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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.

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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.

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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

The pioneers of the modern watch
by admin

At the end of the 1950s the American firm Hamilton won an international battle by being the first company that produced a wrist watch that got it’s energy from a battery. At the same time the French firm Lip, the American Elgin and the German Epperlein were working on this development. How did the development of the very first electrical wrist watches go?

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Pic.: Elvis Presley wore a Hamilton Ventura in the movie ‘Blue Hawaii’ in 1961

On the 3rd of January 1957 a new chapter in the history of time keeping started: the first new invention for the wrist watch, since the invention of the automatic watch by John Harwood, was the Hamilton Electric 500. Although still having a balance it was no longer driven by a spring but by a coil that moved in a magnetic field. Since the beginning of the 1950s the French firm Lip, the American Hamilton and the German Epperlein from Pforzheim had begun with the development of an electric wrist watch. The Swiss watch companies on the other side expressed an absolute non-interest in these watches. They kept trusting the unlimited possibilities of the mechanical watch. It was not before the 1980s that they tried to catch up with the introduction of the Swatch.

‘Watch of the Future’

Under the leadership of the head of the research department, G. Luckey, the Hamilton Watch Company in Lancaster, Pennsylvania (USA) started directly after WOII with the development of an electric wrist watch. In 1952 the first prototypes were ready and serial production started at the end of 1956. On the 3rd of January 1957 the first two legendary models ‘Ventura’ and ‘Van Horn’ were shown to the press and in April 1957 they became for sale. The ‘Watch of the Future’ was ready for the market. Their revolutionary cases are designed by Richard Arbib, known for his car designs for General Motors and the American Motors Corporation. With the introduction of these models classic made watches became less and less important and the rise of the design watch started. Nowadays nearly all watches are designed by good designers or artists, the factory teams are replaced by freelance designers.
After the very successful Ventura tens of interesting and beautifully styled models followed which all had the caliber 500.

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Pic.: The Hamilton 500 has, like all mechanical wrist watches, a back and forward going balance with torsion spring. But in this case there is a coil on the balance and on the platine there are two permanent magnets.

How it works

The Hamilton 500 has, like all mechanical wrist watches, a back and forward going balance with torsion spring. But in this case there is a coil on the balance and on the platine there are two permanent magnets. A small pawl on the axis of the balance pushes once per rotation against a contact spring that closes an electrical circuit causing, for a very short time, electricity to go through the coil on the balance. The coil then becomes magnetic and will be pushed away by the two magnets on the platine. The balance gets an impulse from the magnets by every rotation and a short time later an impulse from the balance spring in the opposite direction. This keeps the balance in motion and drives the cogs that in the end make the hands moving.
The biggest problem with these watches is the extremely accurate setting of the contacts and the branding and corrosion of these. This can be compared to the branding of the spark plugs in a car. These contacts are being opened and closed 10.000 times per hour. Per year this is about 100 million times. It is clear that this has always been a problem with the first electric watches. The invention of the transistor in 1948 brought the solution. This device can put power on and off without the need of contacts. The first time a transistor was used in a wrist watch was in the Bulova Accutron which also had a tuning-fork instead of a balance. With these applications the accuracy improved enormously.
In 1961 Hamilton introduced the much more reliable caliber 505. It had a totally renewed contact system that didn’t need adjustments from outside. Total production of the calibers 500 and 505 is about 500,000 before production ended in 1969. In 1974 the Hamilton Watch Company was sold to the firm Aetos Watch, a daughter of the SSIH Company (nowadays called SMH) to which also Omega belonged. Because of this Omega got his hand on the production techniques for the full-electronic wrist watch, as developed by Hamilton, without any mechanical part, the famous Pulsar with the well known red LED readoff.

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Pic.: The Epperlein 100. The resemblance with the Hamilton 500 is striking: both have two contact springs, a coil on the balance and the same problems with the contacts. The lower picture is a Paul Portinoux watch with the Epperlein 100 movement

Helmut Epperlein, the pioneer

The development of the first German electrical wrist watch, the Epperlein 100, is in parallel with the American Hamilton 500. Near Pforzheim, in Kaempfelbach-Ersingen the first prototypes were produced round 1953 by Uhrenwerk-Ersingen, in short UWERSI. The owner was Helmut Epperlein, born in Chemnitz in 1911. The resemblance with the Hamilton 500 is striking, both have two contact springs and a coil on the balance but also the same problems with the contacts. The development costs were so high that Epperlein was forced to sell many patents to Hamilton. These patents which are owned by Hamilton contain the name of the inventor: Helmut Epperlein or one of his associates.
Another part of the deal was that Epperlein could use these patents in watches of their own. These were used to finally come up with a watch of their own: the 1959 Epperlein 100. The success of the Hamilton 500 and the Lip R27 were so overwhelming that the Epperlein 100 didn’t stand a chance. The production was ended a couple of years later. In total only 5,000 pieces were manufactured, of which a part, due to technical problems, was destroyed later. It is a very rare watch.

