get your feet wet with Swiss Army Watches. Despite its price, the Original LE still uses all of the precision timekeeping techniques as its more expensive brothers and sisters.

Swiss Army Watch

AirBoss Mach 8 Special Edition:

If you’re looking for something a little more expensive than the Original LE or the Steel Alliance Chrono, the AirBoss is an excellent mid-level Swiss timepiece. Retailing at just over $2,000, the AirBoss offers a number of timers that are perfect for a pilot or anyone else that needs to keep track of several things at once. The AirBoss features a striking black on steel face, with a deep black leather wristband that is both fashionable and functional.

AirBoss Mach 8 Special Edition

AirBoss Mach 8 Special Edition

No matter which Swiss Army Watch model you choose, you can rest assured that you are buying a luxury item that is fashionable in a variety of situations and robust enough to provide accurate timekeeping for decades.

Watch of the Week: Breitling Chronomat Evolution K13356

It’s our favorite time of the week! Well, it’s our favorite time of Monday, at least, when we celebrate the end of day one of the work week with a fabulous featured watch. We’ve been stocking up on plenty of super high-end luxury watches lately, with appearances from the usual suspects. More second hand Patek Philippe watches than you can shake a stick at, our usual abundance of pre owned Rolex watches, and even a completely iced out Audemars Piguet we’re saving for a special occasion (like next Monday, perhaps.)

But with Patek Philippes stealing the show left and right, it can sometimes be all too easy for us to forget about the vast stores of gorgeous Swiss Luxury watches from the other brands. Namely, Breitling. This week, we scooped up not one but two jaw dropping pre owned Breitling watches. Rare to the secondhand market right now, the Breitling Chronomat Evolution is a late model Breitling that most owners are not ready to give up. This lucky buy reminded us that Breitlings are here to stay in a big way, can hold their own against the bigger brands, and are a horological force to be reckoned with.

Breitling Chronomat Evolution K13356 Mother of Pearl Diamond Watch

Breitling Chronomat Evolution K13356 Mother of Pearl Diamond Watch

Behold, the Breitling Chronomat Evolution K13356, studded with factory diamonds and set in 18kt yellow gold (we also have the white gold version for those who prefer silver metal). Just one look at this watch is really enough to stop you in your tracks, but because we’re watch obsessed, allow us to delve a little deeper. At first glance, our eyes snap to the perfect diamond bezel.

Yellow gold Breitling Chronomat Evolution with mother of Pearl Dial, used Breitling Boca Raton

But once we’re past the bling (approx 1.14 carats worth to be precise), the features start to shine. Notice the boldly carved big markers on the bezel. The incredible mother of pearl dial somehow manages not to be overwhelmed by a date window, tachymeter, factory diamond markers and three subdials. Gold tone sub seconds, 30 minute counter and 12-hour counter subdials are a feast for the eyes on this chronograph.The case, crown, pushers and lugs are all brilliantly polished in 18kt yellow gold, along with the gorgeous bracelet.

Breitling Windrider Chronomat Evolution

The beautiful Pilot bracelet is clasped with a Breitling stamped (obviously) deployent clasp. The relative hugeness of the case is extra obvious from this point of view, and the hefty case size (a solid 44mm) is complimented by nicely proportionate 22mm lugs. But the case back itself is worthy of its own close up.

Used Breitling WindriderA pushed down case back stamped with Breitling regalia houses the powerful Breitling 13 movement (aka the B13 automatic mechanical), an automatic movement with a ETA Valjoux 7750 base to service its chronograph and date functions. With a 42 hour power reserve, the hefty watch gives you exceptional leeway – if you can bear to have it off of your wrist for that long. But when it’s absolutely necessary, fear not – this Breitling Chronomat evolution in 18kt yellow gold comes with box and papers, so you’ll always have a place for safekeeping.

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Patek Philippe Only Watch 2013 Contribution

Patek Philippe‘s contribution to the “Only Watch” charity auction is the very unique ref. 5004T, only the fourth known Patek to be produced in titanium, and the first of this series to be made in titanium. The ref. 5004T is no longer in the current collection, so this may be the only chance a collector has to get his hands on it.

This particular auction piece features a split-seconds chronograph and a perpetual calendar. This particular watch has been reworked; a redo of one of the great classics of the Patek Philippe Grand Complications collection, dated between 1995 and 2011.

Patek Philippe Only Watch 2013

via Only Watch

The ref. 5004T has a manually wound chronograph’s movement, the caliber CHR 27-70 Q. This movement is based upon the “Nouvelle Lémania” movement. It was produced for Patek Philippe and then it was completely redone in the company’s workshops. This particular movement was also used in the Patek Philipe 5070 chronograph, and a sophisticated split-seconds mechanism and perpetual calendar were added. This drew the total number of parts up to 407.

In fact, all of these features (and because the Patek Philippe being no longer for sale) mean this watch may set an auction record.

As for the actual auction, 2013 is the fifth edition of the Only Watch charity auction. It will take place in Monaco on September 28th. The auction benefits Muscular Dystrophy. Approximately 40 watch makers contribute to the auction, each one adding a unique piece up for bids. All of the auction’s profits will go to fund research of Duchenne Muscular Dystrophy.

Potential bidders know that Patek Phillippe produces some of the top selling watches in the world. It is also one of the most expensive brands on the market. Patek Phillipe as it is today, was founded in 1851. These timepieces are known for Swiss precision–and being among the most complicated watches ever produced.

