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Jacques Brauer: art in scale 1/43
by admin

The Frenchman Jacques Brauer fabricates breathtaking models of cars in scale 1/43. By many he is seen as the very best in this line of work. The following pictures of his 1962 Ferrari 250 GTO show you why:

JB 1962 250 GTO carrosserie rood buizenframe
JB 1962 250 GTO carrosserie rood kaal
JB 1962 250 GTO carrosserie rood volledig chassis
JB 1962 250 GTO carrosserie rood volledig
JB 1962 250 GTO Ecurie Franchorchamps

Since young age Brauer has a passion for painting and cars.

JB waterverfschilderijen
Watercolour painting, 1962 Ferrari 250 GTO, Jacques Brauer, 50cm x 65cm

JB olie op canvas Mercedes in Monaco 1937, 184cm x 148cm
Oil on canvas, Mercedes in Monaco 1937, Jacques Brauer, 184cm x 148cm

Brauer was educated at the School of Fine Arts in Reims and developed himself into an artist with racing cars as his favourite theme. He painted and made drawings but he felt limited in his creative options because he missed a third dimension to express himself. Realizing this, Brauer, at the age of 27, switched to building model cars.
As part of this article I have had a Q&A with Jacques Brauer about his background and his work. Next are the questions and answers by Brauer:

- What role did cars and drawing/painting play in your youth? Do you come from a creative family or were you an exception?
- I read that you missed a third dimension in drawing/painting. Did you immediately know that you wanted to build miniature cars or were there other options as well?
- Have you ever considered building watches like your friend Laurent Ferrier?
- Did you teach yourself what materials and techniques you need to build your cars or did you also get some sort of training?
- What is the most exceptional miniature car that you have ever built? Do you have a favourite model?
- What is your favourite 1/1 car?
- What kind of work would you be doing if you weren’t building model cars?

- I have been concern by race cars as long as can remember… very young boy, I receive a special price
for race cars drawings when 5 years old…
I am from a musician family ( mother) and industry( father). Nothing especially creativ but truly inspired
with life and things aound.

-I have started with fine art painting in the early 70′s, essentially race cars and old sports cars subject.
I decide to explore “little cars” at the end of the 70′s, starting with a Ferrari GTO, based on a kit ( metal)
but the model as proposed was definitely not enought for me, then, I start to open doors and other
parts and have to study an engine and engine bay details.
From the beginning I have been facinated by “little cars” the following story is just “how to do it as close
as possible to the real thing” including materials, like wood, leather, textile and so on.
-I have study technical approach and tools and materials myself… no school… .
My favorite car… a lot, but the Aston DB2/4 mk3 is probably the one ( vantage spec.)

- I never expect doing another job, and will do it as long as possible! ( all my life time).

Hope the reply is right for you!

Kind regards,


PS watch making is a specific job who need to learn the right skill, too difficult for me!

JB Ferrari 330 GT 2 + 2
1967 Ferrari 330 GTC

A good illustration of the way Brauer works is the production process of a wooden Nardi steering wheel for his models.

JB 62 GTO straat los stuurwiel en koperen stuurinrichting
JB houten stuur Nardi
Wooden Nardi steering wheel

To create a steering wheel, he needs a piece of pear wood and a self-made tool (an old file that he has sharpened to the utmost). He then uses a special glue which is applied by infiltration in order to saturate the wooden fibres so as to avoid the piece of wood breaking while he is working with it. He cuts out a small circle with his file and then applies himself to ensuring that it is perfectly round using sandpaper. For the inside of the steering wheel, he cuts out a piece of nickel silver which he then sticks to the centre of the wooden circle.

JB onderdelen houten stuur
Parts for a wooden steering wheel

For logos and the little letters composing the brand names, he uses photo-cutouts which he systematically re-polishes using a felt buffing wheel. This requires very careful, thorough work as he is dealing with elements that are no more than around 0.15mm thick.
The artist has successfully reproduced all the elements of the real car to a scale of 1:43. The bonnet, doors and boot open, and the engine is a perfect reproduction in every respect. Each mechanical piece is a true replica complete with air filters, spark plugs, and oil filter cartridges. The structure is made of brass wires assembled with a tin soldering iron. There is a technical link with watchmaking with regard to the production of functional suspension elements, the steering gear (steering is driven from the wheel). The door locks involve the same approach to extreme miniaturisation!
Leather is used throughout the interior, in the original colours. The dashboard features all the dials and the steering wheel features a varnished wooden rim. Every single shape and proportion is scrupulously respected.

“My principal concern can be summed up as follows: respect for spirit and form.”

One of the interesting things of Brauer’s models is that certain aspects of the miniature have clear, technical links to making watches.

JB onderdelen California Spyder

These links are clearly found in for instance the production of functional parts of the suspension, the steering system (the steering wheel turns the front wheels) and the complex construction of the door locks.

JB deurslot
Parts of a door lock

jb Laurent Ferrier Classic
Laurent Ferrier Galet Classic (tourbillon)

Watch manufacturer Laurent Ferrier and Jacques Brauer met at the beginning of the 1980s at a time when both were involved in the world of motor racing. Laurent has unremittingly admired and kept up with Jacques Brauer’s work ever since. For Laurent, the work of a sculptor-miniaturist is closely akin to his own, with regard to design as well as the process of creating a given piece. They share the same approach to the new project, for which Jacques Brauer creates the prototypes – sometimes in wax – in exactly the same way as Laurent Ferrier does when making his models. “That is in fact the aspect that is most like my profession. It is a kind of horology, more artistic but in many way similar. It’s another form of gentle madness.” Laurent Ferrier Laurent Ferrier describes J. Brauer’s work as exceptional.

He is fortunate to be in direct contact with collectors who ask him for models of dream cars. He quotes them: “I want the very best you can do.” It is the same concern that leads collectors to gravitate towards Laurent Ferrier pieces. Like Jacques Brauer, Laurent Ferrier tailors his work to the needs of his client, notably through the creation of one-of-a-kind models.

His work is completely tailored to his clients’ needs. Certain collectors want replicas of their vintage cars. He also says with a degree of amusement that he sometimes has to repair these models because some of his collectors play with them! The lead time for making a piece varies between 8 and 12 months. He estimates that his work involves between 300 and 700 hours per model depending on the level of detail required. It takes him hundreds of hours of work just to develop the first prototypes. Every stage of the production process is photographed in order to share the project’s progress with his client as well as to justify certain elements, which, once the piece is finished, will no longer be visible from the outside. In Laurent Ferrier’s opinion, it takes passion and talent to achieve results like these.