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Pic.: Only 7,000 pieces of the Lip R27 were sold. In contrast to the Hamilton 500 and the Epperlein 100 the Lip R27 had a coil that was fixed on the platine. On the balance their was a piece of soft iron that was attracted to the fixed coil at the right moment. A pawl on the balance determined when the spring contacts closed the electric circuit so that the coil became magnetic. This principle is the opposite as the one seen in the Hamilton 500

Competition from France: Lip

Shortly before Christmas 1958 the Lip firm first offered the R27 to the public. This made it the first watch of this type in Europe and second in the world. The Lip watch was difficult to repair and pretty expensive. In total there were only 7,000 pieces sold.In contrast to the Hamilton 500 and the Epperlein 100 the Lip R27 had a coil that was fixed on the platine. On the balance their was a piece of soft iron that was attracted to the fixed coil at the right moment. A pawl on the balance determined when the spring contacts closed the electric circuit so that the coil became magnetic. This principle is the opposite as the one seen in the Hamilton 500. In september 1962 Lip brought out a much improved version: the Lip R 148. A successful watch that was sold in large numbers, even to the American company Elgin. The introduction of the R 148 directly caused the production of the first Swiss electric watch, the 1961 Landeron L4750, to be ended quickly. Too expensive, too late with the development and too late on the market.
The American firm Elgin had developed the very small caliber 722 and the somewhat bigger 725 but these were only in the stores in 1962 and turned out to be no success. Interesting is the fact that Elgin was the first company that patented a completely electric watch. The development had taken too long and the introduction turned out to be a disaster. The planned cooperation with Lip ended with nothing.

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Pic.: Lip R 148



Pic.: a Wittnauer watch with the Landeron L4750 movement

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Pic.: the Elgin with caliber 725


Without the calibers of Laco Pforzheim the history of the first electric watches is not complete. The Laco 860 and movements based on this were the first reliable and sold in large numbers electric watches in Germany. The design looks a lot like the Hamilton 500, with a coil on the balance. In 1959 Lacher & Co (Laco) was taken over by the rich Timex company. In the beginning you typically see both names used randomly.

Text: Pieter Doensen

October 18th


The Rolex Milsub 5513/5517
by admin


Pic.: Rolex Milsub 5517

In the seventies Rolex produced two types of Submariners for the Royal Navy, ref 5513 and ref 5517. The general assumption is that approximately 1200 samples of these types were produced in total. Between 180 and a few hundred samples are estimated to be still around. Besides, the question is whether they are in an original state and if so, how many (for instance, the hands were occasionally replaced by Omega ones).
Below you will find an overview of some specific modifications required by the Royal Navy to be made by Rolex:

+ Dial: the dial itself is a standard 5513 sample, the encircled big ‘T’ over the depth indications at 6 hr being the most noticeable modification. The ‘T’ indicated tritium-labelling.


+ Hands: the hands are unique for this model and are often called ‘sword’ hands (they strongly resemble the hands of the Omega Seamaster). Rolex no longer produces these hands and neither are they in stock any more. Due to their larger surface and the use of tritium the hands are susceptible to flaking or oxidation.
+ Frame and insertions: The frame is a standard one, but the insertions in many watches are specifically manufactured with minute markers on every side. This is unique for the military subs.
+ Watchcase: the case is a standard 5513, but the spring bars for attaching the watchband are replaced by metal bars for the NATO band.
+ Caseback: the caseback always contains a MOD part number starting with 0552 or W10, a triangle with a hat on top and an issue number and year below.

The various configurations of the milsub are the following:
+ 5513: the hands were either of the ‘sword’ type or the ‘mercedes’ type.
+ 5513: the frame contained either 60-minute insertions or 15-minute insertions.
+ 5517: only produced with the ‘sword’ hands and the 60-minute insertion frame.


Pic.: the two versions of 5513


The grey NATO band milsub was part of the standard Royal Navy equipment for clearance divers. The band was attached to the case by solid bars, because the normal system entailed a risk of a pin snapping. The NATO band was also used for attaching oneself to the diver’s swimming board, a square board containing a depth gauge and a compass. The Navy diver used the board to navigate when approaching hostile vessels to lay limpet mines for instance. Another important factor is the presence of less metal during diving which involves the risk of magnetically-controlled mines.
The Rolex milsubs were used by the British Special Forces, the SAS (Special Air Service) commandos and the SBS (Special Boat Service). The SAS/SBS are still considered the best trained forces in the world (read ‘Bravo Two Zero’ by Andy McNab for example). This means that these watches were taken on the most secret and dangerous missions in Northern-Ireland, the Falklands and Asia. And again Rolex proved to be capable of producing the most reliable watches that will never let bearers down.

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Pic.: 5517 with the solid bars

Below you will find some unique data of the milsubs and the Navy divers:


Clearance divers



Pic.: a signed receipt of a Royal Navy milsub

Jaap Bakker

October 18th


A new area: the Rolex Oysterquartz
by admin


Pic.: Rolex Oysterquartz ref. 7065

Although Rolex has always had their full focus on mechanical watches it would be wrong to think that quartz watches would have been an afterthought for Rolex.
As early as the 1950s Rolex was busy with research about electronic timekeeping and in 1952 they received their first patent for a design of an electro-mechanic watch. An interesting fact is that of the 50 patents Rolex issued between 1960 and 1990 21 were for electronic watches. The most extreme were the patents of Rolex in the seventies for digital (LED) watches. They even built one prototype with ref. 7065.


