August 2011

To mark the 80th anniversary of the Reverso, Zep has designed and personalised an enamel dial for a Reverso à éclipse in pink gold: a one-off work of art. The celebrated Swiss artist drew his inspiration from a visit he made to the Manufacture last April.

Enamelling, like engraving, is one of the rare crafts carefully honed by the Jaeger-LeCoultre Manufacture. Today’s enamelling workshop is staffed by three experts, who offer a wide range of personalisation options for the watch Reverso itself, but also for enamel dials. The unique works created by these craftsmen at the Jaeger-LeCoultre Manufacture are a testament to an expertise combining tradition and inventiveness. They make use of cutting-edge techniques that are then unveiled in each year’s collections.

This unique Reverso watch, designed by Zep, will be sold at the Artcurial auction house on 29 November 2011 in Paris, with the proceeds benefiting the muscular dystrophy charity “Association monégasque contre les Myopathies”.

The Brand also had the honour of unveiling a special preview of the design at the Veytay Polo Club during the finals of the Jaeger-LeCoultre Polo Masters Geneva.

“I’ve always been fascinated by miniaturisation and the aesthetics of mechanical movements. The idea of slipping Titeuf in amongst the complex and subtle cogs of a Reverso seemed obvious. It’s also a nod to the character ‘Charlot’ in the film ‘Modern Times’. I only hope that my personal touch doesn’t upset the legendary accuracy of his Reverso…” said Zep, whose real name is Philippe Chappuis.

This is a very cool one-off piece by ArtyA, a watch company that specializes in unique pieces. Since I have a casual interest in firearms, this piece caught my eye. The little bullets inside the case are an uncommon cartridge called a 6mm Flobert. The diameter is equivalent to a .22 and while not designed for that, can be shot from some guns chambered in .22lr. Nonetheless, an interesting cartridge that fits into the case well.

As you can see, the bullets are suspended with copper wire. I would have liked to see the bullets more evenly spaced and more “perfect” in their placement. Perhaps the imperfection is part of the charm for the person who comissioned the piece. The 47mm case features crosshairs to complete the theme.

Above you can see the rotor is also visible, featuring the backs of three .38 Special casings to enhance the look. I wonder how it spins when the weight is so evenly distributed. Would love to see this watch in action. The little movement is quite well contained in the central housing.

As you can see, the back is marked 1/1 Unique. Swiss Made. Notice the lugs have screws inset to hold the strap. The fine machining work on the case is apparent from the rear shot, showing nice crisp lines and nice hand rubbed finishes.

Well, before I was able to get a Breitling Caliber 01-based watch, my buddy picked one up. He snagged a Chronomat 01 with the Roman Numeral Dial… awesome. I love this combo, though I have to admit that the watch has a level of “bling” to it that previous Chronomats did not have. Somehow the new polished bezel really takes the shiny level up.

I love the way the roman numeral dial looks on this model, with the numerals staying upright all the around, as opposed to the way they looked on the older Crosswind. While I still like the Crosswind, I think the Chronomat 01 has a more modern looking dial. I know that there are a lot of old school Breitling fans out there that do not like this new direction that Breitling is taking. While I don’t necessarily approve of all of their recent releases, this is one that has grown on me.

The dial features some of those square elements with faint striping that a lot of the people seem to dislike, but don’t bother me too much.

There she is head on.. as you can see, same double AR coating as always. The 43.5mm diameter, while slightly smaller by .2mm, actually seems to wear a bit larger to me. I am not sure why, but it might have to do with the bezel design and shape.

The new 01 movement is an absolute piece of genius and features just about everything that I could hope for in a Chronograph Movement:

– Amazing power reserve at 70 Hours
– Column Wheel Chronograph
– Auto-Centering Reset Hammers
– Customizable Index Regulator System
– Instantaneous Date

With the 01, Breitling moved back to fully polished bezels. The previous Chronomat and Evo models had brushed bezels, but prior to that, older Chronomats had fully polished bezels as well. As we all know, trends are circular and the Chronomat is no exception. The rider tabs are much more subdued than previous, but still feature the same quality screwed-in construction, as does the bezel.

Breitling also changed the Chronomat 01 Bracelet to have swing lugs rather than fixed lugs. This is common with their larger watches such as the Breitling for Bentley Motors, but new for the Chronomats.

Overall a Killer watch in my opinion. Perhaps not a natural progression for Breitling and while the style may seem a bit forced, I feel that the watch is settling into the majority of its new design statements. I really dig the Breitling 01, and would probably have myself one of them if I weren’t getting so distracted by the multitude of other watches out there catching my fancy!

Video review of the sweet Omega Chronodiver with the tri-compax layout. Posted this in Youtube but didn’t get a chance to pop it on here til now just to make sure you guys see it. This is the one that uses the Omega Calibre 3301 movement, not the 7750 based movement in the Bond Style Chronodiver. Enjoy.

Vacheron Constantin has launched a new website to commemorate the opening of their first US boutique located in New York. A very informative website that charts all the major milestones throughout the history of the esteemed brand, and also allows you to add your own bit of history to the timeline. You can actually create a profile and make a post about your Vacheron Constantin story and have it added to the timeline! At the moment, I see only one story… I think they have to be approved by the V-C moderation team, which is obviously more scrutinous than our own moderation team here at the BreitlingSource forums 😉

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