JB tekening model
Notes and drawings prototype

Because pictures say more than a 1000 words some more to show the pieces of art that genius Jacques Brauer produces:

JB 54 375 MM
JB 62 GTO race straat
JB 70 365 GT 2 + 2
JB beginfase 62 GTO
JB body California Spyder kaal
JB California Spyder met hardtop
JB diverse modellen
JB in atelier
JB interieur California Spyder
JB onderdelen 64 Ferrari 250 GTO
JB 62 GTO straat carrosserie chassis kaal

The ‘Red Baron’ and his Fokker Dr.I: inspiration for Zenith
by admin

When Manfred von Richthofen, nick-named the ‘Red Baron’, was shot down and killed on April 21 1918 near Amiens he officially had 80 victories in air combat

In this portrait the Red Baron is wearing the ‘Pour le Merite’, the ‘Blue Max’, the highest Pruisian military decoration

Although the Red Baron gained his victories in several airplanes it is the Fokker Dr.I that is most associated with this air hero.

Fokker Dr.I Red Baron

Zenith has been involved in flying for a long time. At the beginning of the 20th century they manufactured the so-called ‘montres d’aeronef’ or ‘onboard watches’. In the picture below is an example from 1938.

1938 Zenith_Historical_Montre-d-Aeronef-Type-20-560

At Baselworld 2013 Zenith introduced the Zenith Pilot Montre d’Aeronef Type 20 GMT Red Baron, in a limited edition of 500 pieces.


But, before we turn to the Zenith, let’s take a closer look at who Manfred von Richthofen was and the role of Anthony Fokker in this whole story.

Manfred Albrecht Freiherr von Richthofen was born in Kleinburg on May 2 1892 in a aristocratic Pruisian family. His military career started in the cavalery but soon his regiment had no real use anymore and only tasks far behind the front remained. Von Richthofen became disappointed and bored because he wanted to see action. He applied for ‘Die Fliegertruppen des Deutschen Kaiserreiches’ (later called the ‘Luftstreitkrafte’) and in his application among other things he wrote: “I have not gone to war in order to collect cheese and eggs, but for another purpose.” Despite this rather unmilitary approach Von Richthofen was offered a job, much to his surprise, and he started in the airforce at the end of May 1915.

Red Baron 1916 in an Albatros
The Red Baron in 1916 in an Albatros

As it often is with people who turn out to be a genius, they are slow starters and Von Richthofen’s career as a pilot was no different from this. He even seemed to be a below average pilot: he struggled with the control over his plane and he even crashed on his first solo flight. But the following quote by Von Richthofen showed that he had what it takes: “I had been told the name of the place to which we were to fly and I was to direct the pilot. At first we flew straight ahead, then the pilot turned to the right, then left. I had lost all sense of direction over our own aerodrome!…I didn’t care a bit where I was, and when the pilot thought it was time to go down, I was disappointed. Already I was counting down the hours to the time we could start again…”

In August 1916 Oswald Boelcke selected Von Richthofen as one of the first pilots for a new fighter unit named Jagdstaffel 2 or Jasta 2. The Red Baron won his first air combat with Jasta 2 on September 17 1916 over Cambrai in France. Although the Red Baron flew several types of aircraft, among them several models of the Albatros and the Halberstadt D.II, the airplane he is most associated with is the Fokker Dr.I Dreidecker.

Anthony Fokker in 1912

Anton Herman Gerard ´Anthony´Fokker was born on April 6 1890 in Kediri in the former Dutch-Indies. His father had a coffee plantation but when Anthony was 4 years old the family moved to Haarlem in the Netherlands to give the children, Toos and Anthony, a Dutch upbringing. Anthony was not what you would call a driven student, he didn’t finish his high school, but he had always been very interested in technique and enjoyed building things like model trains, steam wagons and model airplane.

Fokker’s first serious interest in flying was feeded by the show flights by Wilbur Wright in the summer and autumn 1908 in France. In 1910 his father sent the then 20 year old Fokker to Germany to be trained as a car mechanic at the Bingen Technical School but Fokker made a quick switch to the air division. In the same year he built his first airplane called ‘de Spin’ (the spider). Fokker got his flying license in the second Spin and with the third version he became world famous in Holland by flying around the clocktower of the Sint-Bavokerk in Haarlem on August 31 1911.

Anthony Fokker in the first version of ‘de Spin’

In 1912 Fokker moved to Johannisthal near Berlin where he started his first company, Fokker Aeroplanbau. Later he went to Schwerin where the factory got a new name: Fokker Flugzeugwerke GmbH (later called: Fokker Werke GmbH). After the war the Treaty of Versailles banned Germany to produce airplanes or their engines. This made Fokker come back to Holland in 1919 to start a new factory, the Nederlandse Vliegtuigenfabriek. This was the forerunner of the Fokker Aircraft Company. Despite the restrictions of the Treaty Fokker succeeded in smuggling 220 airplanes, 400 engines and many spare parts from Germany to Holland; according to Fokker he had paid 20.000 Dutch Guilders in bribes.Soon the focus shifted from military to civil aircraft, like for instance the very successful Fokker F.VII trimotor. Sadly Fokker went bankrupt on January 22 1996, several divisions were taken over by Stork.

Zenith & Fokker Red Baron

The Zenith Aeronef Red Baron has an in-house built, non-El Primero (only in chronographs) movement, the Elite class caliber 693 beating at 28,800 bph (4Hz) and with a power reserve of 50 hours.

Zenith kaliber 693

The steel case of the Red Baron , diameter 48mm, has a black DLC (diamond-like carbon) coating and the GMT indicators, both on the dial and the central GMT hand, are bright red just like the famous Fokker Dr.I Triplane which the Red Baron flew. On the solid steel case back is a medaillon with an image of the Red Baron’s Triplane and the text: ‘Montre d’Aeronef Type 20-Zenith Flying Instruments’. Production of the Zenith Red Baron is limited to 500 pieces.


Jaap Bakker

February 2nd

Non-Rolex watches


The Calligraph Duneshore: a microbrand watch that stands out
by admin

Logo VWC


Some time ago by pure coincidence I came across an article about Visitor Watch Co., a new American microbrand. It’s founder, Phil Rodenbeck, is an engineer who used to work in the automotive and gasturbine industries. In 2013 he decided that he wanted to earn his money with something more creative and started Visitor Watch Co.
This interesting background story and a picture of the watch sent me right to the website of Visitor. Two things happened then: first, their site is very professional and beautiful and second, surrounding ads opened a whole new world of microbrands for me. Compared to other microbrands the Visitor Calligraph Duneshore really stands out in the crowd. The case is beautiful and highly original as it’s inspired by sand dunes. The driving force behind the watch is a Miyota 9015, not just taken from the shelf but with a subtle enginered rotor. And the story goes on: it has a sandwich dial with small holes for the minutes and even the date is treated with Luminova. Finally it’s price, 650 US Dollars, makes the Calligraph Duneshore a really amazing watch.

The following article is written by Phil Rodenbeck, founder and CEO Visitor Watch Co.:

Earlier this year, new American microbrand, Visitor Watch Co., debuted their first wristwatch, the Calligraph Duneshore. If you pay close attention to the ever-growing microbrand segment, you may already be managing your expectations on what’s to follow. No doubt this must be another minimalist, quartz-driven piece, or some cheap derivation of a popular Rolex/Panerai/Omega with no originality of its own, right? Well, I will forgive your jadedness (as many such pieces do exist) but in this case, you’d be wrong. The Duneshore is as original as they come.