Pic.: Rolex Quartz 5100

The first quartz watch that Rolex brought to the market was the Quartz Date 5100 in 1970. The watch had a Beta 21 movement which was also used by Omega and Enicar. Total production was only 1.000 watches because Rolex wanted to produce their own movement as soon as possible. After 5 years of designing, developing and testing the first completely in-house made movements were presented in 1977, the 5035 and the 5055. These were housed in the ref. 5035 Datejust and the ref. 5055 Day-Date.
The 5035 and 5055 quartz modules made by Rolex were not only technologically the best one could get but also in terms of design and finish. The movements with 11 rubies used the latest CMOS (Complementary Metal-Oxide Semiconductor) coupling system, a 32 khz oscillator and analog thermocompensation. The standard of quality for the Oysterquartz that Rolex used was even higher than the standards for their mechanical watches. Also esthetically the quartz movement that Rolex made is at the very top of the market and it is even said that it is the most beautiful quartz movement ever made.

According to the estimates their are just short of 25,000 Oysterquartz watches produced by Rolex. The final model was the ref. 17000 in steel in the year 2001 (although after 2001 not in the catalogue anymore you could buy them up to 2003). Variations were the ref. 17014 with a white gold bezel, the ref. 17013 in steel/gold and the ref. 17018, a Day-Date in gold.

For further information about the Rolex Oysterquartz the following link is useful:

- Oysterquartz.net

The following are some beautiful pictures of the Oysterquartz:

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Jaap Bakker

October 16th


Sir Edmund Hillary and Tenzing Norgay: contest with Mount Everest
by admin


Edmund Hillary was born in Auckland (NZ) on 20 July 1919. His parents were Gertrude Hillary, born Clark, and Percival Augustus Hillary. In school Edmund was smaller than his peer group and he was a very shy boy taking refuge in his books and daydreaming about an adventurous life. He started boxing thanks to which he gained more confidence and he started growing. At the age of sixteen his interest in mounteneering was aroused during a school outing to Mount Ruapehu. Although 1.95 m and all lanky and leggy he discovered that he was physically stronger and had more stamina than his fellow climbers. Edmund studied maths and science at the University of Auckland and in 1939 he completed his first real climb when he reached the top of Mount Ollivier (in the Southern Alps). Together with his brother Rex he became a bee-keeper, a summer activity which allowed him to climb in winter. In the build-up to the climbing of the Mount Everest in 1953, Edmund participated in a number of other expeditions. In 1948 he reached the southern ridge of Aoraki/Mount Cook, the highest peak of New-Zealand, together with Harry Ayres, Mick Sullivan and Ruth Adams. In 1951 Edmund took part in a British exploration of Everest led by Eric Shipton. In a team, also led by Shipton, Edmund and George Lowe tried to conquer Cho Oyu. When it became clear that it was impossible to do so from the Nepalese side, Edmund and Lowe crossed the Nup La to Tibet and reached the old Camp II, on the northern side where all of the pre-war expeditions had been.

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In 1952 Edmund and his friend George Lowe were invited by the Joint Himalayan Committee to join a British team and climb the Mount Everest the following year. Eric Shipton was the initial leader of the expedition, but he was replaced by Hunt. He composed 2 teams that were to reach the top. Team 1 included Tom Bourdillon and Charles Evans, team 2 Edmund and the sherpa Tenzing Norgay. It was extremely important to Edmund and Tenzing to create a good-working friendship.


Pic.: Edmund Hillary and Tenzing Norgay, circa 1971

The Hunt expedition consisted of over 400 people including bearers and 20 Sherpa guides. The luggage weighed approximately 10.000 lbs. Lowe supervised the preparations for climbing the Lhotse Face, a large and steep ice wall and Edmund thought of a route through the treacherous Khumbu Icefall. An indispensable part of Edmund’s equipment was the Rolex Oyster Explorer he was wearing around his wrist. In Edmund’s company, this watch reached the top of Mount Everest without a whimper.



The base camp was pitched in March, 1953. Slowly they climbed further towards the final camp on South Col at a height of 7,890 m. On 26 May, Bourdillon and Evans tried to reach the top, but they were forced to return, because Evans’ oxygen system failed. Eventually, the couple had reached the South Summit, being only 91 m below the top. Subsequently, it was Edmund’s and Tenzing’s turn to try to reach the top.


Severe snow storms and wind caused the duo to be stuck on the South Col for two days. On 28 May, they set off supported by the Lowe, Alfred Gregory and Ang Nyima trio. That same day Edmund and Tenzing pitched their tents at a height of 8,500 m while the supporting team descended. The next morning Edmund learned that his boots outside the tent were entirely frozen. It took him 2 full hours to defrost them, but then he and Tenzing were able to start their final climb to the top. They were packed up with 40 kilo weighted rucksacks. The crucial climbing phase was the conquering of a 12 meter high cliff (later called the Hillary Step). Stuck between the cliff and surrounding ice Edmund managed to work his way up through this crack, followed by Tenzing. From there it was relatively simple to reach the top. In the story he wrote later, ‘The Dream Comes True’ Tenzing argues that Edmund was the first to reach the top, but according to Edmund they jointly did so. They conquered the top of Mount Everest, the highest point on earth (8,848 m), at 11.30 a.m. As Hillary said: ‘A few more whacks of the ice axe in the firm snow, and we stood on top’. They stayed on top for only some fifteen minutes. There Edmund took the famous picture of Tenzing carrying his ice axe, but because Tenzing never took pictures, there are none of Edmund on top.


