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Ernest Hemingway: a true Rolex man
by admin


The quintessential Renaissance man, Ernest Hemingway was a Nobel-prize-winning author, war reporter, bullfighter and a sophisticated cocktail connoisseur. He lived (and drank) all over the world, but was oft known for hanging out in bars in Key West and Havana. We’re toasting Hemingway this month, in honor of his birthday (July 21), with a few tidbits and tipples.

The Cocktails:
The original Hemingway Daiquiri was a frozen mixture of white rum, lime and grapefruit juice and maraschino liqueur and was reminiscent of a lime-colored Slurpee. Served at the infamous El Floridita in Cuba, it is said Hemingway once consumed more than a dozen in an evening. He remarked that one “felt as you drank them, the way downhill glacier skiing feels running through powder snow.” Ordered mostly by Hemingway as a double, the drink also became known as the Papa Dobles. Nowadays, the cocktail is often served straight up, no blender required. Hemingway was also a fan of absinthe and is credited with mixing a potent blend of absinthe and Champagne dubbed Death in the Afternoon after his 1932 book of the same name.

His Drinking Buddies:
In Paris during the “Golden Age” of the 1920s, Hemingway drank with a bevy of famous artists and writers including Pablo Picasso, F. Scott Fitzgerald, James Joyce and W. B. Yeats. Woody Allen’s Midnight in Paris reenacts the conversations and carousing with admirable detail, as does our top tome of the month, The Paris Wife, a fictional account of Hemingway’s first marriage during those party years.

Hemingway Daiquiri

2 ounces white rum
3/4 ounce fresh lime juice
1/2 ounce fresh grapefruit juice
1/2 ounce maraschino liqueur

Add all ingredients to a cocktail shaker filled with ice and shake well. Strain into a chilled coupe or martini glass and garnish with a lime wheel.

Death in the Afternoon

1 1/2 ounces absinthe
4 ounces Brut Champagne

Pour absinthe into a champagne flute and top with chilled Brut Champagne until it clouds over.

The above text reflects in a nutshell the type of man Ernest Hemingway was and what kind of life he lived. However, this is only one side of the story. Hemingway suffered from bipolar disorder and had severe depressions. In 1960 Hemingway was treated with ECT (‘Electro Convulsive Therapy’, “Electroshock”) in the Mayo Clinic, about which he said: “What these shock doctors don’t know is about writers…and what they do to them…What is the sense of ruining my head and erasing my memory, which is my capital, and putting me out of business? It was a brilliant cure but we lost the patient.” Eventually, in Idaho in 1961, he ended his life by shooting himself in the head; the way in which he committed this act is completely in line with Hemingway’s character.

Hemingway Memorial in Trail Creek, north of Sun Valley, Idaho

Hemingway Memorial in Trail Creek, north of Sun Valley, Idaho

Ernest Miller Hemingway was the second child and first son of Clarence and Grace Hemingway

Ernest Miller Hemingway was the second child and first son of Clarence and Grace Hemingway

The Hemingway family in 1905, left to right: Marcelline, Sunny, Clarence, Grace, Ursula and Ernest

The Hemingway family in 1905, left to right: Marcelline, Sunny, Clarence, Grace, Ursula and Ernest

ehe:Rolls Royce

This 1929 Rolls Royce Phantom II Short Coupled Saloon used to belong to Ernest Hemingway. With this car he traversed the USA while writing and publishing ‘A Farewell to Arms’, ‘The Fifth Column and the First Forty-Nine Stories’, and ‘Death in the Afternoon’. The car is provided with compartments for booze, golf and hunting stores.

Another car owned by Hemingway is the Lancia B10 with which he travelled through Europe in 1954.

ehe:Lancia B10 1954


Ernest Hemingway, who famously wrote standing (“Hemingway stands when he writes. He stands in a pair of his oversized loafers on the worn skin of a lesser kudu—the typewriter and the reading board chest-high opposite him.”), approaches his craft with equal parts poeticism and pragmatism:

” When I am working on a book or a story I write every morning as soon after first light as possible. There is no one to disturb you and it is cool or cold and you come to your work and warm as you write. You read what you have written and, as you always stop when you know what is going to happen next, you go on from there. You write until you come to a place where you still have your juice and know what will happen next and you stop and try to live through until the next day when you hit it again. You have started at six in the morning, say, and may go on until noon or be through before that. When you stop you are as empty, and at the same time never empty but filling, as when you have made love to someone you love. Nothing can hurt you, nothing can happen, nothing means anything until the next day when you do it again. It is the wait until the next day that is hard to get through “.


Hemingway's favourite shoes were loafers, he had racks full of them

Hemingway’s favourite shoes were loafers, he had racks full of them

Ernest_Hemingway recuperating from leg wounds in Milan 1918

Ernest Hemingway recuperating from leg wounds in Milan 1918

In the Winter of 1917 the Red Cross started a campaign for the recruitment of American volunteers who would drive ambulances at the Italian front. Hemingway applied for the job, because the American army refused to take him into service due to a bad eye. On 8 July 1918, only a few weeks after his arrival, he suffered leg injuries inflicted by shell-splinters while distributing chocolate and cigarettes among Italian soldiers along the river Piave. According to Ted Brumback, another ambulance driver, who wrote Hemingway’s father a letter, more than 200 splinters pierced Hemingway’s legs, but he managed nevertheless to get another wounded soldier to the first-aid post. On his way his legs were hit by machine gun bullets on top. Later, for this act of self-sacrifice he was rewarded the Italian Heroism Silver Medal. His right knee was injured so badly that he feared amputation. Recovering from his injuries in a Milan hospital, Hemingway fell in love with Agnes von Kurowsky, a well-educated American nurse who was eight years his senior. Hemingway would incorporate this romance in his novel ‘A Farewell to Arms’.

Ernest Hemingway wrote 'For whom the bell tolls', about his experiences in the Spanish Civil War, in 1939 in Cuba, Key West and Sun Valley, Idaho

Ernest Hemingway wrote ‘For whom the bell tolls’, about his experiences in the Spanish Civil War, in 1939 in Cuba, Key West and Sun Valley, Idaho

The book tells the story of Robert Jordan, a young American explosive expert, who as member of the International Brigades is added to an antifascist guerilla unit in the mountains during the Spanish Civil War. Jointly they have to blow up a bridge in order to make an attack on Segovia a success. During this mission Jordan falls in love with Maria, a girl who had lost her parents in the war.
The book is partially autobiographic, Hemingway was in Spain during the civil war. The main character may be based on Robert Hale Merriman, an American who was killed in Spain in 1938. Merriman was an acquaintance of Hemingway’s.


