New releases – Louis Erard Excellence Guilloché Main II


This limited series of 99 pieces features engine turned (guilloché in French) dials produced piece by piece. The company’s engineers had to invent and manufacture new cams (large metal stencils that the lathe translates into a design and scales down to the scale of the dial) to achieve this result. The 42 mm steel case houses the Caliber Sellita SW261-1, an automatic movement with hour and minute function. Price: CHF 3’900.



Vintage ad - Audemars Piguet (1927)

"Top quality baguette 5.6 x 16 mm - Side winding crown". This Audemars Piguet ad dating back to 1927 is more telling than it seems. Wristwatches were steadily gaining market shares over pocket watches, but final victory was still a few years away as far as male customers were concerned. Women on the contrary had proved more modern-minded, the main obstacle to a widespread adoption of such timepieces being the poor reliability of most small movements. That is why top manufacturers set about developing calibers such as this one - a superbly designed baguette-shaped engine that could make even the tiniest jewel watches accurate.
Do you like vintage watch ads? Please visit the page about Watch Ads, my two-volume pictorial history of communication and design in 20th Century watchmaking. Click here to watch the video clip about the project. Click here to display and download a 20-page preview of Volume 1.

"Baguette di prima qualità 5,6 x 16 mm - Corona di carica laterale". Questo annuncio Audemars Piguet del 1927 dice più di quanto appaia. Gli orologi da polso stavano sottraendo quote di mercato rilevanti ai segnatempo da tasca, ma per la vittoria finale presso la clientela maschile ci sarebbe voluto qualche anno ancora. Le donne, invece, si dimostrarono più rapide nel recepire la novità, trovando un ostacolo solo nella scarsa affidabilità di molti movimenti di dimensioni ridotte. I fabbricanti di gamma superiore si impegnarono quindi nello sviluppo di calibri come questo - un superbo progetto meccanico di forma baguette in grado di rendere precisi perfino gli orologi gioiello più minuscoli.  
Ti piacciono le pubblicità d'epoca? Visita la pagina su Watch Ads, la mia storia illustrata in due volumi della comunicazione e del design nell'orologeria del Novecento. Clicca qui per guardare il video sull'opera. Clicca qui per visualizzare e scaricare un'anteprima di 20 pagine del Volume 1.


Time Design – An exhibition

An unmissable (and free!) exhibition awaits watch fans visiting Geneva until May 8.

The Pont de la Machine, an historical building in the heart of the city, is hosting “Time Design – a journey into wristwatch design”.

After a brief evocation of pocket watches, the exhibition focuses on the wristwatch and its stylistic iterations from the early twentieth century to this day. 

Some one hundred pieces presented in showcases trace a history combining functional considerations with an inventiveness inspired by the latest fashions, as well as technical advancement in an array of forms, materials and dimensions. 

The exhibition also presents a tribute to Gérald Genta featuring his sketches, paintings, and several exceptional timepieces he designed.


Omega & NASA - The video clip

A fine video clip tracing the history of the Omega Speedmaster's association with NASA from the beginning to the 1990s
(by courtesy of Antiquorum Auctioneers)


Vintage gadgets - Mido (1970s)

A display plaque for the shopwindow of an official Mido retailer. Described as the “King of waterproof watches”, the Ocean Star was introduced in 1959. Aquadura was the name of its crown sealing system.

Una targhetta metallica per la vetrina di un rivenditore ufficiale Mido. Presentato come il “Re degli orologi impermeabili”, l’Ocean Star fu lanciato nel 1959. Aquadura era il nome del suo sistema di chiusura stagna per la corona.


Auctions – The Dubai Edit online sale

Christie’s first online auction of the season took place in Dubai 15-29 March and passed the US$ 12 million mark. 
Once again Patek Philippe led the sale. The gold Ref. 3974J minute repeater perpetual calendar sold for US$567,000. The model
was launched in 1989 to celebrate the brand’s 150th anniversary and was the world's most complicated wristwatch at the time. The unique Ref. 3940G with a custom pink gold dial commissioned by Michael S. Ovitz, renowned collector and former head of Disney Inc., sold for US$214,200 and became the most expensive Ref. 3940 sold at any auction.
 F.P. Journe led the rally of the independents with an early rose gold Tourbillon Souverain with brass movement selling for US$504,000 and a Chronomètre à Résonance Black Label realising US$403,200.
A pair of Greubel Forsey GMT Sport including a one-off in red returned impressive results. While the GMT Sport Blue sold for U$478,800, the unique GMT Sport Red realised a price of US$ 504,000.
 As for Rolex,
a yellow gold Daytona Ref. 6265 ‘Oyster Split’ fetched US$252,000.