However, in Tenzing’s autobiography ‘Man of Everest’ he says that he offered to take pictures of Edmund, but the latter would not allow him (‘I motioned to Hillary that I would now take his picture. But for some reason he shook his head; he did not want it’). Tenzing left chocolats in the snow as some sacrifice and Edmund placed a cross he had received from John Hunt. Additional pictures were made to produce conclusive evidence that they had actually reached the top of Mount Everest.
The descent was rather tough because the snow had covered their tracks, so it was difficult for them to discover their earlier footsteps. The first person to congratulate Edmund and Tenzing was Lowe who had climbed up carrying hot soup to welcome them.
‘Well, George, we knocked the bastard off’ – Edmund Hillary’s first words to lifelong friend George Lowe on returning from Everest’s summit
The news about the successful expedition reached Engeland on Queen Elizabeth II’s coronation day and the press called this a coronation gift. By way of thanks for this 37 people of the team were awarded with the Queen Elizabeth II coronation medal, MOUNT EVEREST EXPEDITION being engraved on the rim. Edmund and Hunt were knighted by the young queen and Tenzing was awarded by the British Empire as well.



Below you will find a few more ads in connection with Edmund’s Oyster Explorer:





Pic.: The Rolex Oyster Explorer ref 6084 which was given to Edmund after he reached the top of Mount Everest

Jaap Bakker

October 10th



Hublot Big Bang Ferrari: a 458 Italia on your wrist
by admin


Since November 5th 2011 Ferrari and Hublot have decided to work together intensly. This deal means that Hublot is now the official watch of Ferrari and the Scuderia Ferrari, the official ‘Timekeeper’ of Ferrari, Scuderia Ferrari and the Ferrari Challenge; she is also partner in the Ferrari ‘special events’.

“This collaboration, rich in a host of synergies, gives Hublot a massive boost along the road.”

Jean-Claude Biver
Hublot Chairman

“Exclusivity, technology, passion, style”: Hublot and Ferrari share many core values and this new partnership between two such highly prestigious brands is an important milestone for both.

Luca Cordero di Montezemolo
Ferrari S.p.A. President

Hublot:Biver + de Mont.

The legendary ‘brand’ Ferrari was born on the first of December 1929. At that date the parents of hero pilot Francesco Baracca donated the symbol of the prancing horse to Scuderia Ferrari; the symbol was placed on a canary yellow background, the colour of the town of Modena.
The first Ferrari was built in 1947 and was called 125 S. The race car had a V12 engine with 125 being the displacement per cilinder in cubic centimeters. This name giving was the start of a tradition for Ferrari.

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To put clear emphasis on the cooperation with Ferrari Hublot has designed the Big Bang Ferrari.
The case has a diameter of 45.5 mm, bigger than normal, and a cilindrical bezel that beautifully shows the movement through the dial made of sapphire glass. The crown with index ( The ‘H’ of Hublot automatically positions itself to stay in one line) has extended push buttons fixed on a rotating axe like the pedals on the Ferrari steering wheel; the case has an carbon fibre inlay.
The watch has two bracelets that can be switched with a clever system that is inspired on a car’s seatbelts. The tone on tone stitching is proof of Ferrari’s craftmanship with leather and their centuries old partner Schedoni from Modena. The prancing horse, subtle made with relief, is at the ’9′ position on the dial. At ’3′ one finds the minute counter, it’s hands and dial cite to the dashboard of the Ferrari 458 Italia. The date is shown in ‘Modena’ yellow.
The movement of the Big Bang Ferrari is the Hublot Unico 1241 automatic chronograph calibre. The movement has 330 parts and it’s frequency is 28,800 bph. The power reserve of the 1241 is 72 hours.
Besides a titanium case the Ferrari is also available in the by Hublot developed Magic Gold. This is a mixture of ceramic material and 18k gold and it’s at least twice as resistant to scratches as pure gold. The material is darker than pure gold and has a light green-grey complexion.

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The following are the technical specifications of the Big Bang Ferrari as provided by Hublot:


References 401.MX.0123.GR (BIG BANG FERRARI MAGIC GOLD) 500-piece limited edition

401.NX.0123.GR (BIG BANG FERRARI TITANIUM) 1000-piece limited edition

Case Diameter: 45.5 mm – polished Magic Gold or satin-finished Titanium

Bezel: Polished Magic Gold or satin-finished Titanium

6 H-shaped black PVD titanium screws, countersunk, polished & locked (Magic Gold)

6 H-shaped countersunk, polished & locked screws (Titanium)

Crystal: Sapphire with interior/exterior anti-reflective coating

Bezel lug: Black composite resin

Lateral inserts: Black composite resin with carbon insert at 9 o’clock

Crown: Micro-blasted and polished black PVD titanium (Magic Gold), Micro-blasted and polished titanium (Titanium), Black rubber insert with Hublot logo