In WO II Hemingway was a reporter in war areas in Europe and the below text is about his experiences in Belgium in those days:

On September 11th, 1944, Colonel Charles Trueman Buck Lanham, with a smouldering Lucky Strike permanently dangling from the left corner of his mouth, was looking through a splendid pair of captured German Zeiss field-glasses toward the river that formed the German border less than a hundred yards away.

“ Damn!”

“ What’s the problem, Buck?” asked Hemingway, who was playing a hand of gin rummy with Pelkey.

“ They’ve blown the damned the bridge. That was obviously the explosion we heard a minute ago.”

“ Who the hell are “they”, Buck?”

“ The damned SS. We heard yesterday that a few remnants of the 2nd SS Division might have been left behind to the give the regular German army a chance to get home to father.”

“ A joker don’t count, Archie. What can we do, Buck?”

“ Repair the bridge, I guess.”

Lanham then spotted one of his aides and yelled.

“ Captain!”

“ Sir?”

“ Get a bunch of engineers up here, and fast.”

“ Yes sir, but they’re way back…”

“ I didn’t ask where they were, captain, just get them up here.”

“ Yes, sir!”

The Captain roared off in his Jeep as Hemingway placed his cards on top of the low wall he and Pelkey were using as a card table.

“ Four, five, and six of clubs, oh, and eight, nine, ten, and jack of hearts. My hand I think, Archie? That’s a hundred dollars you owe me.”

“ Shit.”

Hemingway, Pelkey, and their little band, plus Lanham and a forward reconnaissance unit of his 22nd, were in the Belgian town of Houffalize – to the south of Liege, and just north of Bastogne – deep in the valley of the River Ourthe, beneath steep grey granite cliffs, which was, in the words of British historian Charles Whiting, “…the centre of a small road network and a bottle-neck. In three months time it was to be the centre of the great link up between the 1st and 3rd US Armies during the Battle of the Bulge and then it would be wrecked completely.”

For Lanham the bridge across the Ourthe, in the middle of the town, was essential for the eastward progress of the 22nd. But that didn’t bother the inhabitants of the town, who – even though many of their houses had been destroyed as the bridge went up – still heaped gifts of cakes,
eggs, and bottles of wine, upon Hemingway and the rest of the “liberators.”

“ Say, Ernie, if this were Oak Park, and your dear Mother was being liberated, would she offer cakes and wine?” asked Lanham.

“ I don’t ever remember seeing cakes in the house, sure as hell don’t recall eating any. And as for wine Buck, no chance, the Devil’s liqueur. No, any liberating army outside the Bitch’s house would be told in no uncertain terms to please stay off the grass and to be as quiet as possible so as not to disturb her afternoon nap. But then, who’d want to liberate Oak Park?”

After frying and devouring the eggs, eating the cakes, and drinking the wine, Lanham got the now assembled bunch of 22nd Infantry Engineers (the captain had found them brewing coffee less than three miles down the road) to gather together as many villagers as they could to start rebuilding the bridge with anything they could lay their hands on.

“ Wish I could get my hands on a Bailey Bridge, Ernie, but the damned Limeys keep them all to themselves, and the few the US have are in Holland.”

“ To hell with the Limeys, Buck.”

“ Yeh, but I still wish I had one of their damned bridges.”

Donald Bailey (later, Sir Donald) a pretty low grade British civil servant – and something of a Meccano fanatic as a boy – invented his so called Bailey Bridge in 1941, and eventually convinced the British military to take up his idea; and like all simple ideas it proved itself to be indispensable.

In essence a Bailey Bridge is a prefabricated metal road bridge that floats on pontoons, with the roadway element made-up of heavy duty timber planks. It can be assembled relatively easily, taking
around six hours to span a river the size of the Thames. The first was erected (under heavy enemy fire) in May 1944, at the battle of Monte Casino in Italy. Hundreds were used in the hours, days, and weeks after D-Day, enabling the Allied armies – especially the heavy armour and supply trucks – to maintain their necessary momentum whenever they came across a destroyed bridge. The Americans soon saw the usefulness of the invention and built hundreds under licence for their own use. As Colonel Lanham mentioned, by September of 1944 virtually all of the Bailey Bridges were being used in Holland as the Allied armoured divisions dashed toward Arnhem to relieve the besieged units of the British Airborne. To get an idea of how a Bailey Bridge was constructed, watch Sir Richard Attenborough’s superb 1977 film, A Bridge Too Far, and enjoy Elliott Gould’s wonderful portrayal of an unconventional, Colonel Lanham style, cigar-chewing American officer kicking ass. Of course Lanham had no chance of getting his hands on a Bailey Bridge, having to make do and mend. Bailey Bridges are still manufactured today.

Hemingway chose not to help re-build the bridge, but instead sat on a fence watching, drinking, and shouting orders on bridge-building techniques. Many of the town’s inhabitants, who genuinely thought Hemingway was in charge, immediately started referring to him as the General. Hemingway told them he was not a general, only a captain, and after being quizzed as to why he held such a lowly rank replied in deliberately broken French:

“Can’t read nor write is why. Never quite got around to it, but hell that don’t hold anyone back in the good old US Army.”

Ernest Hemingway was, as ever, enjoying himself hugely, and Lanham never told the Houffalizeans who was really in charge; why confuse them when they were building such an excellent bridge?

In fact it took less than an hour for the good people of Houffalize to rejoin the two halves of the bridge, and by early evening Lanham’s vehicles were crossing over in numbers – including tanks – to the German side and the inevitable confrontation.

A little further down river – where the Ourthe becomes the Sure – at the village of Stolzemburg, on the Luxembourg side of the river, which forms the border between Belgium, Luxembourg, and Germany, a young American Staff Sergeant, Warner H. Holzinger of the US 5th Armoured Division, took a patrol across the river – the bridge there had also been blown by the retreating Germans – and, avoiding the road, scaled the cliffs on the German side. They were the first allied soldiers to enter Germany in wartime since Napoleon’s invasion 150 years before. When they reached a small plateau fifty feet from the top of the cliffs they came across several empty camouflaged bunkers which were being used as a chicken coops by a farmer.

“ Well, if this is the famous West Wall, I don’t think much to it,” Holzinger said to a corporal at his side.

But when his patrol finally reached the cliff top and looked downward toward the heart of Germany they saw hundreds of pillboxes and bunkers of every shape and size. They hit the dirt expecting a barrage of fire, but nothing happened, not a single shot came their way. With night coming on Holzinger didn’t feel like hanging around and ordered his patrol back down the cliff and across the river. He had no desire to see if those other bunkers were empty or not.

When the sergeants report reached General Courtney Hodges, Commander of the US 1st Army, the General issued the following statement:

“ At 1805 hrs on 11th September, a patrol led by Sgt Warner H. Holzinger crossed into Germany near the village of Stolzemburg, a few miles north-east of Vianden, Luxembourg.”