Inspired by sand dunes, the case of the Duneshore is really like nothing else. It looks a little bit sculptural, organic, beautiful and brutal all at once. The draping sides of the case are abruptly faceted into a cushion shape. In the center, a circular bezel emerges, housing the unique dial and hands. The lugs fall away from the case, coming to a rolled end which is also pierced for easy strap changes.



Turning the watch over, you’ll find a curved caseback, complete with a flush-mounted exhibition crystal. For those among you who appreciate machining, it’s certainly worth noting how the caseback achieves a sweeping, surface transition both with the midcase and the exhibition crystal. Even in watches costing several times this amount, you’re far more likely to see planar transitions between these components. Not that it’s bad to have a more simplistic structure; rather, it’s reflective of the ‘no compromises’ approach that was taken with the Duneshore’s design. It’s also reflective of the incredible value this piece represents. For 650 USD, I’m not sure there’s a more exquisite case available.



Compromise certainly was not made with the dial, either, as one look at the perforated minutes index should confirm. Yes, that’s right, this is actually a 2-piece sandwich-dial, though the only element which makes use of this construction are the minute marks. These could have been easily printed on a 1-piece dial and looked just fine. For the price, I wouldn’t have complained. But done in a perforated style as they are adds to the premium feel.



Polished and lumed hour markers are further applied atop the sandwich dial. Luminant has also been generously applied, showing up on the hands, hours, minutes, dial signature, and date. The lumed date is a particularly nice touch and helps differentiate the Duneshore from the horde of other microbrands using Miyota 9015s. It’s a common movement, but I don’t know of anyone else who goes to the trouble of fitting a custom rotor and a custom black date disk with lumed numerals. Visitor has taken great care with the fine details of their first watch.



The Duneshore is launching in three color variations – Beach, Blue Slate, and Forest Ore – each of which can be ordered with a variety of straps. If you’d like one for yourself, head over to www.visitorwatchco.com and pre-order through their web store. Granted, you are going to have to wait a bit for the estimated August delivery, but for a watch this different I think it is well worth the extra anticipation. Visitor is only making 300 Duneshores in their initial production run, most of which have been spoken for. It is unclear how readily available these will be after the first run is sold out. Many microbrands engage in this sort of small-batch production and it often seems like a year or two passes between production runs. Bottom line: the Duneshore is a wonderfully unique and beautiful piece and if you find yourself fond of it, I wouldn’t wait too long to put in an order.







Jaap Bakker

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January 20th

Non-Rolex watches

The Omega Speedmaster, behind which steering wheel?
by admin

When Omega introduced the Speedmaster in 1957 nobody thought that one day this watch would go into space. It was developed as a sport and race chronograph, Omega being the official timekeeper of the Olympics.
The first Speedmasters were driven by the Omega Cal. 321, a movement that was invented by Albert Piguet of Lemania in 1946.


From about 1960 it became clear that the USA had serious plans for manned flights into space. Among others Rolex, Breitling and Omega were the watch brands that were official candidates for the plans in space.
In the end Rolex, Longines-Wittnauer and Omega were submitted to tests under extreme circumstances.
The following tests were performed:

High temperature: 48 hours at 160 °F (71 °C) followed by 30 minutes at 200 °F (93 °C)
Low temperature: Four hours at 0 °F (−18 °C)
Temperature cycling in near-vacuum: Fifteen cycles of heating to 160 °F (71 °C) for 45 minutes, followed by cooling to 0 °F (−18 °C) for 45 minutes at 10−6 atm
Humidity: 250 hours at temperatures between 68 °F (20 °C) and 160 °F (71 °C) at relative humidity of 95%
Oxygen environment: 100% oxygen at 0.35 atm and 71°C for 48 hours
Shock: Six 11ms 40 g shocks from different directions
Linear acceleration: from 1 to 7.25 g within 333 seconds
Low pressure: 90 minutes at 10−6 atm at 160 °F (71 °C) followed by 30 minutes at 200 °F (93 °C)
High pressure: 1.6 atm for one hour
Vibration: three cycles of 30 minutes vibration varying from 5 to 2000 Hz with minimum 8.8 g impulse
Acoustic noise: 30 minutes at 130 dB from 40 to 10,000 Hz

Finally in March 1965 the Omega Speedmaster was the chosen watch because during most of the tests it had stayed within the maximum deviation of 5 seconds per day.
The Speedmaster was part of the equipment for the NASA Gemini 4 mission and also for the Apollo 11 mission making it the first watch on the moon.

Features: no 'professional' on the dial, no crown guards and pointed lugs

Features: no ‘professional’ on the dial, no crown guards and pointed lugs

Ed White: the first American in space

Ed White: the first American in space

os:3 astronauten

Buzz Aldrin during his first space walk

Buzz Aldrin during his first space walk

Buzz Aldrin in the cockpit wearing his Omega Speedmaster

Buzz Aldrin in the cockpit wearing his Omega Speedmaster

After a long day of preperations at NASA for the next mission into space there was only one car to drive home with in a relaxed modus, the 1965 Ford Mustang V8 289 Cu in.

os:wit 3:4 front 1965_Ford_Mustang_Notchback_Coupe_San_Jose_Wimbledon_For_Sale_Front_resize
os:wit 3:4 back 1965_Ford_Mustang_Notchback_Coupe_San_Jose_Wimbledon_For_Sale_Rear_resize

The introduction of the Mustang created a new class of cars known as the Pony Car.
The assistent general manager and chief engineer of Lee Iacocca, the Ford Division general manager, was Donald N. Frey. Frey was the leading figure of the Mustang project and under his supervision the development of the Mustang took place in a record 18 months.
The prototype of the Ford Mustang I was a twoseat roadster with a central engine, designed by Philip T. Clark and John Najjar. In an interview in 1984 Najjar told the following about the prototype:

“We had a studio under Bob Maguire and in it were; Jim Darden, Ray Smith, plus an artist, Phil Clark, several modelers, and me. We drew up a 2-seater sports car in competition with the other studios, and when they saw ours – saw the blackboard with a full-sized layout and sketches- they said, ‘That’s it! Let’s build it.’ So we made a clay model, designed the details, and then built a fiberglass prototype.” This car was simply a concept study rather than the final configuration, but it included a lot of the sporty, rakish flair the later showcar embodied”.


os:FordMustang1965 z:w foto front

Racen op Riverside

Racen op Riverside

At Baselworld 2014 Omega introduced the Speedmaster Dark Side of the Moon.
It’s a tribute to the astronauts of the Apollo 8 mission who were the first humans to see the dark side of the moon with their own eyes. De new Speedmaster is made of a single block of black zirconium oxide ceramic. Laser techniques were used to apply the signs to the bezel.

os:dsom wp
os:dsom wp schuin
os:dsom uurwerk
os:dsom zijkant

About the movement cal. 9300 Omega says the following:

Complete with an innovative column wheel mechanism and Si14 silicon balance spring, the OMEGA Co-Axial calibre 9300 is the first of our exclusive in-house movements to incorporate a chronograph function. The 12-hour and 60-minute counter hands are placed on the same sub-dial at 3 o’clock allowing for an intuitive reading of the recorded time and the reliability of the movement is such that the timepiece is offered with a full four-year warranty.