Push-buttons: Micro-blasted and polished black PVD titanium (Magic Gold), Micro-blasted and polished titanium (Titanium), Black rubber insert on the push-piece at 2 o’clock, Engraved Ferrari logo with red lacquer on the push-piece at 4 o’clock

Case-back: Micro-blasted and polished black PVD titanium

Sapphire crystal with interior anti-reflective treatment

Water resistance 10 ATM, i.e. approx. 100 meter
Dial: Sapphire with white Hublot logo transfer

Rhodium-plated Ferrari prancing horse applique

Satin-finished rhodium-plated or 2N gold-plated indexes

Hands: Satin-finished rhodium-plated white SuperLuminova™ (Titanium) or 2N gold-plated black SuperLuminova™ (Magic Gold)

Minute counter hand with Ferrari red coating

Movement: HUB 1241 Unico movement, developed and manufactured in-house by Hublot, self-winding chronograph

Date: Yellow window at 3 o’clock

Oscillating weight: Satin-finished and micro-blasted black coating, imitating the shape of a wheel rim

Power reserve: Approximately 72 hours

Straps: Black rubber strap with central rubber decoration, alcantara and tone-on-tone stitching or black rubber, scedoni leather and tone-on-tone stitching

Clasp: deployant buckle in satin-finished black PVD titanium with carbon insert (Titanium) or satin-finished titanium with carbon insert (Magic Gold)

Thanks to Wilfred Muhring, Shop Director Schaap & Citroen Utrecht(NL)

Jaap Bakker

September 30th


The 2013 Rolex Daytona Platinum: a future classic
by admin

At Baselworld 2013 Rolex introduced the Daytona ref. 116506 to celebrate 50 years of Daytona’s. Unfortunately for the many hoping that Rolex would come with a version in steel (some were talking about a re-edition of the Paul Newman Daytona) that would be affordable for most people Rolex took a different path.
The new Daytona is made of platinum, for the Daytona a first time, and therefore an instant, if expensive, ‘Vintage Rolex’ that will be interesting for collectors. Price wise (est. price: 60,650 euro) it is directly at the level of some of the very collectable Daytona’s from the past.




Besides the use of 950 Platinum there are two things of the Daytona that draw direct attention.
The dial is in ‘ice blue’, a colour that until now was only used for the Day-Date II in Platinum.
Also remarkable is the bezel in ‘chestnut brown’. The bezel is made of Cerachrom, a bezel in one piece. The problem with a common bezel is that it can get scratches or loose it’s beautiful radiance because of chlorine water in a pool, sunlight or salt water. A bezel made from Cerachrom doesn’t have these problems because it’s made from extremely hard ceramic material. Because of this it’s almost impossible to scratch and not sensitive to UV radiation.
The numbers and the scale on the bezel are engraved into the ceramic material before it gets it’s final extremely hard composure by heating it to a temperature of 1,500 grades Celsius. The next step is an illustration of true craftmanship, the bezel, atom by atom, is covered by Platinum or gold and finally it’s polished in order to remove all metal that is not inside the numbers and the scale on the bezel. It causes no surprise that it takes 40 hours to fabricate this bezel for eternity.
Putting the Platinum Rolex on your wrist you directly feel that this is something special, the weight of the watch being 183 gram.



The history of Platinum


Pic.: Platinum crystals


Pic.: Platinum nugget

Platinum is a chemical element with the symbol Pt and atom number 78. The name comes from the Spanish term ‘platina’ which means ‘little silver’. It is a compact, forgable, extendable, precious grey-white transitional metal. It is one of the rarest elements in the layers of the earth and it’s average density is 5 mu grams/kg. South-Africa is responsable for 80% of the world production.


Pic.: Antonio de Ulloa is seen as the discoverer of Platinum in 1735

Platinum was used by the pre-Colombian Americans in the area of today’s Esmeraldas, Ecuador to produce artefacts of a white gold-platinum alloy. The first European reference to Platinum dates from 1557 in the writings of Italian Humanist Julius Caesar Scaliger describing an unknown precious metal found between Darien and Mexico, “which no fire nor any Spanish artifice has yet been able to liquefy”.

In 1741 Charles Wood, a British metallurgist, found different samples of Colombian Platinum in Jamaica which he sent to William Brownrigg for further research.
Antonio de Ulloa returned to Spain in 1746 after being away for eight years on the French geodetic mission. In his report of the mission he described Platinum as non dividable and non calculable. He also predicted the discovery of the Platinum mines.
In 1750 Brownrigg presented a detailed report of his findings with Wood’s Platinum to the Royal Society. It was the first time that Platinum was mentioned in official papers and he also mentioned the extreme high melting point of the metal.
In 1786 Charles III of Spain gave Pierre-Francois Chabaneau a laboratory and a library to be able to do further research of Platinum. Chabaneau managed to remove several impurities from the ore, like gold, mercury, lead, copper and iron. After months of testing Chabaneau managed to produce 23 kilos of pure, forgable Platinum by using hammer and pressure when the metal was white-hot.
Chabaneau realised that the properties of Platinum would give value to objects made from it and together with Joaquin Cabezas he started a business that produced Platinum blocks and kitchen apparel. This was the beginning of what is known as the ‘Platinum Age’ in Spain.


