One of my favourites this year is the new Louis Vuitton Speedy (Automatic). Not content with driving a stake through my heart by owning luxury brands Dior, Tagheur and Ebel, Louis Vuitton is stepping up its watch offering by following up their tambour collection with this new neo-retro collection.
The luxury brand first ventured into the world of watches in 1986 in collaboration with IWC, but it wasn’t until 2002 that they actively start creating their own timepieces under their Vuitton banner.
The Speedy retails for $5,150 and the Duo Jet for $3,300. (more…)
Sitting on a tree, K I S S … *cough* So Charlize Theron is the new face of Raymond Weil. A good move for them. They needed that bit of oomph. However, from the looks of their Theron press release, the brand has no plans to drop its pretentious copywriter – “When talent and elegance meet with the passion and aesthetic of watch making, it results in an unforgettable encounter, a moment of pure magic where time seems to vanish in the air”
The three-dimensional dial isn’t the only thing that sets the Oiva apart. The watch case is made of modified AISI 420 steel (Stavax ESR) which in layman terms makes it almost scratchproof and three times the hardness of conventional stainless steel.
The Oiva is the latest by Finnish watchmarker Stepan Sarpaneva who’s been churning out limited design editions under his label ‘Sarpaneva’. Retail prices start at 4150 Euros.
Tucked under the armpit of Pierce Brosnan is a copy of the Weekend Standard that has the goods on Omega’s single biggest customer – North Korea’s Kim Jong Il. (cue dramatic music)
According to the article, the Korean dictator moonlights as Omega’s unofficial brand ambassador by spending approximately about USD $ 1.1 million every year on Omega watches and since 1998, Kim has used the extra aid he received to fight famine in his country to purchase a total of USD $10 million of Omega’s over three years!
Zone is New York based design group Intoto’s prototype travel watch that allows you to quick refer to time in different cities. We’ve no word on whether this will ever get manufactured on a mass scale.
I’m jealous. I’ve been lately thinking of using wood inlay in my work but it looks like Nixon’s beat me to it. Their Rotolog features a custom right-read direct time and real walnut wood inlay. Retail Value: $200$199.95
Unintentionally echoing Seiko’s “You are what you wear”campaign, the New York Times profiled architect Giuseppe Lignano, not because of his work, or his art installation for what he takes pictures for but his affinity for a camera watch gadget and how it makes him a curiosity:
“Having taken countless pictures of industrial sites for his work – airports, factories, truck yards, ductwork – he noticed a few years ago that there were never any people in his shots. That was when he bought a Casio wrist camera (black and white, introduced in 2000) and started snapping his friends. Soon he was taking pictures of almost everyone he met. He upgraded to a color model, the WQV3D, and a few months ago upgraded again to the WQV10, for about $210 at B&H Photo.
With one megabyte of memory, the camera can hold 100 pictures, albeit those with only 25,000 pixels. Mr. Lignano downloads them to his home computer – some 2,500 so far – and lets them play on a slide show as a permanent art installation.
The camera’s allure is not in its stealth but its surprise. In that regard, it is a kind of secret weapon, a different take on disarmament. “It really takes people’s defenses down,” Mr. Lignano said, adding that though few people like having their picture taken, people often laugh freely for his wristwatch.”
The biggest development this year at Basel was Seiko. The company had been slowly positioning itself over the years as an upmarket brand (i.e. Opening a Seiko Center in St-Germain des Pres in Paris so that they could rub shoulders with the likes of Cariter, Swarowski and Louis Vuitton) and all its efforts gained momentum this year. While watch brands usually maintain the same booth every year, Seiko renewed theirs this year with a more open and interative exhibit. All part of their plan to launch the new Seiko Spring Drive with as much fanfare as possible.
Spring Drive is Seiko’s new innovative movement that combines the precision of quartz and the structure of the mechanical watch. It took them 28 years, 600 prototypes of 13 different generations to reach the final version.
Also, buried under the Spring Drive announcement was Seiko’s world’s first electronic paper watch that is a ultra-thin, low-power display that is flexible as a paper. E-paper has been in development for quite some time now and I’ve been expecting a E-paper watch for the last five years, so kudos to Seiko for doing it first.
This year’s biggest miss is Chopard that won the “Don’t know when to stop” award by taking their Kinder surprise watch a little too far. Honestly, how many variations are they going to make of their Snowflake watch (I’ve already seen one too many)