The following is the information provided by Omega about the use of zirconium oxide ceramic for their latest Speedmaster:


Although Ford in 2014 is again building real Mustangs that pay tribute to their name and fame, I’m choosing another car for the Omega Speedmaster Dark Side of the Moon.
At the address 2904 Bond Street, Rochester hills, MI 48309, USA EQUUS AUTOMOTIVE INc. has it’s offices. These people build the EQUUS BASS770, a car that finds it’s inspiration in the muscle cars from the 1960s and 1970s.
The EQUUS BASS770 is really a fantastic car, the following pictures speak for themselves:

os:eb770 3:4 front
os:eb770 achterkant
os:eb770 dashboard
os:eb770 vliegveld
os:eb770 zijkant

The official website of EQUUS AUTOMOTIVE INc.

Jaap Bakker

June 16th

Non-Rolex watches

Suitable transport for your Patek Philippe
by admin

pp:wp Patek-Philippe-Rare-3448-Automatic-Perpetual-Calendar-Pink-Gold
pp:F 400 zijkant

In 1962 Patek Philippe introduced the ref. 3448, the first automatic Perpetual Calender with Moon Phases. Ref. 3448 was fabricated between 1962 and 1985, with a total production of only 586 watches.
Most of them were in yellow gold but there is also a handful in white gold. Very few are in rose gold and 2 or 3 are made of platinum.

pp:3448 kast+band
pp:3448 wp overview

A ref. 3448 with Tiffany & Co on the dial

A ref. 3448 with Tiffany & Co on the dial

A very rare ref. 3448 in rose gold

A very rare ref. 3448 in rose gold

Half way the 1950s Ferrari built less than 100 chassis per year. From 1955 until 1959 production quadrupeled and in 1962 it doubled again which meant the manufacturing of 493 chassis.
Most of these cars were the in series produced 250 GT Coupe, designed by Pininfarina in 1958, and it’s successor, the 250 GT/E.
Ferrari then reached a broad market of well-to-do customers but, apart from a couple of ‘specials’, in terms of pure performance as well as of visible distinction they didn’t have enough to offer to the most demanding part of their customers.
There was a small but very lucrative market of industrials, royalty and stars for whom money was not an issue and who only wanted the best. For them Ferrari developed the 400 Superamerica, designed by Pininfarina.

pp:1962 Ferrari 400 Superamerica Series I SWB Coupe Aerodinamico

A new engine was designed, Tipo 163, a so called ‘short block’ V12 with a 4 litre capacity (hence the new type indication 400, in the past the indication meant the capacity of one cilinder) and a performance of at least 340 bhp.
For over ten years Ferrari used this block to power the V12 Ferrari’s. A modified version of the Tipo 163 was used in the Ferrari 330 TRI/LM with which Phil Hill and Olivier Gendebien became overall winner of the 1962 24 Hours of Le Mans.

pp:F 400 motor

Total production number of the Ferrari 400 Superamerica Series I Coupe Aerodinamico, introduced at the 1962 Geneva Motor Show, eventually was about 13. The only watch of that era that really matched with this fabulous car was the Patek Philippe ref. 3448.

pp:F 400 dashboard
pp:F 400 bagage

Let us see what 2014 has to offer.

pp:5960_1A_001_2 wp+band
pp:FCT zijkant rood

At Baselworld 2014 Patek Philippe showed their ref. 5960/1A-001 to the public for the first time. The most interesting feature of this watch with an Annual Calender is that it is made of stainless steel. Normally Patek Philippe only manufactures complicated watches with the use of precious metals. Until now SS was only used for the Nautilus and the Aquanaut.

pp:5960_1A_001_8 wp+kroon
pp:5960:1A caliber_CH_28_520_IRM_QA_24Hpp:5960_Caliber

Press Release
Description Card

Ferrari has just made the California T public. Just like the ref. 5960/1A-001 it has a very striking feature.
It’s V8 engine is equipped with 2 turbo’s and that is a technical breakthrough for Ferrari (the last Ferrari with a turbo engine was the 1989 F40). This engine not only produces more than enough power, 560 bhp, but also has lower fuel consumption. This development comes straight from Formula 1 where, after a long pause, cars are running with turbo engines again in 2014.

pp:FCT back 3:4 rood
pp:FCT dashboard
pp:FCT front 3:4 rood
pp:FCT gesloten dak rood
pp:FCT motor
pp:FCT overview rood
pp:FCT zijkant rood

The Patek Philippe ref. 5960/1A-001 and the Ferrari California T, a combination for the ultimate joy.

Jaap Bakker

June 9th


Non-Rolex watches

A Hamilton Ventura round the wrist, which car?
by admin

In 1957 watch manufacturer Hamilton from Lancaster, Pennsylvania (USA) introduced the first electronic watch in the world, the Ventura 500.
Although the idea was sound, an electronic watch is much more precise than a mechanical movement, the Ventura 500 was never a great success in sales. The biggest downside of the watch was the fact that the battery needed constant replacement.

article about the Hamilton Ventura 500 including sale figures

Despite the disappointing reactions to the Ventura 500 Hamilton at least had one loyal and famous customer: Elvis Presley.


hv:horloge+elvis z:w

When Elvis decided to hit the road with his Ventura it was very likely that he would choose one of his 1957s Cadillacs to drive out. Therefore the car brand Cadillac and the Hamilton Ventura 500 got connected to each other in a very strong way.

1957 Cadillac Eldorado Biarritz. The car used to be pink and was not bought by Elvis in 1957 but much later during a dinner

1957 Cadillac Eldorado Biarritz. The car used to be pink and was not bought by Elvis in 1957 but much later during a dinner

1957 Cadillac Eldorado Seville

1957 Cadillac Eldorado Seville

1957 Cadillac Fleetwood 60 Special

1957 Cadillac Fleetwood 60 Special

Anno 2014 the Hamilton Ventura is still produced, under the name Ventura XXL.

Hamilton Ventura XXL

Hamilton Ventura XXL

It is difficult to imagine that a watch as extravagant as the Ventura XXL would not be captured in the hysteria of Hollywood. As a matter of fact it succeeded in ending up on the set of the movie ‘Man in Black 3′.

Hamilton advertisement for the Ventura XXL in MIB3 with photo of the 1969 Ventura

Hamilton advertisement for the Ventura XXL in MIB3 with photo of the 1969 Ventura

Knowning that in 1957, thanks to Elvis Presley, the Hamilton Ventura was strongly connected to Cadillac raises the question how the watch/car bond is in 2014.
The first car that I thought of is the Lexus LFA.

hv:Lexus_LFA achterkant

hv:Lexus-LFA voorkant

hv:lexus lfa voorkant boven

The body work has enough corners and folds to let the exceptional shape of the Venture be integrated into it effortlessly and it’s monstrous V10 engine with 552 bhp garantee that the Venture XXL won’t have to be ashamed about the performances of the car.
With a relaxed left arm hanging out of the window the LFA and the Ventura XXL are best mates.

