The story of Ebel

Stories are what make the world tick, and love stories have a particularly universal appeal. In this regard, EBEL has an enduringly romantis tale to tell. Based on the union of its fouders, Eugene Blumand Alice Levy (EBEL isan acronym of the initials “Eugene Blum Et Levy”), and built from ots 1911 beginnings on the twin pillars of masculine and feminine values and qualities, EBEL has unfailingly benn united by the most powerful force in the world – love.

Heritage

From the very beginning of its history, the complementary talents and interests of this couple have shaped the heritage and corporate spirit of EBEL,and have inspired all those who have followed.

Building on the historical cornerstones of luxury,elegance,and sensuality,EBEL has instilled the highest watch industry standarts to ensure the functioning of its timepieces is as smooth as their inimitable look and feel.The end result is a range of models imbued with a unique blend of soft lines,suave textures and flowing curves.

Since 1911, EBEL has consistently dedicated the talents,passion and creativity of its people to desiging and crafting distinctive watches that evoke an enduring fascination.Each and every EBEL watch merges the brand’s visionary inspiration with … Continue reading...

View Post

IWC Ingenieur History

In the early 1970s, freelance watch designer Gerald Genta was taking a walk on the shores of the Lake of Geneva when he noticed a diver, whose helmet was secured to his diving suit with screws. This tiny detail inspired him to adopt a modernist, distinctly technical approach to form that was to revolutionize watch design. Instead of concealing the screws or functional bores, he left them plain for all to see on the bezel. For IWC Schaffhausen Gerald Genta designed the legendary Ingenieur SL, reference 1832. Five rudimentary bores could be seen in the bezel. These engaged with a special tool during manufacture to bring the bezel into position for securing with screws.

The crown and case back were screwed tight to make the watch pressure-resistant to 12 bar. The Ingeniuer SL had its market launch in 1976. Its eye-catching design stood for masculine values: it was rugged and sporty with a distinctly technical appeal, and has influenced the appearance of the Ingenieur watch family to this day.

The Ingenieur watch family’s success story, incidentally, dates back to the 1950s. It was a time of economic boom. An increasing number of technical appliances were making their way into ordinary … Continue reading...

View Post

The oldest Rolex models

In this article we want to share some of the oldest and rarest models of Rolex. Nowadays, these rare models can be found very difficult. Let’s start with the first on the list.

Rolex 1527M Prince Railway “Observatory Quality”

The watch is from 1936, indeed this is a very rare piece.

Case: White/yellow 19-carat gold, snap-in back, leather strap, 4/5” x 1-3/5” (22x42mm)

Watch Movement: Rhodium-plated, 15 jewels, 6 adj., manual-winding

Remarks: Rare Prince Railway in perfect condition with movement in Observatory quality.

Rolex 1491 Prince Brancard Chronometer Jumping Hours “Extra Prima Observatory Quality”

Case: White 9-carat gold, snap-in back, leather strap 9/10” x 1-7/10” (25x43mm)

Watch Movement: Rhodium-plated, 6 adj., manual-winding

Remarks: Rare chronometer with digital jumping hour display; this watch was offered with original box and rating certificate from Biel Observatory.

Rolex Oyster Perpetual Chronometer 3347

Made for Ronchi, Milan

Case: Red 18-carat gold, screw-down back, leather strap 1-1/10” (29mm)

Watch Movement: Rhodium-plated, automatic

Remarks: Extremely rare, early Oyster with double hour index markings; the markers on the bezel, the “iii,” and the “ix” are set vertically while they are horizontal on the watch dial. The watch has a rare double signature “Ronchi Milano.”

Rolex 3361 Prince Aerodynamic Continue reading...

View Post

The birth of a classic

To all watch aficionados and admirers of Patek Philippe, this is a reference you will want to remember: Chronograph  Ref. 5170J. It is the ultimate chronograph from the Geneva manufacture, equipped with the very recent movement, the Calibre CH 29-35-535 PS, totally developed and produced in-house by Patek Philippe. A manual-winding, column-wheel chronograph, this new reference replaces the very famous chronograph Ref.5070, based on a Lemania caliber, and well know to all collectors.

The latest in a prestigious line – With this new and remarkable creation, Patek Philippe completes the collection of its own chronographs, a collection that was started in 2005 with the introduction of the thinnest (5.25mm) flyback manual chronograph movement ever made. It was also the first chronograph wristwatch entirely designed, developed and fabricated in-house. Produced in the traditional manner in a limited quantity in the haute horlogerie ateliers at Patek Philippe, this very prestigious movement- with its two column wheels, two push-pieces, the possibility to store reference times, as well as its many other technical and aesthetic features- created a sensation from its first introduction in a series of ten pieces in an Officer style platinum case, the already famous Reference 5959P.

