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Audemars Piguet Perpetual CalendarSince the company's start in 1875 Audemars Piguet has stood among the best, with its early development of the 8-ligne minute repeater and its 1960's record breaking thin movement. But it is the Royal Oak that has become AP's most renowned watch. It was designed in 1972 by Gerald Genta, who's well-known skill has been used to create masterpieces for many other high end brands such as Patek Philippe, Omega, and IWC. The Royal Oak was a surprise success, carving out its niche as a luxury sports watch.

The Royal Oak got its name from three of Britain's Royal Navy's warships that sailed between 1802 and 1939. Its relationship to ships can be seen in the porthole shaped bezel, and its sporty design. In 1993 Audemars Piguet introduced the sturdier Royal Oak, the Offshore designed for the more extreme sports. The Offshore has raised the lines success to new levels. In 2003 the brand saw some of its greatest success when it sponsored the swiss racing yacht the Alinghi in the America's Cup race. Soon after AP released the Royal Oak City of Sails Chronograph to mark the success of Team Alinghi. Since then AP has also become involved in formula one racing and in 2004 honored juan pablo montoya with a limited edition piece followed in 2006 with a watch honoring Rueben Barrichello.

Audemars Piguet GinzaWith the brands new success they have branched out in the world. Recently, several other limited edtion pieces have been created to honor the opening of boutique stores around the world, such as the Royal Oak Offshore Rue St-Honoré Limited Edition series of 100 . The Paris edition is a beautiful watch on a White Hornback crocodile strap with red, white and blue seams and stainless-steel AP folding clasp. The Royal Oak Offshore Ginza Limited Edition of 200 was created to celebrate the opening of the AP Boutique in the Ginza district of Tokyo, Japan.

Guide to Buying a Pre-owned Timepiece

in Learn | Sunday, April 20. 2008

If you are considering purchasing a pre-owned timepiece, it is important to follow a few simple steps to insure you are buying the best product possible. Knowing what to look for in a pre-owned piece could keep you from wasting your hard earned money on a malfunctioning or unusable wristwatch or even worse a replica!

Here are a few things to consider when shopping for a used watch:

Does the watch come with the original box and paper?
Having the original box and papers with the watch can add to the watches value and in turn will add to how much you will be paying for the watch. It is always best to look for timepieces with original box and papers. It will be easier for you to sell it  should you choose later on, and it also lessens the risk that you will end up with a replica.

Does the seller provide a warranty for the watch?
While a pre-owned watch in most cases will not have a current manufacturer’s warranty, any good watch dealer should provide some kind of warranty on the pre-owned timepieces the sell. Pay close attention to the lengths and terms of the warranty, it is best  to get a full-coverage warranty.

Is the watch guaranteed authentic?
The number of replicas being passed off as the real thing is enormous, especially online! Make sure that you have done your research on the watch dealer you plan to buy from. Do they guarantee the products they sell to be genuine? It is a good idea to check out the Better  Business Bureau website and read up on the company before you purchase.

Has the watch been serviced recently?
Some pre-owned pieces are still relatively new, so this point may not be as important. But for older watches, find out if the watch has been serviced recently and what, if anything was done to the watch.

What is the condition of the watch?
A watches condition is rated using the following terminology:

  • New old stock - An older watch that has never been worn. 
  • Mint - Worn but shows very little wear.
  • Near mint - Worn but shows some minor wear.
  • Excellent - Shows slight normal wear.
  • Very good - Shows normal wear. 
  • Good/Average - Shows heavier than average wear.
  • Fair/Below Average - Some damage or other serious problems.
Anything less than excellent condition, unless it is a very rare or collectible piece, is not an ideal purchase choice. If you are interested in purchasing a watch despite some obvious flaws, there is much a good watchmaker can do to help restore a watch to its original condition. A scratched case can often be restored to near mint condition by having it professionally polished.

New 2008 Hublot Big Bang

in Hublot | Sunday, April 13. 2008

Hublot Big Bang Blue CaratHublot has expanded its collection yet again this year by branching out its Big Bang collection to include some very colorful additions. Keeping the same design elements that make the Big Bang so recognizable, Hublot has added a bit of flash to its original design. The Big Bang Purple Carat, Blue Carat and Orange Carat are making their debuts in both 18k red gold and black ceramic versions.