Jaap Bakker

May 29th

Non-Rolex watches

The Sandoz Family Foundation: guardian of Parmigiani Fleurier
by admin


The Sandoz Family Foundation was established in 1964 by the sculptor and painter Edouard-Marcel Sandoz, the son of the founder of Sandoz SA in Basel (presently Novartis SA).
The aim of the Foundation is promoting entrepreneurship by means of long-term shares in companies in various sectors. Apart from the commercial criteria the Foundation stimulates entrepreneurship and innovation as well as preserves the Swiss entrepreneurial tradition. It adds to it that the investments are focused on strategic goals which allow high quality and fundamental social values to be maintained.
The Foundation also encourages creativity and private initiatives. As a counterbalance against the commercial activities the Foundation also occupies itself with art and culture, under the flag of the Fondation Edouard et Maurice Sandoz (FEMS), and science.
The Foundation is directly or indirectly involved in the pharmaceutical industry and agriculture, hotels, the watch industry, telecommunication and the Internet through a variety of organizations and holdings. The thinking behind every involvement is its focus on innovative strength in technology, sustainable developments and the creation of new jobs.
The Foundation is run by the management board and is supervised by Pierre Landolt, the family’s representative. Other members of the board are Maître Olivier Verrey and Gabriel Pretre.

The Sandoz Collection

The Sandoz Collection contains many kinds of objects, including (pocket) watches, of great historical value.
From 26 October until 26 November 2011, in Fifth Avenue in New York an important exhibition of objects from the Sandoz Collection was held and the below link shows a good picture of this collection:


In addition, below you will find pictures of objects from the collection:

Cage with two singing birds a fountain and a mechanical organ  © 2011  FEMS Pully Switzerland Photography R_ Sterchi

Cage with two singing birds, a fountain and a mechanical organ

Oval-shaped English pocket watch with telescopic hands © 2011 FEMS Pully Switzerland Photography R_ Sterchi

Oval-shaped English pocket watch with telescopic hands

Double-barrelled pistol with singing bird

Double-barrelled pistol with singing bird

The Peacock Egg by Faberge

The Peacock Egg by Faberge

safo:PF onderdelen

Parmigiani Fleurier SA

Besides Parmigiani Fleurier’s worldwide top brand repute within the Swiss luxurious watch industry, the branch presently occupies an important economic and industrial position in the Val-de-Travers region. The branch’s history is closely interconnected with that of the valley. This appears from the fact that, in 1976, Michel Parmigiani selected Fleurier to start his first studio with, whereas the environment was declared a disaster area. The advent of electronic watches hit the valley hard and many prominent manufacturers of mechanic watches did not survive this blow.
Parmigiani’s firm belief that the region would make a strong come-back was shared by the Sandoz Family Foundation which, in 1996, decided to support Michel Parmigiani in developing his branch. Since that time the watch industry has become increasingly strong, leading to other watch manufacturers to feeling drawn to get settled in this region. Parmigiani Fleurier was the first to breathe new life into the century-old Swiss tradition of watch makers in this area and by doing so they have created 350 jobs in Fleurier by now. In order to continue the company’s extraordinary know-how in the future, they are training students in almost any facet of watch making.

Parmigiani Fleurier Tonda 39 Skeleton

Parmigiani Fleurier Tonda 39 Skeleton

Parmigiani Fleurier Kalpa XL Hebdomadaire

Parmigiani Fleurier Kalpa XL Hebdomadaire

The Vaucher Manufacture Fleurier factory was established in November 2003. This meant the division of Parmigiani Mesure et Art du Temps (founded by Michel Parmigiani in 1976) into two associated companies: the production part and the Parmigiani Fleurier branch, by which all of the watch makers’ activities were separated from the promotion of the branch itself.
Established in Fleurier, Vaucher Manufacture Fleurier specialises in the High-end and Prestige sectors and goes into the large-scale production of outstanding watches clearly reflecting the image of Parmigiani Fleurier. In this way the private label Michel Parmigiani had ever held in view has been preserved and additionally, Parmigiani Fleurier is given the opportunity of delivering watches to third parties.
This means that Research and Development, the CNC production of plates, bridges and a few watch parts, a large mechanic workroom, decoration of plates and bridges and handicraft for embellishing the parts and the eventual manual assembly are joined together in a production plant. The Manufacture’s activities were distributed among three locations until 2009, but as of 4 September 2009 they have been concentrated in a 40,000 m2 building, thanks to the support of the Sandoz Family Foundation.



Parmigiani intended to be a real manufacturer and to this end, it purchased a number of specialised companies, which was an act of tactics.
Among those Atokalpa was obtained in December 2000. Located in Alle, in the Jura (the crib of precision work at millimeter level), Atokalpa had made a long-time specialty of producing parts being the moving parts of mechanical watches which together form the moving parts of mechanical watches. As of 2005, Atokalpa has also made every escapement and regulation part of the watches. All together some 20 parts forming the escape wheel, pallet, roller, balance and balance spring. Producing those parts requires being a perfect master of a complicated and precise production process: cutting, turning, slotting, rolling, surface and heat treatment, assembling as well as drawing and laminating the balance spring.


Based in Moutier Elwin has been part of the watchmaking hub of the Sandoz Family Foundation as of January 2001. It was established by the third generation of a group of industrialists who, since 1912, have been specialised in turning bars for the watch industry and particularly in making balance bars.
Elwin is also known for its numerically controlled bar turning machines and the development of accessory software. Elwin has even developed a new and revolutionary bar turning machine especially designed for the watch industry, with accompanying requirements for microscopic precision. Humard SA in Delemont, specialised in this type of machines, attends the manufacturing and marketing of this device. The Elwin production facility has been expanded since.

Quadrance et Habillage

Quadrance et Habillage

Quadrance et Habillage

Quadrance et Habillage

Quadrance et Habillage

The verticalisation of the watchmaking hub would not be complete without the possibility of making top-quality dials. For this purpose, in December 2004, Quadrance et Habillage was established and incorporated in the industrial structure in order to obtain self-sufficiency in the production process. Other goals were meeting strict quality requirements, improving the balance between supply and demand and increasing the hub’s fundamental creativity.
The dials owe their unique appearance to this company. First, at Quadrance, the dial bases are being processed by numerically controlled machines, subsequently guillotinised and plated with lacquer or electroplating. Finally, a dial maker is providing the indicators and attaching the applications. Owing to this production process the dials will always be perfectly sized, for Parmigiani Fleurier itself or a third party.





Les Artisans Boitiers SA

In order to make the watchmaking hub even more complete the Sandoz Family Foundation bought Les Artisans Boitiers SA in May 2000. This La Chaux-de-Fonds-based company used to be among the top watch case manufacturers at that time.
Apart from its industrial expertise this company provides state-of-the-art technology by using 3D computer programmes (CAD) and CNC-controlled machines.
Whether the case is made of precious metals (18-carat gold, 950 platina or 950 palladium) or steel or titanium, Les Artisans Boitiers SA have the possibilities of equipping the cases with any form of complexity, because they are able to make each part themselves. It will take the goldsmith several weeks to equip a model with various complications with a case, like the Parmigiani Fleurier Tecnica, and he will have to perform over 50 actions.