Pic.: 1,000 cubic centimeters of 99,9% pure Platinum which, at the 14th of July 2012, had a worth of appr. $970,600

Platinum, together with the rest of the Platinum metals, is a commercial byproduct of nickel and copper mining. When copper is put under electricity precious metals like silver, gold and the Platinum metals sink to the bottom of the cell where they form an ‘anode sediment’. From the sediment the extraction of the Platinum metals takes place.
When one finds pure Platinum in the ore there are different methods to remove the impurities.
Because of the high density of Platinum lighter impurities in the fluid can be separated and because Platinum is non-magnetic nickel and iron can be removed. The high melting point of Platinum gives the opportunity to remove other metals using heat. Platinum is resistant to hydrochloric and sulfate acids so this can also be used to remove impurities.
A fitting method to purify raw Platinum, existing of Platinum, gold and other Platinum metals, is to work it with ‘aqua regia’ in which palladium, gold and Platinum are solved while osmium, iridium, ruthenium and rhodium do not react. Gold is bound to Fe3-chloride and is filtered after which ammonium-chloroplatinate is formed. By heating this one gets pure Platinum.

In 2010 245 tons of platinum was sold of which 113 (46%) for emission control devices in cars and 76 (31%) for jewellery. The rest, 35.5 tons, was used for investments, electrodes, cancer medication, oxygen sensors, spark plugs and turbine engines.

During periods of economical stability and growth the Platinum price is about twice as high as the gold price but during periods of uncertainty lowers under the gold price; this effect is caused by a declined industrial demand for Platinum. All in all gold is considered a safer investment because it doesn’t depend on industrial factors.
In the 18th century King Louis XV of France declared Platinum to be the only metal fit for a King because of it’s rareness.
The attractiveness of Platinum in jewels, usually a 90-95% alloy, is caused by it’s inertia and radiance. Publications in the jeweller’s business advise jewellers to commend highly of small superficial scratches (‘patine’) as an attractive phenomenon.

Jaap Bakker

September 28th


James Cameron in the DEEPSEA CHALLENGE 2012
by admin


“I’ve always dreamed of diving to the deepest place in the oceans. For me it went from a boyhood fantasy to a real quest, like climbing Everest, as I learned more about deep-ocean exploration and became an explorer myself in real life. This quest was not driven by the need to set records, but by the same force that drives all science and exploration … curiosity.

So little is known about these deep places that I knew I would see things no human has ever seen. There is currently no submersible on Earth capable of diving to the ‘full ocean depth’ of 36,000 feet. The only way to make my dream a reality was to build a new vehicle unlike any in current existence. Our success during seven prior expeditions building and operating our own deep-ocean vehicles, cameras, and lighting systems gave me confidence that such a vehicle could be built, and not just with the vast resources of government programs, but also with a small entrepreneurial team.

It took more than seven years to design and build the vehicle, and it is still a work in progress. Every dive teaches us more, and we are continuing to improve the sub and its systems daily, as we move through our sea trials.” —James Cameron



On January 23rd 1960 Jacques Piccard and Lt. Don Walsh, a submarine commander in the US Navy, submerged with the vessel Trieste into the Mariana Trough near Guam. In the end they stayed for 20 minutes at a depth of 36,000 feet below sea level. During their decent they had heard cracking noises at a depth of 30,000 feet and when Piccard saw the cracks in the windows of the Trieste at the bottom of the trough he decided to return to the wild waves near Guam.

Director James Cameron has always been fascinated by life at the great depths of the world seas. He had already been aboard on several, mostly Russian MIG boats, submarines for 71 times before in 2002 he came up with the plan to submerge into the Mariana Trough. Simultaneously there are 3 other parties who are preparing for the same expedition. Among them a couple of familiar names, the founder of Google Eric Schmidt and Virgin boss Richard Branson.
In June 2011 a great honour befalls Cameron: the National Geographic Society adds him to the list of guest-researchers. Together with National Geographic and Rolex Cameron formulates the final plan to make the first manned dive into the Trough since 1960 and the first solo dive.


On the 23rd of June 2012 at 5.15 hour the Deepsea Challenger, Cameron’s submarine, slides into the salt water about 300 km southwest of Guam. After 2.36 hours Cameron is finally at the bottom of the Trough. He stays there for three hours to collect material and animals with the robot arm on his vessel and to make pictures and 3D movies. This is the big difference with the 1960 enterprise, Piccard and Walsh were at the bottom for only 20 minutes and didn’t do any research.

In 1960 Rolex had developed the Deep Sea Special especially for the dive of Piccard and Walsh. This watch was attached to the outside of the Trieste and withstood the enormous pressure at a depth of more than 10 km without a scratch.





In 2008 Rolex introduced an upgraded version of the famous Sea-Dweller, called the Sea-Dweller Deepsea. The former watch was water resistant to a depth of 1,220 m, the latter could even go to 3,900 m.

JC:SD Deepsea:wp

JC:SD Deepsea:zijkant

JC:SD Deepsea:3;4

For the expedition of Cameron Rolex pushed the limits of the watch even further. They designed the Deepsea Challenge 2012, developed with the Sea-Dweller Deepsea as starting point. Technical aspects of the 2008 model, like the Ring Lock System, the Triplock crown and the case back in titanium, were also used on the new model.