Hublot Big Bang Orange CaratThe popularity of Hublot’s Big Bang has skyrocketed since it was first released in 2005. Each year the brand has expanded its production to include new materials such as tantalum and magnesium to augment their original design. The “Carat” furthers the evolution of the Big Bang by introducing a flashy new version, achieved by adding baguette shaped gemstones to the bezel and making their signature rubber strap in these new bright colors. Slightly smaller than the original Big Bang case diameter of 44.5mm, the “Carat” has 41mm case and a polished bezel set with topaz, amethysts or sapphires.

Hublot Big Bang Purple Carat All BlackThe 18k red gold or black ceramic case is 41mm and has a sunken polished bezel set with 48 gemstones (topaz, amethysts or sapphires) approximately 2.23 carats. It has a sapphire crystal with an interior anti-reflection treatment. The dial is white or black with satin finished gold-plated markers. Faceted, diamond polished hands with a white luminescent feature. It has a mechanical chronograph movement with automatic winding, Hublot HUB 41. It has a 42 hour power reserve and is water resistant to 100 meters.

Bell & Ross Phantom Tourbillon Release

in Basel 2008 | Saturday, April 5. 2008

Bell and Ross Phantom TourbillonBasel 2008 is the first chance the public had to view some exciting new releases from Bell & Ross. The new Phantom Tourbillon is a stunning watch that is the all black version of the BR 01 Tourbillon that was released by Bell & Ross in early 2007. The Phantom features an all black case and dial, with the most noticable feature being the silver tourbillon that sits above the 6 o'clock position.


The Phantom is a very limited production, with only 18 watches to be produced, far fewer than the 60 pieces made of the original BR 01 Tourbillon.
The large 46mm case is made from a virtually scratch-proof DLC treated titanium. The dial is made from carbon fiber and the hands and indexes have been treated with a photo luminescent coating for easy readablility. In addition to the tournillon, the Phantom's complications include a regulator, a precision indicator and a power reserve indicator. It has a mechanical manual winding movement and is water proof to 100 meters.

Rolex Sea-dweller DeepseaRolex is releasing several watches at this year’s Baselworld, but perhaps the most impressive of all is the Sea-Dweller Deepsea. Like its name indicates, this watch is breaking boundaries in water resistance. With the development of a new Ringlock system, a new case architecture developed by Rolex, comes a watch capable of withstanding water pressure up to an astounding 3,900 meters.  

The ability to withstand such extreme depth is made possible in part by a high performance ring made of nitrogen alloyed stainless steel. In addition the sapphire crystal on the Deepsea is substantially thicker than that of Rolex’s other Oyster models. The movement is a caliber 3135 and it has a 48 hour power reserve. An adjustable steel bracelet is equipped with a double extension system which is ideal for wearing over dive suits. Its new Glidelock clasp is adjustable up to 18mm by increments of 1.8mm.

5131J

Patek Philippe 5131The Patek Ref. 5131 is the next in the series of World Time watches released by Patek Philippe. The 5131, presented at Baselworld 2008, is only being produced in a single metal - 18k yellow gold. The new center dial features a map of the world made of cloisonné enamel, the product of an ancient metalworking technique. This new center dial is reminiscent of some of the early versions of the World Time such as The Europa.

The 18k yellow gold case is 39.5 in diameter and has a sapphire crystal case back.  The watch features 24 time zones including Frankfurt, London, New York, Tokyo, Hong Kong, and Bangkok and has the ability to switch between them by pressing a single button at 10 o’clock. It has a mechanical self-winding movement and a 48 hour power reserve.

5070P

Patek Philippe 5070PThe highly sought Patek 5070 has a new addition to the family. 10 years after its launch, the new platinum version is now making its way on the scene and is sure to be one of the must have watches of the year.  The technical and visual appeal of the 5070 are hard to beat, and the subtle changes made are sure to please. The new metal for this watch is accompanied by a new blue-metallic sunburst dial.

This watch features a chronograph with a 30-minute elapsed time counter. The platinum case is 42mm in diameter and it has a sapphire crystal case back. Its base movement, the “Nouvelle Lémania” is an exclusive execution to Patek Philippe.

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