Nov 27, 2014

One of Kind, Collectors Gift by Dewitt !

A one-of-a-kind DeWitt minute repeater/split-seconds chronograph with a second time zone, based on an extremely rare vintage movement from the historic Vallée de Joux specialist Victorin Piguet.

A visit to the DeWitt manufacture in Geneva to gain a detailed understanding of the wristwatch’s construction.

A visit to the de Witt family’s private museum dedicated to their ancestor, Napoléon Bonaparte.

Starting at $1.628 Million,
Like many watch collectors, Jérôme de Witt has a passion for the complex history of his craft—so great a passion, in fact, that the founder of the Geneva watch company DeWitt maintains his own museum of antique watches and movements. In his continual quest for new specimens for his collection, he stumbled a few years ago upon an unexpected treasure within a cache of early-20th-century tourbillon movements by the Vallée de Joux manufacturer Victorin Piguet that he had purchased. “My associate, who used to work for Patek Philippe, had also not seen a movement like it,” he says. “It is a minute repeater with an unusual split-seconds chronograph that we think was made sometime in the 1930s.”

Victorin Piguet is a name only occasionally heard in watch circles today, but at one time, the company contributed to some of the most prestigious complicated watches ever made. During the early decades of the last century, Piguet and later his sons made ébauches—raw, unfinished movements that watchmakers at the various brands would decorate, assemble, and adjust. Victorin Piguet had a reputation for producing highly complicated movements, especially minute repeaters, which made the firm a favorite of such brands as Vacheron Constantin and Patek Philippe. The famous Super complication built by Patek Philippe for Henry Graves Jr., for example, benefited greatly from the company’s expertise.

De Witt, who has been pondering how to deploy this classic minute repeater, will incorporate it into an inimitable timepiece for the gift’s recipient. Not only will the DeWitt team fully restore the device and finish it at the company’s finest level, but under the dial, these specialists will add extra complications—including an additional time zone, a day/night indicator, a moon-phase display, and a minute-repeater function window—and encase the movement in the recipient’s choice of rose gold or platinum.

In using this vintage mechanism as the basis for a more complicated watch, DeWitt, which has been making its own movements for more than a decade, revives the modus operandi of most traditional 20th-century watch brands—though the completed timepiece will bear DeWitt’s signature modern touches. “Besides cleaning and finishing [it], we will be making a few changes to the basic movement,” explains de Witt. “We will be upgrading a few of the springs and, of course, adding another complication plate to the dial side.” Among the contemporary additions will be the second time-zone display with day/night indication, which a pusher under the crown can conveniently adjust, and a playful pair of windows near the top of the dial that will open to reveal a moving graphic display when the repeater strike activates.

Despite these alterations, most collectors will agree with de Witt’s contention that the watch’s true soul derives from the part that has survived over so many decades—particularly as the venerable device harbors some technical surprises of its own. Unlike with traditional split-seconds complications, which are normally built right on top of the primary chronograph mechanism, this particular movement places the split-seconds assembly on the side opposite the chronograph—a highly unusual and complex arrangement. “I have been trying to convince my watchmakers that it is possible to transmit energy from one side of a movement to the other,” says de Witt. “This movement proves it was already done nearly 80 years ago.” 
Delivery will occur 12 months after down payment.

Nov 15, 2014

Tiffany's built a Luxury Subway Car - T-Train !

Lots of subway trains stop in New York. But only one of them stopped at an art gallery in Manhattan's Chelsea neighborhood last week. The doors slid open for a select few, who breezed in with invitations in hand and walked back out with engraved silver bracelets. Then the train disappeared.

Strange? Maybe. But what else would you expect when the subway train in question belongs to Tiffany & Co.?

"Part of the strategy of the project was to create something special, scarce and rare," said Daniel Chandler, co-executive creative director of Sid Lee, the firm that built and installed the subway car inside the Dia:Chelesa gallery on West 22nd Street. "We knew if we did it for a short time, people would miss out—but missing out isn't such a bad thing. It creates desire."

Tiffany doesn't need much help in that department, but its train did create its share of buzz. (Watch the exclusive video of the event at the bottom of this story.) The life-sized subway car served as a showcase for the new Tiffany T collection, the inaugural jewelry ensemble by Francesca Amfitheatrof, who joined Tiffany as its new design director last year. Guests who stepped aboard the silver train got to see the collection and the chance to have a bracelet personalized by one of Tiffany's master engravers, seated at a workbench at the car's far end.

The engravers weren't the only ones with their hands full. The Sid Lee firm not only had to create a believable facsimile of a train car, but a train car befitting America's most storied silversmiths. Saving for the decorative rivets and destination signs, the slender carriage was a study in minimalism—smooth, lustrous and almost surreal. "We created something that was stylized and impressionistic, almost like a Wes Anderson set," Chandler said. (He's not kidding: The train car was built in New Jersey out of lacquered plywood by the firm Fake Love, then trucked in pieces to Manhattan.)

Chandler's team blocked off the gallery skylights to darken the space, then installed spotlights, a bench with a street lamp beside it, and suitcases scattered here and there. The effect, Chandler said, was like stepping off the sidewalk into a kind of dreamscape. Every angle, he added, was perfect for an Instagram shot. That was no accident, either.

While Amfitheatrof has said publicly that she designed the Tiffany T collection with "global citizens in mind—interesting, highly creative people who exist in every great world city," she's likely referring to the younger female demographic that Tiffany & Co. actively courts.

"They wanted to promote this collection to a new generation of women who feel at home in the glamorous world of uptown as well as the edgy downtown areas—and have the ability to move between them," Chandler explained.

Meanwhile, Tiffany's subway car is on the move. "The train has left the New York station," he said, "but hopefully, if all goes well, it will be appearing in other markets."

Wait for track announcements. ref:

Nov 13, 2014

A Great Start, with A Watch thats New & Smart!

So—do you want a digital smartwatch or an analog cleverwatch? Withings’ Activité fitness tracker may not offer the same notifications and input capabilities as its fancier touchscreen competitors, but it’s a fetching analog timepiece with new-school underpinnings. Beneath its sleek Swiss dial lies accelerometer and motion sensors that track your steps, sleep, calories burned, and distance traveled.

Most of that information is displayed in the Health Mate app for iOS and Android, which conveniently syncs with Withings’ smart scales to track your weight. But this analog watch displays some data besides the time of day. An inset dial shows, as a percentage of your overall goal, how much progress you’ve made toward your daily activity goal. (You set your target in the mobile app.)

This isn’t a wearable wrist computer so much as a watch with some computing power. That approach has some benefits, not the least of which is you aren’t constantly charging the thing. The Activité uses a conventional watch battery that lasts as long as 8 months. And because its doesn’t need a dial large enough to accommodate a touchscreen, it’s the size, shape, and weight of a normal watch. It’s Swiss, with a stainless case water resistance to 165 feet. And while it comes with a stately calf-leather strap, there are silicon straps in the box if you want to wear it in the pool. Withings plans a free software update by the end of the year that will allow the watch to be used as a swimming tracker.

Despite its timeless analog aesthetic, there are futuristic features beyond fitness tracking. For example, you need never adjust the watch once its synced to your phone via Bluetooth LE; it will auto-adjust the time regardless of where you are. And the sapphire crystal is touch-sensitive: Tapping the glass prompts the watch to show your alarm-clock settings.

We’ve been hearing about the Activité since the summer, and Withings promises it’s just around the corner. Preorder now for $450 (you can choose black or white) and the company says you’ll have it before the watch is widely available in late November.