In conclusion you may say that the way in which the Sandoz Family Foundation has started business with Parmigiani Fleurier is a perfect example of intelligently turning a small potential watch branch into a fabulous watch-manufacturing organisation with a worldwide reputation for excellence.
The watchmaking hub of the Sandoz Family Foundation started in 2000 leading to the Manufactures Horlogeres de la Fondation (MHF), combining various forms of expertise. Today, there are 450 experts with 50 professions working within the hub, four factories and an equal amount of regional watchmaker cultures.

Jaap Bakker

January 23rd

Non-Rolex watches

4,000 metres below sea level: Rolex or Hublot?
by admin

Rolex Sea-Dweller Deepsea

Rolex Sea-Dweller Deepsea

Hublot Oceanographic 4000 m Carbon

Hublot Oceanographic 4000 m Carbon

The pictures above show that Rolex and Hublot both have a totally different approach to the phenomenon of dive watches. The Rolex is a more modest watch from which it’s exceptionality, being able to withstand water pressure at a depth of nearly 4.000 m, is not directly visible. The Hublot is a very prominent watch which radiates the fact that it must be something special.
Let’s take a closer look at both watches.

Hublot Musee Oceanographic de Monaco

Hublot Musee Oceanographic de Monaco

Nowadays every self-respecting watch brand has a dive watch in it’s collection. Before the arrival of Jean-Claude Biver, the current CEO of Hublot, Hublot already had dive watches in it’s collection. The line of models called Big Bang King contained several watches in radiant colours, with a turning diver’s bezel and waterproof to 300 m.
However the Oceanographic 4000 m was to be the first serious dive watch that Hublot was going to make. The most important question was ‘how are we going to make this dive watch a real Hublot?
Not inhibited by any kind of modesty the watch had to be big and striking. In addition Biver’s ‘fusion’ philosophy offered the possibility of using exotic materials in the production of the watch. Most obvious and also actually used is carbon.

Initially the watch was known as the 4000 m Diver but Biver likes to associate partnerships to a certain type of Hublot watch and in this case with the Musee Oceanographic de Monaco (watch case in titanium).
The King Power style case has a diameter of 48 mm and sapphire glass with a thickness of 6.5 mm. Of course, there is a helium valve.


In case anyone seriously wants to use the Hublot for diving he should definitely take the titanium version because the version in carbon is badly readable is at great depths. However, if one remains at the beach then the Hublot in carbon is an interesting option; the material is tough, has all kinds of applications in Motorsport and aviation, and can absorb shocks well.
The large crown at 2 hours is used for setting the hands and the one at 4 hours for turning the inner diving bezel. The lever over the crown at 2 hours has no direct function and must above all be seen as an expression of design.
Interesting and clever is the triangle between the lugs. This allows different straps to be easily exchanged. One has the choice between a rubber band for the ‘ work ‘ and a rubber/nylon band for ‘private’.

The following are the technical specifications provided by Hublot:

Reference 731.NX.1190.RX, 731.QX.1140.RX

Series Limited to 1000 pieces for the titanium version
Numbered 01/1000 to 1000/1000

Limited to 500 pieces for the All Black version in black carbon fiber
Numbered 01/500 to 500/500

Case: “King Power” — 48 mm diameter
Micorblasted satin-finished titanium or matte carbon fiber
Bezel Microblasted satin-finished titanium or matte carbon fiber
6 black PVD H-shaped titanium screws
Crystal: Sapphire with anti-reflective treatment
Lug: bezel Black composite resin
Lateral inserts Black composite resin
Case back: microblasted satin-finished titanium, or microblasted satin-finished titanium with black PVD
Crown: Titanium with black rubber insert or black PVD titanium with black rubber insert
Screws: Black PVD titanium

Water resistance: Certified to 400 ATM or 4,000 meters
Tested to 5,000 meters according to the NIHS standards

Dial: Matte black
Satin-finished appliques with green or black SuperLuminova
Hands Microblasted satin-finished with green or black SuperLuminova
Movement: Mechanical with automatic winding HUB1401
No. of components: 180
Jewels: 23
Bridges: Satin-finished, beveled & polished
Screws: Black PVD
Barrel: With reinforced spring
Escapement: Glucydur hairspring
Power Reserve: Approximately 42 hours

Straps: Available with two straps — black rubber and rubber and nylon
Closing system Tongue and buckle in titanium or black DVD titanium

rohu:deepsea side
rohu:deepsea wp

Rolex Sea-Dweller Deepsea

The difference between the 2 watches is like day and night. Where the Hublot is expressive and flamboyant, the Rolex watch is a subdued watch but with an expression of force and robustness.
Since no one can describe the Deepsea better than Rolex itself, we will first see what they have to say about it:

Rolex Deepsea

The Deepsea already has a history of 53 years. On 23 January 1960 the Swiss oceanographer Jacques Piccard and U.S. Navy Lt. Don Walsh manned the Bathyscaphe Trieste on descending to the lowest point below sea level (feet/35.814 10,916 m). On the outside of the Trieste was an experimental Rolex Deep Sea Special (read article Jacques Piccard: 36,000 feet into the Mariana Trough). When the Trieste had resurfaced after the record dive, a telegram with the following text was sent to the Head Office of Rolex: “HAPPY ANNOUNCE TO YOU YOUR WATCH AS PRECISE AT 11,000 METRES AS ON SURFACE. BEST REGARDS JACQUES PICCARD”.

During the 1940s and 1950s the developments in the diving technology caused a real explosion in the exploration of the seas and oceans. The professional diving world began to rely on the Rolex watches as an essential part of the equipment and they also contributed to the further development of the Rolex dive watches.
A brief chronology of the different Rolex watches for divers:
-the iconic Oyster Perpetual Submariner, introduced in 1953, is now waterproof to a depth of 1,000 feet/300 m
-The 1967 Sea-Dweller increased the depth of the Rolex watch to 2,000 feet/610 m and from 1978 to 4,000 feet/1,220 m
-the ultimate model is the Deepsea, introduced in 2008, able to go to a depth of 12,800 feet/3,900 m. The most important factor of this model is that it offers a substantial margin of safety to divers who work in open water at great depths. Each produced Rolex Deepsea is individually tested in a specially built stainless steel hyperbaric tank in Geneva


There is no disputing about tastes. The Hublot Oceanographic 4000 m is created for a different audience than the Rolex Deepsea.
The only thing that can be said is that the Rolex watch is much more an all round watch than the Hublot. The Rolex is more subdued, can be worn for all types of occasions and clothing and has also proven to be an indispensable part of the equipment of professional divers; Hublot have yet to see to prove that professionals are going to wear this watch.
The Hublot’s strong points are it’s flamboyant appearance, the easiness with which the straps can be changed and in the case of the carbon model the use of exotic material.
The choice is yours!