As Warner and his patrol celebrated with a few drinks, and Colonel Clarence Park, Patton’s Inspector General, began to assemble and co-ordinate the paperwork for the interrogation of Ernest Hemingway, the novelist himself went to bed early, after a good dinner, and dreamed of
hunting deer in the forests around Lake Michigan, countryside that was not unlike that around Houffalize.

The morning of Tuesday the 12th September 1944 was clear and sunny, and as Hemingway awoke slowly from a dream where he was hunting deer with his son Patrick in Idaho, and had this most wonderful young stag clear in his sights, and was about to squeeze the trigger and put a .45 shell
cleanly into the back of the animal’s brain, the deer turned his head and looked at Hemingway, and his dark doleful eyes and trusting soft eared head turned into the anguished depressed face of Hemingway’s dead father. Ernest squeezed the trigger anyway.

Hemingway was awake now and looking up from his bed at his ageing face in the cracked oval mirror that hung above the large pine dressing table that stood against the wall in front of the bed of the first floor bedroom of the hunting lodge he, Pelkey, and the others were sharing. Hemingway then looked at his watch, six am, and not a sound except some distant snoring, and the sound of a million animals and birds stretching their wings and limbs amongst the trees and undergrowth
of this part of the dense Ardennes Forest. Funny, Hemingway thought, how, in the midst of war, nature continued to do what nature does, which is preen and sing, and scratch, and burrow, and eat, and fornicate and kill, and be killed. Not so different really to what the rest of the world was doing on this beautiful September morning.

Ernest Hemingway wanted to get up but decided against it for the minute and luxuriated a little longer in the warmth and softness of the feather mattress and fell asleep again, and dreamed, and dreamed of seeing James Joyce…

Ernest Hemingway with a Rolex, probably a Bubbleback from the 1940s

Ernest Hemingway with a Rolex, probably a Bubbleback from the 1940s

eh:bubbleback detail

The picture of the Bubbleback was made in the Ralph Lauren dressing room on Worth Avenue in Palm Beach, Florida.

Ernest Hemingway in the cabin of his boat El Pilar. Around his wrist probably an 18c golden, leather band Rolex Oyster from the 1950s

Ernest Hemingway in the cabin of his boat El Pilar. Around his wrist probably an 18c golden, leather band Rolex Oyster from the 1950s

eh:zoom in cabin boat

Seeking help about the Rolex watches owned by Hemingway at the John F. Kennedy Presidential Library in Boston unfortunately gave no new information about these specific watches. They didn’t find any Rolex watch in their Ernest Hemingway Archieve. The only three watches listed by them are the following:

1. Jewelry. Pocket Watch. Gold, metal, glass. Gold pocket watch with second hand dial. Glass face plate is broken. MO 2002.29
2.Jewelry. Pocket Watch. Silver. Silver pocket watch with viello on reverse and “Willoughby A. Hemingway, Dec. 25, 02″ inscribed on interior backing. Face plate is missing. MO 2002.29.3
3. Jewelry. Watch. Metal, plastic. 1 ½ in. Swiss wrist watch with plastic cover. Wrist strap is missing. MO 2002.23.2

Another interesting watch owned by Hemingway, also not a Rolex, is the 1906 Hamilton pocket watch that actress Ava Gardner gave Hemingway for his 55th birthday in 1954. The following article tells the whole story:
Hemingway “Birthday” Pocket Watch

Ernest Hemingway in Cabo Blanco in May 1956

Ernest Hemingway in Cabo Blanco (Peru) in May 1956, fishing for black marlin


In Cuba in 1951 Hemingway wrote one of his best-known novels ‘The Old Man and the Sea’. Published in 1952, it was Hemingway’s final important fictive work to be published during his life. The story is about Santiago, an old fisherman, who did not catch any fish in 84 days. The parents of his pupil Manolin do no longer allow the boy to accompany him, he must join more successful fishermen, but the boy does not stop looking after the old man. In the evening he will bring Santiago food and they will talk endlessly about the famous American baseball player Joe DiMaggio.
That night Santiago tells the boy that the next day he will sail on his own as far as the Gulf Stream, north of Cuba in the Straits of Florida, and his ‘salao’ (the greatest misfortune) will be over. On day 85 at noon Santiago has a bite, a big fish and he strongly believes the fish to be a marline.
A struggle develops which will last three days and when the fish has finally been attached to his boat, Santiago is exhausted and almost delirious. While he is figuring up how much money this marline will bring him in, the first sharks appear, attracted by the trail of blood behind the boat. Santiago succeeds in beating off the first five sharks, but they continue returning. Eventually, he returns to the port with only the huge skeleton of the fish. When worried Manolin visits him that night, Santiago is asleep, dreaming about his childhood, lions on an African beach.

In 1953 ‘The Old Man and the Sea’ was awarded the Pulitzer Prize for Fiction and the book contributed largely to the Nobel Prize for Literature awarded to Ernest Hemingway in 1954.


Ernest Hemingway’s portrait was taken by the photographer Yousuf Karsh in 1957. Around his wrist he wears a steel Rolex Oyster Perpetual from the 1950s. The words that accompany the photo are the following:
‘He did not like to talk about his work. Once he had written a book, he said, it went out of his mind completely and no longer interested him. “I must forget what I have written in the past, before I can project myself into a new work.”
What did he think, I asked, about the large tribe of writers who imitate his style? The trouble with imitators, he said, was that they were able to pick out only the obvious faults in his work; they invariably missed his real purpose’.

Hemingway photographed by Yousuf Karsh in 1957

Hemingway gefotografeerd door Yousuf Karsh in 1957

Karsh’s comments on the photo:
‘I expected to meet in the author a composite of the heroes of his novels. Instead, in 1957, at his home Finca Vigía, near Havana, I found a man of peculiar gentleness, the shyest man I ever photographed – a man cruelly battered by life, but seemingly invincible. He was still suffering from the effects of a plane accident that occurred during his fourth safari to Africa. I had gone the evening before to La Floridita, Hemingway’s favourite bar, to do my “homework” and sample his favorite concoction, the daiquiri. But one can be overprepared! When, at nine the next morning, Hemingway called from the kitchen, “What will you have to drink?” my reply was, I thought, letter-perfect: “Daiquiri, sir.” “Good God, Karsh,” Hemingway remonstrated, “at this hour of the day!”’.


In the book titled ‘Across the river and Into the Trees’ (1950) Hemingway writes the following about a Rolex Oyster (p 117-118):
‘ “It’s just a muscle,” the Colonel said. “Only it is the main muscle. It works as perfectly as a Rolex Oyster Perpetual. The trouble is you cannot send it to the Rolex representative when it goes wrong. When it stops, you just do not know the time. You’re dead.”‘.

