September 2008

It looks like there is a continuing interest in Rose Gold as the new luxury watch material of choice after stainless steel. I’m seeing more and more people gravitate towards the Rose Gold stuff, as White gold looks too much like stainless steel, and yellow gold is too tacky for their tastes. There seems to be a variation of Rose, Red and Pink Gold in the industry. There is no standard, so with varying levels of copper and other metals alloying the Gold, different colors of Rose gold are produced. Breitling has both Red and Rose gold varieties.

A lot of beautiful peices with in Rose Gold like this Ebel 1911 BTR Perpetual Calendar that was just released. Note also the Perpetual Calendar is a significant complication compared to what Ebel has normally produced – which is another trend we are seeing with luxury watch brands.

Jaeger LeCoultre has decided to go against the grain with one of their most recent releases, the Master Grande Ultra Thin 40. Though this watch is extremely thin, it still boasts a relatively decent 40mm diameter. And the case is available in stainless steel and…. you guessed it.. Rose Gold!

One of the latest offerings from Corum, the Romvlvs Retrograde Annual Calendar. Beautiful peice of work, 41mm, beautiful dial and case is in 18kt Rose Gold, of course. Dial is black, as it seems to compliment Rose Gold the best. However, we are starting to see a little bit of Two-Tone rose gold and steel as well. I am hoping that more of this will start to happen as the combination is striking in my opinion.

For those of you that have not owned these watches, or purchased them without the boxes, or just plain wanna see what they look like on video instead of pics, I shot some short videos on the boxes, showing how they come together and stuff.. nothing special.

One Panerai watch box video:

And one Breitling Watch box video:

First a disclaimer: I do not recommend that you do this, but because I’ve received several emails regarding how this is done, and also several emails about where to buy the case back opener I used in the Panerai video, I decided to write a post on it. Opening a watch and servicing and regulation should be done by an experienced professional. However if you are so inclined, you can give it a shot.

Opening a Breitling Caseback

Breitling Casebacks have 15 sides, which make them a bit odd and seemingly at first difficult to open. However, they can be opened with a simple high quality Jaxa opener. This MAY slightly damage or put small dents in the case back sides as the Jaxa openers do not fit perfectly. Remember if you open the case, a proper case holder should be used as well to secure the case.

A Jaxa tool looks like this:

The more proper way to open a Breitling caseback is to use a Breitling 15-sided caseback die designed for use in Horotec or Bergeon openers. These are large devices with big wheels on the top that look something like this:

The Breitling Die (and Panerai Dies too for that matter) look like this:

They fit into the Opener and open the caseback without damaging it. The case openers are expensive, at around $600, and the caseback dies are about $80 each. You will need a different size depending on the size of your Breitling.

Opening a Panerai Caseback

Opening a Panerai Caseback is a bit easier (cheaper!) to do without damaging your watch. There are caseback dies just like the Breitling ones, but with 12 sides as Panerai casebacks have 12 sides. Panerai Casebacks also come in 3 different sizes, for which you can use any of the above mentioned methods of opening just as the Breitling cases can be opened, but there are aluminum hand held openers for panera casebacks that work very well.

These caseback openers are made from Aluminum, which is softer than the Steel used in your case so it is less likely to scratch it. Also they offer very good grip and cost from about $50-100, depending on where you purchase them from. Strap-works sell thems for $85 IIRC:

This is the opener I used in the fake Panerai video. I cranked that guy open since my friend did give me permissions and its a fake watch. I have also opened my PAM250 without problems, so it works with the real deal as well!

Anyway.. don’t blame me if you break something. I don’t recommend you do this unless you feel comfortable with it, and even then, I recommend finding a quality watchmaker to fix your watch is something is awry.

The Panerai fakes out there are getting better and better, and unlike most of the other fakes, the movements are very well decorated. They may not have the same level of precision, but they look pretty darn convincing unless you know what to look for. I’ve pointed out a few of the inconsistencies that I saw, so remember… stay educated and don’t get duped.

This PAM 111 belongs to a friend of mine, and though I don’t condone the buying of fakes, I do not shun my friends that do. I take the opportunity to borrow them and help educate!

Do you have an Aston Martin DBS? If so, you just might have to score yourself one of these JLC AMVOX2 DBS Transponder watches, that allow you to interact with your car! Using the Amvox2 system of using the Sapphire Crystal as the trigger (you simply push down on it), you can unlock and lock your doors of your Aston Martin DBS Sportscar.

Crafted of 18kt Pink Gold, the Jaeger-LeCoultre AMBOX2 DBS Transponder watch is available exclusively through Aston Martin dealerships for owners of the Aston Martin DBS. Though the Transponder itself is not mechanical, the rest of the watch is. When this watch was announced I was prepared to be surprised by a completely mechanical watch doing the work, but there is indeed some electronics used to control the circuit.

Check it out:

And now, check out the car!