JC:overzicht 3 modellen

The Deepsea Challenge was prepared to withstood the enormous pressure of the water at a gigantic depth of 12,000 km. To do this Rolex needed a pressure tank in which tests could be performed at a pressure of 1,500 bar. In cooperation with the French diving firm COMEX (Rolex made Submariners and Sea-Dwellers for this firm for years) they made the tank they needed. Under these circumstances the pressure on the watch glass is 17 tons, on the case back 23 tons and 40 tons on the middle part.

To be able to cope with these enormous pressures the case is even bigger and the sapphire glass even stronger. The diameter of the Deepsea Challenge is 51,4 mm and it’s height is 28,5 mm, 10,8 mm more than the not really slender Sea-Dweller Deepsea. The sapphire glass is 14,3 mm thick (compared to the serie model’s 5,5 mm).
When compared to the Deep Sea Special from 1960 it becomes clear how much progress Rolex has made with the 2012 model, especially in the use of materials. The latter model is 7,5 mm less thick than the watch from 1960.

In part caused by the movie on YouTube that shows the design and manufacturing of the Deepsea Challenge 2012 collectors started intense speculations if Rolex would ever bring the watch, limited or not, to the market. Unfortunately this never happened.


JC:DC:wp donker1

Jaap Bakker

September 28th



Rolex Prince: the doctor’s watch
by admin


In 1928 Rolex introduced the Prince which almost instantly became known as the doctor’s watch. The rectangular watch had a bigger dial on top for the hours and the minutes and below that a smaller dial for the seconds. That made it easy for a doctor to measure a patient’s pulse rate.

RoPr:5 versies

In the history of watches the Rolex Prince is seen as one of the most groundbreaking watches. After it came on the market in 1928 it immediately set new standards for accuracy and ease of use for luxury watches.
After it’s introduction the Price was for sale in two different styles for the case, one a more rectangular (Classic) and the other one a much more round design (Brancard). Rolex used several materials to manufacture a Prince, yellow gold, sterling silver, platinum and two-tone combinations (later steel also became available). The Classic was Model 1343 and the Brancard Model 971.
Soon after it’s introduction the manual wound movement was replaced by an automatic one.

In the ’30s of the last century the price of a Rolex Prince was about the same as that of a car. The following illustrates that.
The Gruen doctor’s watch and the Rolex Prince both have the same movement. The former was made for the American market, the latter for the rest of the world and therefore they were not sold as competitors. Still, the price of the Gruen watch was only 30% of the price of a Prince.
Once again Rolex proved to be brilliant in their marketing and showed how strong the brand was.

RoPr:1930-Rolex-Ad Kerstmis
RoPr:rolex prince brancard werbung houten lijst

In 1935 Rolex started with the production of the ‘Railway Prince’. It was designed with the forms of a locomotive in mind and was registered as Model 1527.
The next new model, the ‘Jumping Hours’, was a truly new, futuristic design. The upper dial of the watch now had only a minute hand and the hours could be read as numbers (1-12) through a hole in the dial at the 12 o’clock position. Years later this invention was the inspiration for the development of the Rolex Datejust.
One of the last models of the Rolex Prince series was the ‘Super Precision Aerodynamic’. This watch had one big dial for the hour, minute and second hands.
Somewhere during the 40s the production of the Rolex Prince ended and it got replaced by more round and sports models.

During it’s existance several ‘special editions’ of the Rolex Prince were manufactured.
The ‘Sporting Prince’ was one of them. It was a pocket watch designed to be used during athletic activities. The movement was in a case which had a spring mechanism with which the dial could pop up from the case.
A big Canadian warehouse wanted to give their employees who had worked for them for more than 25 years a watch and ordered the ‘Quarter Century Club’ Prince by Rolex. These watches had the words ’1/4 Century Club’ printed on the outer ring of the dial instead of the normal numbers.


Pic.: 1945 ‘Quarter Century Club’

RoPr:1929 wit:geel goud

Pic.: 1929 white/yellow gold

RoPr:asymmetrisch 1930

Pic.: 1930 asymmetric

RoPr:jumping hour 1930s
RoPr:jumping hour gold
RoPr:jumping hour kaliber+kast
RoPr:jumping hour steel
RoPr:jumping hour steel+gold

Pic.: different versions of the ‘Jumping Hour’

RoPr:aerodynamic 1940s kaliber

Pic.: aerodynamic 1940s caliber

RoPr:goud 1936

Pic.: 1936 gold

RoPr:steel 1930

Afb.: 1930 staal


Pic.: Prince pocket watch

Finally Rolex reintroduced the Prince and it is for sale in 2013 (Rolex Prince).

Jaap Bakker

September 22nd


Eric Clapton: King of Rolex
by admin



Pic.: Eric Clapton with his Submariner and B.B. King in the back seat with his inevitable yellow gold Rolex President (not visible)

Eric Patrick Clapton was born in Ripley, Surrey, in the UK, on March 30th, 1945. His mother, Patricia Molly Clapton, was only 16 years old when Eric was born. His father, Edward Walter Fryer, was a 24-year old Canadian soldier, posted in the UK during WOII who returned to Canada after the war. Being a single teenage mother, Patricia was not capable of dealing with motherhood and her mother and step-father, Rose and Jack Clapp, decided to undertake this task. Eric’s family name originates from his grandfather on his mother’s side, Reginald Cecil Clapton.