Jaap Bakker

January 29th



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

Hunting with the Ferrari F40
by admin


In 1987, the Ferrari F40 was born to celebrate the fortieth anniversary of Ferrari. The F40 design was intended to take a specific prey in, but I will come back to that later.
Actually, as early as 1962, the Ferrari 250 GTO laid the foundation of the F40 (see article: ‘the Ferrari 250 GTO: of unprecedented beauty’). From there the following models eventually resulted in the F40:
- 308/328 GTB/S
- 288 GTO
- 288 GTO Evoluzione


Pic.: Ferrari 250 GTO

In 1975, the Ferrari 308 GTB was introduced at the Paris and London car fairs. The car was designed by Pininfarina and built by Scaglietti. The engine was equal to the one used in the 308 GT/4, but the GTB had dry sump lubrication providing better cooling and a lower engine position. The frame design had copied a number of striking features of the Dino 246 GT, such as air inlets in the door, round 2-lamp rear lights and vertically concave rear windows which made it a very successful successor of the Dino.
A not directly visible, but striking feature of the 308 GTB was the entire frame, except the aluminium front valve, being made of fibre glass. For Ferrari this was the first production car containing a frame made of this material, but at the same time the last one. Ferrari did not use fibre glass any more for a car manufactured in large amounts; after that however, loose parts like the front and rear wings or the nose of the car, were often made of fibre glass. From the autumn of 1976, the cars for the American market were manufactured with frames made of the more familiar pressed steel and aluminium, and from the mid 1977s the same was true for the European models.


Pic.: Ferrari 308 GTB/S

The models for the European market had tube frames with serial number F 106 AB 100. The 308 was provided with disc brakes and an independent wheel suspension with wishbones, springs and hydraulic shock absorbers surrounded by anti roll bars.
The transversely positioned aluminium V8 mid-engine had the 90-degree configuration and a content of 2926 cc, with a bore and stroke of 81 mm x 71 mm (serial number F 106 AB 000 for the European market). The 308 had an ‘all synchromesh’ five-speed gearbox positioned below the engine and against the back side of the dry sump (the European models exclusively). The cars for the European market had 255 HP, the USA models 240 (this in connection with emission regulations). All of the manufactured cars were provided with odd frame numbers. The production ran from 1975 till 1980 and during those years 2897 308 GTB/S were produced with the frame numbers 18677 to 34349.


Pic.: Ferrari 288 GTO

Ferrari developed the 288 GTO in order to take part in the new group of B Race series for which at least 200 samples were needed for homologation. However, after the death of Henri Toivonen and his co-pilot Sergio Cresto in the 1986 Tour de Corse the FIA did away with this racing class due to which only the Group A Rally championship remained. Eventually, the 272 280 GTOs built between 1984-1985 did not race, but remained road cars.
By the way, Ferrari initially built 270 GTOs, but then they intended to present Niki Lauda (see article:’Niki Lauda: passionate race-driver) with a 288 to thank him for his efforts as a Formula I race-driver for Ferrari in the 70s (world champion in ’75 and ’77). Number 272 was built out of spare parts for an American car-lover.

Ferrari built the following 6 prototypes of the 288 GTO for various purposes:

- 44725 GT’SWB’: standard testing
- 44421 GT’LWB’: standard testing, crash test
- 44727 GT: brake and frame testing
- 47647 GT: test car for electronic system and turbochargers
- 47649 GT: road and endurance testing
- 47711 GT: speed limit and acceleration testing
The first two prototypes had 2.88-litres V8s with KKK and IHI turbochargers respectively, the other four had GTO engines.
Later another prototype was built to be used for the development of the 288 GTO Evoluzione:

- 50253 GT: 650 hp Evoluzione engine, test car for the F40

When taking a first quick glance at the styling of the 288 GTO, it seemed a logical evolution of the two previous Pininfarina designs, the Berlinetta Boxer and the 308. However, it turned out to be a completely new car of which even the dimensions deviated from the previous models. The 288 was shorter, had a longer wheel base and was significantly broader, all features of a racing car. The air inlets and outlets were focused on racing as well. Furthermore, the high-positioned wing mirrors and the striking Kamm tail (invented by the German Professor Wunibald Kamm [1893-1966]; already applied to the 250 GTO) could be noticed leading to higher speed and more stability. Chromium could hardly be found on the 288 and even the Cavallino Rampante at the back side was black. The 288 GTO was delivered in one colour only: Rosso Corsa.
The 288 frame consisted of fibre glass and composites. The bottom and most of the frame parts were made of pressed fibre glass, and aluminium, Kevlar and Nomex were also used for other specific parts. The tube frame consisted of several subframes attached to the central part around the cabin. The entire back subframe, with wheel drive and back wheel suspension, could be removed from the car in one part for faster maintenance (also typical of a competition car).
The 288 GTO was driven by a longitudinally positioned 2.855 cc 90-degree V8 Twin Turbo light metal engine. The engine block was behind the passenger’s cabin and connected with the back transaxle. Every cylinder row had its own ignitor, its own large IHI Turbo with Behr Intercooler and was fuelled by its own aluminium fuel tank (two tanks, inter-connected, with a total content of 120 litres). The 288 was provided with an entirely synchronised five-speed gearbox with hydraulic single-plate coupling.
Although designed for racing the 288 GTO interior was far from spartan. The majority of the clients opted for kevlar, black-leather bucket seats, an option was black with orange hems. The dashboard was provided with non-reflective material and behind the three-spoke steering wheel were black/orange indicators. The car had climate control and sound reproducing equipment.


Pic.: Ferrari 288 GTO

The 288 GTO was a fabulous car, but one thing kept bothering Ferrari. In the country of castles, frying sausages and beer festivals a car was manufactured that drove even faster than the 288GTO: the Porsche 959. This was the prey the F40 still to be developed had to hunt for.
Ferrari developed a competition version of the 288 GTO, the 288 GTO Evoluzione, its sole purpose being to serve as a testing car for the F40 (Ferrari no longer participated in competition, Group B in the World Rally Championship). Giovanni Razelli, Ferrari’s general manager, called the Evoluzione a ‘mobile laboratory’.
In mid-1983 Nicola Materazzi’s first priority was the engine.
The F 114 B of the standard GTO had to be converted into the F 114 C. By relatively simple interventions, including increasing turbo pressure, its capacity was driven up from 400 to 600 hp. The total weight was reduced to 1,000 kg (including full tanks) and extensively aerodynamic testing was done. Eventually, Ferrari built 3 samples of the 288 GTO Evoluzione, chassis numbers 50253 GT, 70167 GT and 70205 GT, which are still being used for testing.