This offer was expanded … Continue reading...

View Post

The Chronograph, an expression of modern times

The chronograph, an ingenious invention of modern times, has taken the measure of human progress for nearly two centuries. The etymology of the word comes from the combination of two Greek roots: chromos (time) and grapho (writing). To write time is also to write a record of the history of the world.

The scientific advances of the end of the eighteenth and early nineteenth centuries, notably in astronomy, medicine, engineering  and industry, necessitated the measuring of fractions of seconds. In this field, as in others, there were numerous inventors and solutions.  Following unfruitful attempts by John Arnold, Louis Moinet  (1768-1853), a Parisian watchmaker who was also a keen astronomer, invented an instrument that measured sixtieths of a second, which he called a compteur de tierces (“counter of thirds”) . The “third” refers to the third subdivision of the hour on a basis of 60 after the minute and the second, and is used in astronomy.

This counter was produced in collaboration witch a watchmaker from the workshop of Abraham. Louis Breguet in 1815-1816. In terms of its performance, ergonomics and the readability of its dial, this instrument prefigures the chronometric devices to one-fiftieth and one-hundredth of a second created by … Continue reading...

View Post

The Henry Graves Jr.Patek Philippe Minute Repeating Wristwatch No. 97’589

In the world of watches there is no provenance stronger or more desirable than that of Henry Graves Jr. , arguably the most important and prolific watch collector of the 20th century. A provenance to perhaps Patek Philippe’s greatest ever client immediately tells even the casual observer that they are beholding a very special timepiece indeed, one of the best of the best. 

Unknown until its emergence from the estate of Graves’s grandson, Reginald H. Fullerton J., in 2012, the present watch, regarded by world-renowned scholars of Patek Philippe as the most important minute repeater wristwatch, is highly significant in several ways.

First, unlike the majority of Henry Graves Jr.’s purchases from Patek Philippe, which were delivered to him at Tiffany & Co. In New York, the present watch was bought by him, in person, at Patek Philippe’s headquarters in Geneva in 1928. Fur-thermore, this supremely elegant, almost understated minute repeating wristwatch, of large size for the period, was also Henry Graves Jr.’s very first Patek Philippe minute repeating wristwatch and the only one made for him in yellow gold.

Added to this is the historical importance of the watch in its own right as one of the earliest-recorded … Continue reading...

View Post

Vacheron Constantin History: Pioneers of Precision

Even in the traditional Swiss watchmaking industry, it’s something truly special when, like Vacheron Constantin, a manufacture can look back on more than a quarter of a millennium. Using new sources, we trace Vacheron Constantin’s unique business history.

When Jean-Marc Vacheron founded his business in 1755, the world had not yet begun to feel the icy, metallic touch of the Industrial Revolution, whose dawn lay a few years ahead. The craft of watchmaking still proceeded at its accustomed, leisurely pace.

Approximately 800 horological craftsmen were active in Geneva at this time. Geneva, together with the Neuchâtel – Le Locle region and the Vallée de Joux, were the cradles of the watchmaker’s art. The watchmakers were called cabinotiers in honor of the well-lit “cabinets” on the top floors of the houses in Geneva’s Saint-Gervais neighborhood where they worked. Their tasks were assigned to them by établisseurs, manufacturers who bought and assembled all the parts needed to produce complete watches. Under the steady scrutiny of a master watchmaker, as many as eight cabinotiers labored in each atelier.

According to accounts of the time, a typical cabinotier was an artist, a learned man and a bohemian all rolled into one. Jean-Jacques Rousseau, who … Continue reading...

View Post

Louis Moinet: Rewriting Chronograph History

Louis Moinet presents an artifact that may change how we look at the history of timekeeping.

The Swiss firm Les Ateliers Louis Moinet SA has unveiled a timekeeping device from the early 19th century that may be the first chronograph ever created. Known as a compteur de tierces – the term “chronograph” had not yet been invented – the device was built by French watchmaker Louis Moinet between 1815 and 1816.

Louis Moinet

It is not a watch: it does not tell time, but measures intervals of time. The counter’s balance beats at 216,000 vibrations per hour (30 Hz), allowing its center-mounted hand to accurately measure intervals to 1/60 of a second over a 24-hour period, an astonishing feat for its time. (The term tierce, literally “third,” was used at the time to refer to 1/60 of a second.)

In a press conference held in Geneva on March 21, Jean-Marie Schaller, CEO of Les Ateliers Louis Moinet, who resurrected the Louis Moinet name 15 years ago, appeared with a number of watch experts to introduce the world to the Louis Moinet chronograph.

Jean-Marie Schaller, CEO of Les Ateliers Louis Moinet

Les Ateliers LM purchased the counter at an auction … Continue reading...

View Post