Eric grew up in a very musical household. His grandmother was a talented pianist and his grandfather appeared to be a decent pianist as well.
When Eric was told the truth about his grandparents and mother – he thought they were his parents and sister – , he turned from a good student and popular boy into a reserved person who lost all motivation to study. However, at the age of 13, he appeared to have an outstanding talent for art and he went to the art department of the Holyfield Road School.
In that time, 1958, rock and roll had caused an explosion within the British music scene. As a present for his 13th birthday Eric asked for a guitar and he was given a cheap Hoyer made in Germany. But he found it difficult and painful to play this steel-string guitar and he let it slide.
It was not until he was 16 that, after being admitted to the Kingston College of Art, he was eager to get back to the guitar. Eric’s examples were blues guitar players like Robert Johnson, Muddy Waters and Alexis Korner. The latter inspired Eric to buy an electric guitar, which was relatively rare in the UK in those days.
It was also at Kingston that he discovered something the lifelong impact of which would be almost equally great as the guitar: booze.
After the first time of getting drunk, at the age of 16, he woke up in the woods, alone, covered with vomit and penniless. Eric remembers ‘I couldn’t wait to do it all again’. It obviously did not take long before he was removed from school.
From 1963 on, Eric started hanging around in bars in London West End where he played with The Roosters, and Casey Jones and The Engineers for short periods of time. In order to get by Eric worked in the building trade.
In October 1963, Eric was invited to play with The Yardbirds, scoring his first commercial hits ‘Good Morning Little Schoolgirl’ and ‘For Your Love’. In 1965 he left the band and was substituted by the guitarists Jimmy Page and Jeff Beck. Later they would be considered the best rock guitarists ever.
After some time, in 1965, Eric joined the John Mayall & the Bluesbrakers blues band that would record the ‘The Bluesbrakers with Eric Clapton’ album one year later. This record established Eric’s reputation as one of the greatest guitarists of that time. With songs like ‘What’d I Say’ and ‘Ramblin’ on My Mind’ Eric won the very flattering epithet ‘God’, resulting from graffiti in the London underground saying ‘Clapton is God’.
Despite this success, Eric left the Bluesbrakers rather soon and a few months later he created the rock trio Cream, together with the bassist Jack Bruce and drummer Ginger Braker.
They played songs like ‘Crossroads’ and ‘White Room’ and after making three successful albums -Fresh Cream (1966), Disraeli Gears (1967) and Wheels of Fire (1968)- in addition to the extensive tour in the USA, Cream had gained an international superstar status. However, after two final concerts in the Londen Royal Albert Hall, Cream fell apart due to conflicting egos.


It would lead too far afield to reveal Clapton’s remaining musical history entirely.
The period between 1970 and 1987 was characterized by complete ambiguity. Clapton achieved tremendous musical successes (e.g. he wrote the song ‘Layla’ to express his desperate affection for Pattie Boyd, the wife of Beatle George Harrison), but his personal life was a mess. In the early 70s he was addicted to cocaine for three years and as of 1979 he had been a heavy alcohol abuser. One divorce after another followed, Clapton committed adultery and fathered two illegitimate children.
In 1987, Eric gave up drinking with the 12-step aid of the AA and he has been sober since. Even in 1991 when he suffered a great personal tragedy. His son Conor died after he fell from a window in his mother’s house. In connection with this tragic event Clapton wrote the song ‘Tears in Heaven’.
In 2002 he married Melia McEnery with whom he has three daughters, Julie Rose, Ella Mae and Sophie. Sober for the first time in his life, Eric greatly enjoys a stable family life.
In 1998, he founded the Crossroads Centre, a alcohol and drug rehabilitation centre, and in 2007, Clapton’s autobiography was published.


Pic.: Eric Clapton wearing his Rolex Daytona Paul Newman with a ‘fatstrap’ like the one Newman used to wear

Eric Clapton is a collector of vintage Rolex watches and he is also an ambassador for Rolex.
Recently, two very rare samples from his collection were auctioned the proceeds of which went towards the Crossroads Centre.

This stainless steel Rolex Daytona was auctioned a few years ago and the bidding went up to $ 505,000, which was a worldwide auction record. What makes this watch very special is the ‘Albino’ dial, as it is extremely rare.


The Yachtmaster Daytona was a prototype of Rolex and was never put on the market. The prototype had the ref 6239/6242 and only three samples of this model are known. The first was Clapton’s, the second John Goldberger’s and the third is included in the private Rolex collection (this one has a special frame with ref 6542).


Clapton’s Yachtmaster was auctioned in 2003 by Christie’s for $ 125,000.

Other watches from the collection include:

-Ref 6062: in 18-carat gold with diamonds on the dial, considered the best Rolex ever.


- Ref 6036: gold with various gems and a romantic patina finish


- Ref 6239: gold, white and anthracite with matching tachymeter ring


- Ref 6236: the sports version of the Compax series from the early 60s


- Ref 3525


- Ref 6263: Oyster chronograph


Jaap Bakker

September 14th