Pic.: Ferrari 288 GTO Evoluzione

On 21 July 1987, at Ferrari’s 40th anniversary, the Ferrari F40 was presented. At 11.09 h sharp, a Lancia Thema limousine driven by Enzo Ferrari was driven up to the entrance of the ‘centro civico’ in Maranello. The unpretending hall of the ‘centro civico’ was crowded with journalists from USA, Japan, Brasil, England, France, the Arabic States and Italy.
The F40 was Ferrari’s answer to the Porsche 959, a delicate item in Maranello. Materazzi had watched the 959 project with interest, but he was also sceptical about it, stating:”As an engineer, I found the things they were doing in Weissach fascinating. But I don’t hold with the idea of packing so much technology into a fast road car. What tends to happen is that technology becomes an end in itself, which has a demotivating effect on the development team”.

Dr. Leonardo Fioravanti, Pininfarina’s general manager, who was responsible for the F40 design, elucidated his opinion about the car:
“With its central passenger cell, flat front section, favorable aerodynamic properties and sealed underbody, the F40 is a quintessential sports car. One of its outstanding features is the low, flat nose, which harks back to the classic Ferraris of the 1960s, with their exceptionally clean and functional lines. It has a central air intake for the oil-cooler and the optional air-conditioning system, and two further air-holes, mounted on each side, for the ventilation of the disc brakes. The two small NACA vents in the hood supply fresh air to the interior. In addition, on each side of the car there are two air intakes for the rear disc brakes and the air supply to the engine, plus air escape vents on each of the front fenders. The rear section also has a markedly sporty appearance, which is emphasized by the large rear wing. The rear window, which extends across the width of the car, has a semi-conical form and directs the air-flow onto the wing, thereby maximizing its aerodynamic effect.”
About the interior Fioravanti said:
“When we began to design the interior, our main concern was that it should be as functional as possible, in order to make it fit in with the general character of the car. For this reason we decided to equip the car with sliding windows and racing car pedals. The dashboard, which is made from a special compound material, also derives directly from racing car design and is hence in keeping with the overall concept of the F40 as a sports car.”

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Pic.: Ferrari F40

During the developmental process of the F40 the following interesting step took place. The frame of the car had to be distinctly stiff, but also light. In order to test this frame Sergio Scaletti designed a four-seat cabriolet with a Ferrari 412 engine. Scaletti stated:”The reason for choosing this particular format was that we wanted to compare the car with the 2+2 coupe. We were extremely pleased with the result: the new vehicle was several hundred kilograms lighter than its predecessor, and its stiffness was improved by a factor of four of five. Incidentally, the frame of this experimental car was made in one piece, as in racing car technology.”


Pic.: Ferrari 412 convertible from 1984

Nicola Materazzi said about the engine:”With 55 mkg of torque at 3.500 rpm, we have achieved our original objective. At 7.000 rpm the car delivers 478 bhp, which is enough for anyone except Enzo Ferrari, who initially hoped that the LM would reach 500 bhp.”
The F40 (also called LM) accelerated from 0-200 km/h in 12 seconds and its top speed was 324 km/h (201 mph). By making the frame parts out of composites the F40 weighed 100 kg less than the 288 GTO which was indeed a lightweight car.
The F40 was nothing less than a racing car with a number plate. The hunt for the Porsche 959 could be opened.

Jaap Bakker

December 26th


The Huygenshuis: victim of the 19th Century
by admin



A picture of the Huygenshuis just before it’s demolition in 1876. It had to make room for a new building for the Ministery of Justice. In it’s former gardens are now the buildings of the Dutch Parliament

Following is an article written by prof. dr. ir. C.A. Grimbergen about the history of the Huygenshuis until it’s dramatic end in 1876.
Mr. Grimbergen is among other things chairman of the Dutch Federatie Klokkenvrienden and chairman of the Dutch section of the Antiquarian Horological Society. He has also been, for over 25 years, member of the Board of the Museum van het Nederlandse Uurwerk in Zaandam.

As a whole the Netherlands have always been too modest about the the genius of Christiaan Huygens, who invented the pendulum clock and the balance spring.
For years the only books written about him came from foreign authors. On the 6th of October 1997 spaceship Cassini was launched into space carrying the European spacecapsule Huygens, a name the Americans had come up with, to put it on Saturn moon Titan in 2004. The whole event got very little attention in the Dutch press.

The article about the Huygenshuis:


Jaap Bakker

December 22nd


Rolex during WOII: the POW watch
by admin

Swiss watch sales received a severe blow thanks to the outbreak of WOII and things only got worse when Germany occupied Vichy in France in November 1942 and neutral Switzerland was completely surrendered by hostile troops. Watchmakers were closed off from their best clients, the British and the Americans.

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Pic.: In the right side of the picture Clive Nutting with his ‘Brothers in Arms’ in Stalag III

Rolex noticed that large numbers of British and American troops were literally on the doorstep to Switzerland, being held prisoner in the German POW camps. In camp Stalag Luft III in Sagan, Germany (now Poland) there were about 10,000 allied aviators who had been shot down over occupied Europe. In the whole German Empire thousands of officers were being held at several Oflag (officers POW camps).

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The genius of Hans Wilsdorf at that was that he, spring 1943, took a bet that the allies would win the war (significant because Wilsdorf himself was a German). He offered the thousands of POWs that they could get a Rolex now and that they didn’t have to pay for it until the war was over.
In a letter to Clive Nutting (more about him later) Wilsdorf wrote the following line: “…but you must not even think of settlement during the war”.
Wilsdorf was convinced that his illustration of faith would have a positive influence on the state of mind of the prisoners. Besides this, having a watch was of great importance to this group of prisoners, mainly aviators; if they saw a chance to escape the only way to reach the border was by train and for this they needed exact time.
The chronograph Rolex gave the prisoners the opportunity to exactly time the rounds of the ‘goons’ (camp guards) which lead to the ‘Great Escape’ on March 24-25 1944 when 76 men escaped through tunnel ‘Harry’ (in 1963 a movie was made called ‘The Great Escape’).

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Although most POWs choose the cheaper and smaller Speed King Clive Nutting (prisoner nr. 738 in Stalag Luft III in Sagan, Germany) became, on August 4 1943, the proud wearer of a new Rolex Oyster Chronograaf ref. 3525 (nr. 122, case nr. 185983).

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The following is a short description of this watch:

Two-body, polished and brushed, screwed-down case back, concave lugs. D. Matte black with luminous gilt-edged Arabic numerals, outer gilt minute/seconds track, subsidiary seconds and 30-minute register dials, outermost gilt tachometer and telemeter scales. Luminous gilt “baton” hands. M. 13”’, rhodium-plated, 17 jewels, straight line lever escapement, monometallic balance, self-compensating Breguet balance-spring, index regulator.

