Watches | A Continuous Lean. - Page 2

Shopping Breitling’s NYC Outpost

Sep 28th, 2011 | Categories: New York City, Watches | by Michael Williams

A vintage Breitling on display in the company's 57th Street shop.

A few weeks back I got an invite to meet the new Breitling USA President, Thierry Prissert at the watchmaker’s new boutique on 57th Street. Me being someone with a fairly shallow knowledge of Breitling, it seemed like a good opportunity to learn about a very historic brand straight from the head of the company.

Honestly, what I had been expecting to see at Breitling was a lot of very very large brutish watches that don’t appeal to me. Upon visiting the shop and seeing the collection, my preconceived opinion was partially confirmed. But more surprisingly, Breitling also has some very classic looking timepieces that I would definitely want to own.

Shopping IWC’s L.A. Outpost

Jun 10th, 2011 | Categories: Los Angeles, Watches | by Michael Williams

During my most recent jaunt out to Los Angeles my work schedule only permitted time for one or two ACL oriented diversions. Since I have been concentrating on getting the hang of my newish Fujifilm X100 Camera, I figured the IWC boutique in Beverly Hills would be as good as place as any to explore during my free time and take some photographs. While I’m still getting the hang of the camera, the sharpness of the X100 is really something to marvel at — especially when capturing the precise and good looking IWC watches.

The IWC shop space is small and bright with specific displays for each of the different watch families. The main wall in the back center of the shop featured the new Portofino collection, which I like more and more and more each time I see them. To me the Portofino pieces are a more refined answer to the Portuguese group. Not sure I can pull off the Milanese bracelet, but I’m sure that there are many guys (especially in Beverly Hills) who can. Of course, if I was on the Italian Rivera maybe I would reconsider my position on the metal bracelet. All that said, I think I have my eye on a Big Pilot more than anything else.

At Auction: Pan Am Pilots’ Rolexes from the ‘50s & ‘60s

May 12th, 2011 | Categories: Auctions, Jared Paul Stern, Watches | by Jared Paul Stern

The major spring sales of ‘important timepieces’ are taking place in Geneva this weekend with some eye-popping offerings on the vintage Rolex front. Pick any of the auctions at Sotheby’s, Christie’s and Antiquorum and you’ll find rarities you can lust after, if not actually afford. An ultra-exclusive chronograph from 1942 is likely to fetch over a million bucks at Christie’s on May 15 and break the world record, while there are dozens of rare “Paul Newman” Daytonas of every description. Some of the oldest examples show some wear and patina that might “devalue” them but only adds to their appeal in our eyes.

Heritage via China | Seagull 1963 Chronograph

Feb 17th, 2011 | Categories: Watches | by Michael Williams

While out in Vegas I was chatting with a designer friend and his watch happened to catch my eye. It was pretty classic looking, and upon further inspection, I noticed a red star and a few Chinese characters on its face. Intrigued, I needed to know more and inquired as to it. “It’s a reproduction Chinese pilot’s watch from the ’60s.” my friend said. I took a few photos and when I got home did a little investigating on the internets. Sure enough the watch is called the Seagull 1963 and it has been recently reissued. Seems like the heritage trend has even extended all the way to China.

ACL Field Trip | The IWC Watch Factory

Feb 10th, 2011 | Categories: Factory Tour, Watches | by Michael Williams

After the SIHH watch fair, we took the train from Geneva to the German speaking side of Switzerland to visit the offices and factory of watchmaker IWC. Located about an hour outside of Zurich, the town of Schaffhausen is a small enclave on the Rhine river that has become famous for high end watch manufacturing. The IWC headquarters look almost exactly as you would expect. The older part of the building was at one point merged with a perfectly modern, clean and stylish building expansion. The resulting structure is classic and modern all together in one piece. The interiors of the office are outfitted almost exclusively with USM Modular furniture, which made me feel like I was in a Star Destroyer, or at least a Nebulon-B frigate. What I’m trying to say is the place is pretty space aged and cool.

Portofino by way of Switzerland

Jan 26th, 2011 | Categories: Geneva, Watches | by Michael Williams

IWC Portofino Dual Time.

It was about this time last year that I wrote about the then new IWC Portuguese collection that was just presented at the super luxe watch fair SIHH in Switzerland. I have been an admirer of IWC since I first discovered the brand as a young lad, and the IWC story is pretty amazing to me. The company was founded by an American named Florentine Ariosto Jones in Switzerland in 1868 with the idea to take American manufacturing techniques (a la Mr. Henry Ford) and combine them with skilled Swiss labor. Hence the name International Watch Company. And at the time that Jones started the company — if you can believe it – the skilled labor in Switzerland was considered inexpensive. 143 years later, IWC is still producing some of the world’s finest timepieces.

Exploring Iberia with the IWC Yacht Club Chrono

Sep 27th, 2010 | Categories: Watches | by Michael Williams

In 1939 two Portuguese business men approached the International Watch Company (the only major Swiss watchmaker that was founded by an American) to create a watch collection to honor the great 15th-and-16th century Portuguese explorers like Vasco da Gama and Ferdinand Magellan—men who pushed the limits of exploration. Seventy one years after the now successful Portuguese watches were introduced,  IWC led an expedition of its own back to the coast of Portugal to unveil its newest addition to the Portuguese family of watches, the IWC Portuguese Yacht Club Chronograph.

Time and navigation are siblings, and an accurate chronograph is a crucial tool in piloting a seaborne vessel — the old school analog way. To celebrate the launch of the Yacht Club, the newest member of the Portuguese collection (IWC’s most popular series we might add), the Schaffhausen, Switzerland based watchmaker chartered two racing yachts and devised an old school navigation school to extol the virtues of the new Chronograph. Our group disembarked from the marina at Cascais, a town not far from the Portuguese capital city of Lisbon, for a day-long nav course on Portugal’s coastal waters of the Atlantic ocean.