Patek Philippe’s contribution to the “Only Watch” charity auction is the very unique ref. 5004T, only the fourth known Patek to be produced in titanium, and the first of this series to be made in titanium. The ref. 5004T is no longer in the current collection, so this may be the only chance a collector has to get his hands on it.

This particular auction piece features a split-seconds chronograph and a perpetual calendar. This particular watch has been reworked; a redo of one of the great classics of the Patek Philippe Grand Complications collection, dated between 1995 and 2011.

The ref. 5004T has a manually wound chronograph’s movement, the caliber CHR 27-70 Q. This movement is based upon the “Nouvelle Lémania” movement. It was produced for Patek Philippe and then it was completely redone in the company’s workshops. This particular movement was also used in the Patek Philipe 5070 chronograph, and a sophisticated split-seconds mechanism and perpetual calendar were added. This drew the total number of parts up to 407.

In fact, all of these features (and because the Patek Philippe being no longer for sale) mean this watch may set an auction record.

As for the actual auction, 2013 is the fifth edition of the Only Watch charity auction. It will take place in Monaco on September 28th. The auction benefits Muscular Dystrophy. Approximately 40 watch makers contribute to the auction, each one adding a unique piece up for bids. All of the auction’s profits will go to fund research of Duchenne Muscular Dystrophy.

Potential bidders know that Patek Phillippe produces some of the top selling watches in the world. It is also one of the most expensive brands on the market. Patek Phillipe as it is today, was founded in 1851. These timepieces are known for Swiss precision–and being among the most complicated watches ever produced.

Lalique & Parmigiani Partnership Results in Stunning $480K Clock

What do you get when you combine the very best of France with the very best of Switzerland? Nope…chocolate flavored perfume is not correct. Allow us to rephrase the question. What do you get when you combine the very best of Swiss engineering and the intricate glass work of one of Europe’s finest houses? You get a 15-Day Table Clock worth $480,000.

Where Does One Buy a Half-a Million Dollar Clock?

Lalique Parmigiani 15 day table clock

via Luxatic

The price point alone would suggest that you are unlikely to locate this item on the shelves of your local Wal-Mart. Indeed, in an attempt to rebrand itself as a top-end, luxury lifestyle name, French glassmaker, Lalique, has partnered with Swiss watchmaker, Parmiagiani Fleurier, to take the luxury item market by storm. Towards that end, the marketing thrust is slated to be conducted at exclusive events and expected to be aimed at a very select clientele. Obviously.

Inspired by Art Deco designs, the 15-Day Table Clock collection comes in four different colors. The offerings come in a beautiful, one-of-a-kind black crystal clock, which will set the proud owner back nearly the aforementioned half a million dollars. Additionally, the collection will also include fifteen clocks made in red, blue, and clear crystal. Each of these limited-edition mechanical works of art is priced to lower your account balance by $98,000.

Parmigiani 15 day table clock in red

Each painstakingly, hand crafted work of art is assembled with the precision and attention to detail that one might expect from a $100,000 product. As such, consumers can expect to have to wait upwards of three years before acquiring their costly timepiece because Parmiagiani Fleurier will only be able to produce five of them per year.

High-End is the New Bed Fellows…

The union between Lalique and Parmiagiani Fleurier is just the latest in high end company partnerships. Another recent collaboration include Ferrari and Veuve Clicquot Champaign. Both companies, at the top of their respective industries, have combined to promote their shared values of excellence, high standards, and creativity in all that they produce. Like the Lalique and Parmiagiani Fleurier combination, the move is seen as a way of branching out to new customers through global marketing events, side-by-side appearances, and design collaboration.

Spotlight on: JAR Jewelry

Joel Arthur Rosenthal may be the master jewelry artisan of our era, and yet you have probably never heard of him. Before you start feeling bad to have overlooked him, don’t bother: his mass obscurity is entirely by his own design. Which is not to say he’s wallowing in ignominy. Rather, Rosenthal’s name is perhaps the best kept secret of the world’s very rich and very famous.

A Contemporary Fabergé

blackened gold and sapphire earrings, JAR jewelry

Blackened silver, 18k gold, sapphire, and diamond earrings by JAR, Paris via Diamonds in the Library

Working under the moniker JAR, this mysterious Bronx-born recluse has been described as the modern-day Peter Fabergé by Diane Von Furstenberg. A Harvard grad, he got his start as an aspiring screenwriter, then dabbled in a number of other career options before landing–serendipitously–in the jewelry business.

JAR diamond ring, oval diamond engagement rings

Diamond ‘String’ Ring

Over the past 30 years, JAR’s renown artistry has given him unparalleled status among the celebrity set and industry elite. He keeps shop in Paris with no signage, display or operating hours, and the doors are open only to the upper echelons of high society: Elizabeth Taylor, Ann Getty, and Jo Carole Lauder are among the fashionable few who have been granted rare access. With workshops in Switzerland and France, JAR produces less than 80 one-of-a-kind pieces a year, most of which are custom designed with a particular person in mind, often according to his whim. And potential buyers beware: if JAR doesn’t think a piece suits you, he reserves the right not to sell it to you.

JAR jewelry, Ellen Barkin's JAR earrings auctioned at Christies

Ellen Barkin’s JAR earrings, via Christie’s

JAR is most lauded for his extraordinary work with pavé; he typically sets vibrant gemstones against his own custom dark metal alloy for striking contrast. And while fine jewelry often loses value when it changes hands, JAR’s museum-worthy work is so coveted that it can double in value when resold. Not that it happens very often, as a JAR piece of wearable art is generally considered one of its owner’s most prized possessions.