Dial, case and movement signed.

Diam. 35 mm. Thickness 14 mm.

In the beginning of the 1940s the steel version cost 350 and the 18k gold 935 Swiss Francs.

pow:CN rechts workshop

Clive Nutting (on the right) was a professional shoemaker and therefore he was of great value to both the Germans as to the other prisoners. The Germans paid him well for this so he could sent money to his family at home and lent money to other prisoners. Even in these circumstances he was somebody who could afford a beautiful watch.

What makes Nutting’s watch so special is that is completely documented, at least until 2007.
Directly after the war, when he came home in Acton, London in August 1945, he wrote to Hans Wilsdorf that his watch, although it had withstood the cold circumstances during evacuation from the camp well, it was now an hour fast. Where can I have it repaired? Can I get the final bill for the watch?
Because of English rate restrictions Nutting receives the invoice for 15 Pounds 12s 6d not before 1948. He kept the watch until he died in 2001 in Australia, 90 years old.
In 2003, dated March 28, there is an invoice for 2,356 Australian Dollar (1,400 Euros) from a watchmaker in Sydney for Nutting’s watch.

pow:CN>restorereceipt 2003

In 2007 the Rolex of Nutting was offered for sale by auction house Antiquorum Geneva. The estimated price was 80,000-100,000 but the watch wasn’t sold. The current owner of this historical watch is unknown.

Jaap Bakker

December 2nd



Rolex as seen by artists
by admin

The mechanical movement of a Rolex watch in itself can cleary be called a form of art. Both technically, the whole of screws, cogs and coils that can accurately keep time, as esthetically, the beautiful way the movement is finished. But still there are people that go even further, people who approach the subject Rolex with their artistic skills.
The following pictures show that this phenomenon can take many forms. It is a colourful collection of drawings, sketches, paintings and statues. There is even a hotel that is designed around the theme Vintage Rolex watches.


Pic.: an artistic impression of a Rolex Daytona by the Italian artist Marcello Reboani.
The following link to his site shows another Rolex piece of art by Reboani:
Rolex Daytona by Marcello Reboani

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Pic.: the Rolex Milgauss as seen through the eyes of Charles Helleu.
Apart from Rolex Helleu also has pictures of other watch brands as can be seen on his site:
Horloges by Charles Helleu

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The three pictures above are made of pieces of art made by the Brazilian artist José Geraldo Reis Pfau. This 57 year old Brazilian was born and grew up in Blumenau, Santa Catarina. Reis Pfau constructs miniatures of motorcycles by using watch parts, Rolex also among them. For him it is still a hobby that he performs in the evening. Until now the collection, consisting of more than 200 pieces, is still private property but in the future Reis Pfau hopes to be able to sell them as well.
Reis Pfau’s passion for motorcycles started in the Sixties and along the way he became interested in building miniatures of them. While doing research into the possibilities for his newborn hobby he saw beautiful pieces made from wood, pottery, screws and wires but working with watch parts and glasses seemed to really be the way to go in the future.
A friend of Reis Pfau, Alexandre Ranieri Peters, was a great help to him in obtaining the nessessary parts. Ranieri Peters was a shop owner and he launched an advertising campaign saying that the customer, when buying a new watch or glasses, could use their old stuff as a first installment.
Take a look at many more motorcycles on the site of Reis Pfau:
José Geraldo Reis Pfau

roku:door-handles-239x300 Hotel d'O
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roku:rolex-clock-297x300 Hotel d'Orologio
roku:smoking-room Hotel d'O

These pictures were taken at the fantastic Hotel d’Orologio in Florence. The starting point for the design and interior of this hotel has been the ‘International Haute Horlogerie’, with emphasis on the Vintage watches. Collector’s items from the watch world have served for details in the decoration and as suggestions for the interior design. The details are so subtle that for instance the taps look like watches’ crowns.
On the site of the Hotel d’Orologio there is a slide show with more beautiful pictures:
Hotel d’Orologio

The British artist Thomas Brown has a site which shows a lot of pictures made by him, about all sorts of subjects, but there are also four pictures of Rolex watches:
Thomas Brown Rolex

roku:daytona art. horloge.info

In the above picture is the French painter Didier Valle, born in Paris in 1958 and now living and working in Bordeaux, with a painting of a Rolex Daytona. On his site he says: “I LOVE WATCHES, SO I PAINT THEM…”.
A couple of years ago he was working on a serie of paintings of collector’s cars dashboards when, looking at the clocks on the dashboard, he suddenly thought how logical it was to start painting watches: watches had everything he sought in a subject, different materials, formats, fonts and transparancy.
Following link shows a wall full of watch paintings by Valle, including two Rolex watches:
Didier Valle

Jaap Bakker

November 27th


Serpico y Laino: Rolex in Caracas, Venezuela
by admin

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Pic.: Hans Wilsdorf, the founder of Rolex

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Pic.: personal words from Wilsdorf to Serpico y Laino


Pic.: Rivello, Vicente Laino’s place of birth

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Pic.: a portrait of Vicente Laino at an older age

Born in Rivello in the Basilicata region, Vicente Laino was a young goldsmith and one among the many Italians who sought their fortune in Venezuela at the beginning of the previous century. During the long boat trip over the ocean Laino had fantasies about the still unknown country that was to become his second home land. He dreamt about raising his children and grandchildren in Venezuela and proudly and full of hope he had visions of the work he was going to find.
On his arrival in Venezuela he had nothing but hopes for a good life. Almost immediately he became acquainted with a compatriot, Leopoldo Serpico, with whom a special friendship would develop. There was a large Italian community in Caracas and everybody helped everybody.en iedereen hielp elkaar.
When Laino and Leopoldo Serpico first met, the latter had a small jeweller’s shop where he sold and repaired jewellery. It was this shop, ‘JOYERIA SERPICO’, that provided the basis for the history of Rolex in Caracas. The shop, known as ‘Serpico y Laino’ from 1925 till 1966, was situated in the Bolsa a Mercaderes in Caracas.
Serpico soon invited him to assist in the shop, as Laino was a goldsmith, but there was one problem: Laino was penniless. However, Serpico realised that Laino was well-educated, both intellectually and in business, and suggested that he became ‘SOCIO INDUSTRIAL’. With Serpico’s money and Laino’s intellectual capital the ‘Serpico y Laino’ branch was established.
In order to promote their sales to a higher level in the early 30s, Laino suggested travelling to Europe to find a watch brand that had not been sold in Venezuela so far. He travelled to Geneva and decided to choose Rolex. Laino’s instinct turned out to be good, for Rolex had been selling many watches to Venezuelan customers already.
Serpico and Laino decided that Laino should return to Geneva for negotiations with Rolex to obtain the exclusive right on the ‘Serpico y Laino’ branch. The talks with Hans Wilsdorf went off favourably and Laino went back to Caracas with the exclusive right to sell Rolex.
The Rolex deal was a big success for ‘Serpico y Laino’ and the company managed to obtain the exclusive rights on other watch brands as well.