Jaap Bakker

December 26th


Non-Rolex watches

Christiaan van der Klaauw: time and her planets
by admin


Time is something slippery.
Our life finds itself between past and future in the ‘now’ but it is impossible to define this ‘now’. Everything we experience in life is made up of an apparently indefinite number of ‘nows’ and, to say the least, it is remarkable that the building blocks that lead us from birth to death are slippery.
According to the special relativity theory of Einstein it is even so that time can accelerate and slow down. This because the only constant factor is the speed of light (300,000 km/s) which makes everything else, including time, relative.
To increase the unimaginable of our existence even further, it is interesting to determine from which all matter, including the human body, is constructed. Most obvious and in itself also correct answer is molecules and atoms. But then you only have reached the level of bricks and cells. The base consists of Stardust, a collection of extremely small particles (leptons, quarks, bosons), which comes from stars that already dozens of billions of years ago are extinguished. This kind of particles have very different laws (the standard model of particle physics) according to which they exist than Newton’s laws and with the recent discovery of the Higgs particle is a big part of the puzzle solved (where not all scientists are equally happy with it).

Nijehaske in Friesland (NL). The sun rises, low-hanging mist over the meadows and ripe in the trees. The start of a new day for watch manufacturer Christiaan van der Klaauw Astronomical Watches whose namesake already since 1974 makes high-quality timepieces.Today, Christiaan van der Klaauw are no longer just on his own. Next to him, there are three partners and at least 3 watchmakers and instrument makers. Christiaan van der Klaauw makes about 200 watches per year and has 10 outlets in Netherlands and 10 international. The aim for the future is a production of at least 1000 per year and 50 sales points.

As Christiaan van der Klaauw already early in his career was fascinated by time and space, it is worthwhile to us first to delve into the history of astronomy.


Astronomy is one of the oldest sciences in the world. One of the oldest astronomical structures, dating back to prehistoric times, can be found in England. The way in which the stones of ‘Stonehenge’ are positioned corresponds with the position of the stars. Some astronomers even think that people could predict eclipses of the Sun and the Moon by means of the Stonehenge.

In ancient China, Egypt and the Babylonian Empire, people were also involved in the first forms of astronomy, in the form of calendar calculation and astrology. Time and timekeeping have played an important role in ancient China, as is evidenced by the waterclock, which was invented more than 2500 years ago in China, and was used for astronomic and astrological ends.

In the Egyptian civilisation, we see many references to celestial bodies. The pyramids of Gizeh represent part of the constellation of Orion according to some prominent scientists. In Greek Antiquity, many important constellations were described, and many theories were developed. They distinguished, for example, seven moving celestial bodies: Moon, Mars, Mercury, Jupiter, Venus, Saturn and the Sun. To this we owe our seven-day week.

Greek astronomers who made an important contribution to science were, amongst others: Thales of Miletus, who was the first to predict an eclipse of the Sun. The famous Pythagoras, who not only produced his world-famous theorem, but also, like Aristotle, argued that the Earth was spherical. Ptolemy, deviser of the geocentric system, which assumes that the Earth is the centre of the universe, and the Sun and other planets revolve around the Earth.

In the period that followed, Arabs and Persians made an important contribution to the development of astronomy. In particular in the period from the 8th to the 13th century, many theories were formed and described in the Middle East. The scientist Al Battani, for instance, explained the theoretical foundations of the Astrolabe in his writings. In Baghdad there was the so-called House of Wisdom. Various astronomers, such as Al-Chwarizmi and Thabit ibn Qurra worked from this place, and their discoveries meant an enrichment of astronomy.

In the 16th century, Copernicus tried to get rid of the inaccuracies of the geocentric system, and developed a new theory. He advanced the thesis that not the Earth, but the Sun was in the centre, and that the planets, amongst which the Earth, revolved around the Sun. This theory is known as heliocentrism. Two well-known astronomers who supported Copernicus’ theory were Galileo Galilei and Johannes Kepler. Galileo Galilei mainly owes his fame to being one of the first to use a telescope for studying the universe. An interesting detail is that the telescope was a Dutch invention. A century after this, Isaac Newton was the first astronomer to link mathematical and physical models to astronomy.

The famous Dutch mathematician, physician and astronomer Christiaan Huygens was a contemporary of Isaac Newton. This source of inspiration to Christiaan van der Klaauw was an all-round scientist with countless discoveries (e.g. Orion nebula and the true nature of the ring of Saturn) and inventions to his name. He became mainly known for his knowledge in the field of astronomy and time observation. Astronomy and orientation at sea required accurate time measurements. Huygens applied himself to this problem and developed instruments with which time could be measured very accurately. In 1656 he invented the pendulum clock, which was patented on 16 June 1657. In his work ‘Horologium Oscillatorium sive de motu pendulorum’ (1673) he described the theory of movement of a pendulum.

Approximately 100 years later, the Dutch-Frisian astronomer Eise Eisinga continued the work of Huygens. Eise Eisinga was of humble origin and highly talented. At the age of 15, he published a mathematics book of over 600 pages. When he was 17, he published a book on the basics of astronomy. He reached his legendary status when a conjunction of the Moon and the planets Mercury, Venus, Mars and Jupiter was to occur. A Dutch-Frisian dignitary, whose opinion was held in high esteem, predicted that these celestial bodies would collide with one another on 8 May 1774. As a result, the Earth would be thrown out of its orbit and would burn in the Sun. This prediction caused an enormous panic in Friesland. In order to demonstrate that there was no reason for panic, Eisinga built a scale model of our solar system in his living-room. A time-piece built in the attic regulated the orbital times of the planets known at the time. In this way, Eisinga could prove that the celestial bodies revolve around the Sun according to fixed patterns.

To this very day, the Eise Eisinga Planetarium is still intact, which makes it the oldest working planetarium in the world. The Eise Eisinga Planetarium has meanwhile been transformed into a museum where various historical astronomical instruments are on display. In 1997 the Eise Eisinga Planetarium was fully restored. The restoration was supervised by the prominent astronomer Hans Noordmans. Hans Noordmans is also involved in the development of Christiaan van der Klaauw Astronomical Watches in an advising role. In recognition of what he has meant to (Frisian) astronomy, Christiaan van der Klaauw Astronomical Watches will soon present the ‘Astrolabium Hans Noordmans’.

One of the eye-catchers of the museum is a clock made by Christiaan van der Klaauw. With this clock and also the smallest planetarium in the world in one of his watches, Christiaan van der Klaauw carries on the tradition of the Frisian astronomy.


Christiaan van der Klaauw Astronomical Watches now

When visiting the work sites and workshops of Christiaan van der Klaauw you instantly notice serenity and passion for timepieces of the employees. Three watchmakers build each watch by hand and use the best materials and methods to do this.