Pic.: a Rolex Oyster from 1935 (ref 5050) sold by Serpico y Laino

The friendship between Serpico en Laino became even stronger by lot. Laino met the sister of Serpico’s wife and fell in love with her. In the middle of their wedding preparations Laino received a letter from the Italian government saying that he should present himself in his homeland as soon as possible in order to fight in WO II. He left behind everyone and everything he cared for and returned to Italy.
The biggest tragedy, however, was that Serpico lost his life in 1944.
After the war Laino was left to his own devices. He travelled to Europe increasingly often and stayed there for a couple of months to purchase for the company. For this purpose he visited Switzerland, Germany, Belgium, The Netherlands and France. He forwarded all purchased goods directly to Venezuela by waterway, except precious stones which he kept.
After his travels throughout Europe Laino used to spend a week or so in Rivello, his place of birth, to rest himself for a while in order to take fresh heart to continue his business.
Unfortunately, while his business was doing well, Laino’s wife fell ill and died, so he was left with two children. From that moment Laino was only occupied with the company, his total dedication resulting in lots of work and success for ‘Serpico y Laino’. An important element was that in the shop the best European watches could be bought directly whereas orders in Europe were not forthcoming because they had to be forwarded by boat. During Laino’s travels to Europe the following individuals were responsible for the shop:

- Fernando Ponce de Leon, the husband of Serpico’s daughter; most of the guarantee forms were signed by him – Agustin Laino, Laino’s eldest son
- Efrain Serpico, Serpico’s son
- Domingo Laino, Laino’s brother; was no partner in the company, but he worked as a representative
- Andreas Gambardella Laino, Laino’s nephew

In 1959 Vicente Laino passed away, so the brains behind ‘Serpico y Laino’ ceased to exist.
In spite of this heavy loss the shop continued on a favourable trend for a few more years until the circumstances in Venezuela changed drastically. The investment climate, which used to be decent, turned into an atmosphere of crime, murder, theft and kidnapping. Members of both families became involved in kidnapping attempts, but a bomb attack in the ‘Joyeria Sucursal del Este’ in 1966 brought an end to ‘Serpico y Laino’.
It was decided to return the remains of the goods to the manufacturers and to start completely different business with no partnership between both families.
Andreas Gambardella re-opened the shop, but he was forced to use a different name, ‘Serla’, because he was not granted the right to use the original name initially. Once he had been given consent, some years later, he no longer had the exclusive right to sell Rolex.
In the early 70s Andreas Gambardella died and his widow appointed a shop manager. She went to Italy, taking her four sons with her. ‘Serpico y Laino’ never regained its old reputation. In the year 2013 there is a shop in the Eurobuilding Hotel in Caracas called ‘Serpico y Laino’, but it has nothing to do with the wonderful company that Leopoldo Serpico and Vicente Laino had established almost a century ago.

Below you will find an overview of a number of the beautiful Rolex watches sold by ‘Serpico y Laino’ over the years.

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Pic.: ref 6062, ref 6034 and ref 6036 ‘Jean Claude Killy’


Pic.: ref 5512, ref 5508 ‘small crown’ and ref 5512 ‘underline’


Pic.: ref 6542 GMT Master

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Pic.: ref 1675 GMT Master, transition model around ’63-’64 with ‘underline’ (new tritium generation) dial


Pic.: ref 6542 GMT Master

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Pic.: ref 5512 from 1963 with ‘pointed crownguards’ and ‘underline’

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Pic.: yellow gold Rolex Bombay with 3-6-9-12 dial and ref 5512


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Pic.: ref 6309 Thunderbird with 50m = 165ft on dial


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Pic.: ref 6350 Explorer from II-1953, exactly the moment when Sir Edmund Hillary and Tenzing Norgay were climbing Mount Everest (see article:’Sir Edmund Hillary and Tenzing Norgay: Trial of Strength with Mount Everest’)

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Pic.: marking of ‘Serpico y Laino’ (S&L) on the inside of the case (acero = steel)

Until 1960 the beautiful city of Caracas was a nice place to be. But it was far more important for ‘Serpico y Laino’ to be able to do business in a fair and agreeable fashion until that time.

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Finally, a Rolex with a Dutch touch sold by 'Serpico y Laino'.


Pic: Rolex Bombay (in this version the top-side watchcase legs are spherical in contrast to the straight ones of the standard Oyster). What makes this watch really special is the honeycomb dial, a model which was produced only for a short period of time.



Pic.: this picture clearly shows the honeycomb dial

However, the most remarkable thing about this watch is the inscription on the back of the watch cover, saying ‘G G’ in capitals and ‘Gervegeria Heineken 1954′ around the back side. This watch was offered as a farewell gift to someone who had established the Heineken brewery in Caracas between 1951 and 1954. What golden handshake!


Jaap Bakker

November 27th


Voltaire: main character in the watchmakers’ war
by admin

When thinking of difficult times for the Swiss watch industry, the troublesome 80s of the previous century are very likely to come to mind. The watch market was flooded with Japanese brands such as Casio, Citizen and Seiko with their digital watches. These were far more accurate than the mechanical watches from Switzerland, equipped with all kinds of new functions (e.g. calculators) and much cheaper. 
The Swiss watch industry was able to keep its head above water thanks to the brilliant invention of the Swatch. The mechanical watches gradually got back on their feet again and, in spite of the actual crisis, the sales of luxurious watches doubled in 2012.


However, in the late 18th century, a true war, the so-called watchmakers’ war, was fought between the Genevan watchmakers and the watch empire of the French philosopher Voltaire (1694-1778) at his domain in Ferney, France.


The flourishing Genevan watch industry in the 17th and 18th century was based on a solid commercial organisation in the city and, in addition, the ‘marchands etablisseurs’ who travelled around to buy components and assemble watches. 
It all looked well enough on paper, but in reality there were many abuses, socially, economically, politically, resulting in quite some watch makers emigrating to more hospitable places. All this was caused by the inflexible rules and regulations of the ‘Corporation des horlogers genevois’ which had the exclusive rights to employment. 
Eventually the Genevan watch industry got beaten at its own game. Talented watchmakers took up their residences in other cities and countries and started exerting their influence from there. They settled along Lake Leman, in the valleys of the Jura, Vaud and Neuchatel and the Erguel region of the canton of Bern. An even more serious threat to Geneva were the competitive watch producing centres in Moscow, Montbeliard and Pforzheim.

Voltaire had come to Geneva following the steps of the well-known physician Theodore Tronchin (1709-1781) and resided in his Genevan house ‘Les Delices’ from 1755 to 1760. Voltaire built a good relationship with the ‘cabinotiers’, the independent watchmakers who, like himself, were greatly interested in actual items on which they conducted lively debates. 
Voltaire took actively part in the Genevan conflict between the citizens and the ‘natifs’, an underprivileged group of people who were original Genevan inhabitants. Voltaire encouraged them to rebel and also invited their leaders. As a consequence the relationship between Voltaire and Geneva was flagging and in 1758 Voltaire bought an estate in Ferney (F). Once moved and settled into his new home, he accommodated the Genevan ‘natifs’ and planted orchards and vineyards in fallow land. Voltaire developed more and more into an industrialist investing in tannery, a tile oven, pottery and factories producing silk stockings, lace and ceramics.

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Pic.: Voltaire’s estate in Ferney in the 18th century

In 1766, the Republic of Geneva refused mediation for its internal conflicts, which was suggested by France and the large Swiss cantons. The French minister Choiseul then continued his economic war against the Republic, at the Versailles Court known as the ‘watchmakers’ war’, until 1769.
In the year 1770 a Genevan enactment offered the ‘natifs’ two options: either take an oath of loyalty and remain in the city or leave. Moreover, the city threw agitators out without mercy. Among them were the watchmakers Edouard Luya, Louis Philippe Pouzait, Pierre Rival and Guillaume Henri Valentin.
Choiseul had tried to start a new watch factory in Versoix, but in December 1770 he lost favour definitely and a substantial number of watchmakers who had not returned to Geneva sought the support of Voltaire in Ferney.
These developments led to opening the attack to the ‘Fabrique’ by Voltaire and he warmly welcomed the exodus of protestant watchmakers to the Catholic Gex district.
Ferney-Voltaire quickly developed from a few houses into 20 and eventually about 100. The ‘cabinotiers’ set to work in an old barrel which was equipped with benches and the factory was run by the watchmakers Pierre Dufour and Louis Ceret.

The high days of the Ferney “royal” (it never obtained this title officially) watch factory covered the period between 1770 and 1778. It appears from various letters that in that period the number of employees had grown from 40 to 1,200.
The first watches were ready in April 1770 and on the ninth of this month Voltaire wrote to Fr. de Caire that “they, although just started, had already enough watches to send to Spain in a small box. This is the beginning of a very large company”. Watches were sent to the Duke and Duchess of Choiseul, Voltaire’s patrons, and to the King. In ’70, ’71 and ’73 watches were also offered to the Versailles Court for royal weddings, but the majority of these consignments were not paid for.

The watchmakers worked in five other factories as well under the direction of partnerships: Pierre Dufour and his brother-in-law Louis Céret, Louis Servant and Antoine Boursault, Guillaume Henri Valentin and Antoine Dalleizette, Panrier and Mauzié, and Georges Auzière and his brother, for watch cases. Although none of the watches had the Voltaire signature, they all bore the name of Fernex, Ferney, Fernaix or Ferney Voltaire in Europe.

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Vol:watch GA1

Pic.: a watch made by Georges Auziere (1713-1799) in the eighties of the 18th century; it had a Ferney Voltaire, Mestral signed clockwork

Voltaire offered the watchmakers free loans and provided them with raw material, particularly gold. In this way he served as an ‘etablisseur’ according to the Genevan model and invested his large fortune in the company. Important part of his battle against the ‘Fabrique’ was that he had made arrangements with French Post for free consignments of Ferney watches.

An example of Voltaire’s marketing efforts is the following letter of the 20th of December 1771 to the Count of Aranda, a Spanish minister: “Should you wish to adorn the finger of a distinguished Spanish lady with a ring watch showing the seconds and repeating the quarters and half hours on a carillon, all decorated with diamonds, such a watch is only made in my village, and we are at your disposal. It is not vanity that makes me say this, since it was pure chance that brought me the only artist [probably watchmaker Jean François Auzière junior] who makes these little marvels – marvels that are not likely to disappoint you”.

The famous watchmaker Jean-Antoine Lepine worked for Voltaire until 1774 and after that he went to Paris to open his own shop in the Place Dauphine. The Lepine calibre, developed in 1775 or so, was used in Ferney.

The hardest problem Voltaire’s company faced was selling. In Spain and Turkey Geneva still held a position of authority. He approached Catherine II from Russia to help him conquer the Chinese market and the Tsarina became Voltaire’s best customer.
Voltaire used his network to the maximum illustrated by the following circular letter he wrote to the French ambassadors (5-6-’70):
“Sir, I have the honour of informing Your Excellency that Geneva’s burghers having unfortunately assassinated some of their fellow countrymen, several families of good watchmakers have taken refuge on a small estate I own in the Gex region, his Grace the Duke of Choiseul having placed them under the King’s protection. I have had the good fortune to enable them to practice their talents. These are Geneva’s best artists. They do work of all kinds and at a more moderate price than any other factory. They can very quickly do any enamel portrait for a watch case…”.

Voltaire praised his watches by saying that they were at least so good as those from London, Paris or Geneva and that, in addition, their price was 2/3 lower than the prices customers paid in Paris. However, Voltaire’s customers were poor payers. 
The catalogue contained a large number of types of watches exposed for sale: gold (18c versus 20c in Paris), enamelled watches, precious stones, clockworks with second hands, cylinder echappements, silver (lower carate than the competitors) and imitation stone and marcasite decorated. The enamelled types were concentrated on landscapes and portraits.
The quality of the clockworks varied. It appeared from an anonymous letter from 1773 that the Ferney workplaces produced approximately 4,000 watches annually (ca. 400 watchmakers), whereas Genevan ‘Fabrique’ produced 33,000 watches on an annual basis (5,000 watchmakers).

In 1775, the Ferney watch empire got into trouble by laborious negotiations for obtaining raw material and for various fiscal matters. In 1776, a watchmakers’ exodus from Ferney took place because the Genevan conditions had substantially improved. Simultaneously, Voltaire lost his interest in the watch industry. In Februari 1778 he moved to Paris in high expectations, but in May of the same year he died. 
After his death efforts were made to restore Ferney to its previous glories. Historically interesting is that, in 1793, the world-famous watchmaker Abraham Louis Breguet was asked to save the factory, but he did not really succeed.

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Pic.: the actual Ferney-Voltaire

Jaap Bakker

November 13th


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