The basis for the watches are formed by movements of high quality Swiss manufacturers. These are adapted and modified to meet the high demands Christiaan van der Klaauw presents to his watches. A part of the parts is purchased in Switzerland and a part is itself manufactured. Making meticulous components such as cogs, is manual work because there are no machines that have the accuracy a human hand has. In contrast, the high-tech computers with CAD/CAM programs that allow designs to be made in 3D and with which the information can be captured to steer the different machines.

The case of every Christiaan van der Klaauw watch consists of a solid piece (precious) metal with a thickness of 14 mm. The three types of metals used are Platinum, gold and high-quality stainless steel. Platinum is the rarest and therefore the most expensive; In addition, it is nearly three times heavier than steel (specific gravity Platinum is 21.5 g/cm3 versus steel 7.8 g/cm3). For the golden cases rose gold is used and the steel used for the cases is extremely hard and of the same quality as steel used in the medical field. Literally everything that is used to build a Christiaan van der Klaauw watch should meet the highest requirements. This applies to the leather strap but also for the oil that is used in the movement

CK:Real Moon 1980

A good example to illustrate what Christiaan van der Klaauw watches stand for is the Real Moon 1980.

The watch is available in steel, rose gold and white gold. There is also a limited edition of 8 pieces in Platinum. Most striking is the Moon, a ball with a diameter of 5 mm, which is located on ‘ 6 ‘ h. On ‘ 12 ‘ hour one can see the logo of Christiaan van der Klaauw, the 12-armed Sun. On the positions ‘ 3 ‘ and ‘ 9 ‘ two small dials catch your attention. The Moon gives the current moon phase by rotating. The Moon rotates in 29 days, 12 hours and 44 minutes (29, 53058885 days) around the Earth. The complication in the Real Moon 1980 has a deviation of only 1 day in 5400 years.
The logo on the ‘ 12 ‘ position gives the height of the Sun in relation to the horizon. The axis of the rotating earth is slanted in her position to the sun. This principle is called declination and means that in places where the Earth is tilted toward the Sun, there is summer. Tilted away from the sun there is winter. The 3 hour position is reserved for the Eclipse pointer. If the Eclipse pointer is within the indication stripes somewhere on Earth there is a solar or Lunar Eclipse. Finally the 9 hour position. There can be read off the month and date. The dial is not the only thing that is worth looking at in Christiaan van der Klaauw watch. Through the sapphire glass back you can admire the beautifully hand-engraved rotor; This work of art is created by Jochen Benzinger.

Christiaan van der Klaauw astronomical watches are dazzlingly beautiful and all have an astronomical basis. With such a watch you really have something special and rare to your wrist. It is well worth looking at the whole collection Christiaan van der Klaauw Astronomical Watches and endulge yourself in the product of pure watch lovers.

Jaap Bakker

October 27th

Non-Rolex watches

The all new Clerc Hydroscaph H1
by admin

The Clerc Hydroscaph H1 is a diving instrument built to uncompromising standards of fine workmanship and endowed with an impressive array of assets, including an exclusive COSC- certified chronometer movement offering the ultimate pledge of precision and reliability; a powerful and innovative design; along with tried and tested security thanks to 500-metre water resistance coupled with a patented construction designed to prevent any accidental deregulation of the bezel. These highly functional technical features are expressed through a range of aesthetic variations forming distinctive and individualised compositions.

CH:gele Clerc-Hydroscaphe-H1-Chronometer

A first glance at the Hydroscaph H1, the brand’s latest technical, powerful new model brimming with the identity features that have forged the success of Clerc since 1874, is enough to quicken the pulse of thrill-seekers looking for a watch to match their sporting temperament. While the high-tech construction of this luxury diving model immediately catches and holds the gaze, it is above all a formidable exploring machine. Capable of plunging to depths of 500 metres, it houses an exclusive self-winding Clerc movement: Calibre C609. For Gérald Clerc, representing the fourth generation of the famous watchmaking family, this movement is a return to roots. Like his first collection created in 1998, Calibre C609 emerged victorious from its immersion into the merciless set of tests conducted by the Swiss Official Chronometer Testing Institute and can thus rightly claim to be a COSC-certified chronometer – the most prestigious pledge of precision and reliability. Beating at a high frequency of 4 Hz, meaning 28,800 vibrations per hour, the C609 movement is simple in terms of its functions – hours, minutes, seconds, date – backed by a 42- hour power reserve, while featuring a highly demanding level of finishing including bridges adorned with Côtes de Genève and blued screws. These resolutely fine watchmaking finishes, along with the openworked oscillating weight, have become a signature of Clerc movements and are visible through the exhibition back. Comfort is also part of the package, with mobile lugs perfectly moulding the curve of the wrist, even when worn over a neoprene diving suit.

CH:achterkant Clerc-Hydroscaph-H1-9
CH:zijkant Clerc-Hydroscaph-H1-17
CH:gesp Clerc-Hydroscaph-H1-14

A powerful, no-holds-barred construction
For the Geneva-based watchmaker, creative passion is not confined to the sophistication of an exceptional mechanism, but also makes no concessions when it comes to design and materials. The extremely complex case stems from a highly technical architectural approach. Developed in close cooperation with a team of professionals well acquainted with the specific requirements of the underwater world, it comprises 81 parts and meets a three-fold demand: exceptional aesthetic appeal, innovative construction and useful functions. The case middle is flanked by lateral reinforcements ensuring water resistance to 500 metres, while the powerful octagonal rotating bezel forcefully imposes the iconic signature of the Hydroscaph collection. Because safety reigns supreme when it comes to braving the depths, the dedicated crown at 2 o’clock serving to pivot the bezel requires prior deployment of a built-in retractable flap. Returning the flap to its initial position securely locks the bezel, thus avoiding any risk of accidental deregulation when diving.

Beneath its apparent simplicity, the dial of the Clerc Hydroscaph H1 reveals an undeniable aesthetic and technical appeal. The impact and the optimal legibility of the display combined with a complex construction further accentuate the strength of this model. The individually machined three-dimensional numerals and hour-markers proclaim a boldly assertive character. When viewed from the front, they appear slightly trapeze-shaped, while ensuring maximum readability from all angles. Like them, the hands also display a post-industrial look and are coated with Superluminova for perfect read-off even in the darkest abyss.

External variations on a powerful design
The inimitably stylish Clerc Hydroscaph H1 offers a range of interpretations designed to suit/match all manner of personal preferences. The case itself is interpreted in high-density steel, with or without a black DLC coating of the bezel, case middle – or indeed the entire case. The dial comes in a choice of blue, black or grey, while the seconds hand and the triangular date marker at 3 o’clock spice things up with touches of blue, red khaki or fluorescent yellow. Available in black, blue, red or khaki vulcanised rubber, as well as black, navy blue or chestnut brown Louisiana alligator leather versions, the strap with its folding clasp sets the perfect finishing touch to the Clerc Hydroscaph H1.

CH:gele1 Clerc-Hydroscaph-H1-7

A high-tech expression of contemporary horology, the new Hydroscaph H1 once again expresses the uncompromising excellence that has been the inimitable signature of Clerc since 1874.

Text Michael Haecker (Juwelier Fischer-Clerc watches)

October 23rd

Non-Rolex watches