Horologio Blog

Horologio Blog
2017-04-27

Earlier this year, we announced that Greenery was the high-point color for spring as announced by Pantone. Additionally, the experts on color pronounced that reds would be hot for fall. Now, the Pantone Color Institute reminds us that for spring and summer (and even into early fall), a new palette of important colors is coming our way. Interestingly enough, we are already seeing these colors surfacing at many watch brands in the form of dials, accents and straps.

Key colors that are great for the wrist include the following: Primrose Yellow, a warmer rather than brighter yellow; Pale Dogwood, a super soft and muted blush pink; Island Paradise, a tropical turquoise; Kale, the vegetable color green; and six others shown below.

Stop in any time to see the watches we have that sport these tones so that you can be right on trend.

2017-04-25

We hear about all sorts of items being made via three-dimensional printing… but watches? Absolutely. In fact, over the past few years, more and more watch brands have been using 3D printing in creating prototypes of watches that are in the research and development stages. It considerably helps to speed up the process.

By three-dimensionally printing cases and bracelets, designers and watchmakers can study the ergonomics of the pieces, the sizes, the curves and the fit. In the past, a watch brand would create a mold and then have samples made for them to see, touch and feel. This process would easily take a few weeks each time something would be altered in the prototype. However, three-dimensional printing takes almost no time in comparison.

In a recent survey, more than 60 percent of watch executives said they already use 3D printing for prototypes of cases, dials, bracelets, buckles and crowns. The benefits of moving more quickly also equal a labor and time reduction, which may help influence eventual prices. Additionally, because objects are designed on a computer for 3D printing, it is very precise, giving watch brands an excellent representation of how the piece will turn out when finally made for real.

Thus far, none of the top luxury watch brands are actually making 3D-printed watches, however, several of the finest haute horlogerie companies are secretly investigating new production methods in laboratories and universities. We can’t wait to find out more, and when we do, we will keep you posted.

2017-04-20

This Saturday, April 22, marks Earth Day, a time to celebrate Earth and her many bounties. Many celebrate with clean-up efforts, planting trees and committing to environmental protection efforts. The annual event was begun in 1970 and nearly 200 countries around the world participate — all managed globally by the Earth Day Network.

Today, many top watch brands also make a commitment to saving Earth's resources. Some have programs and foundations to reforest regions of the world, others support clean-water efforts, and a host of brands support protection of our oceans. We will bring you more about the brands that dedicated their resources to ocean preservation on World Oceans Day in June.

Certain privately owned watch brands have environmental foundations that look after the causes, even offering awards and grants to those studying and pursuing investigation into conservation efforts. Additionally, some of the larger corporate-owned brands have different initiatives. For instance the LVMH Group (which owns Hublot, TAG Heuer, Bulgari and Zenith, among others) developed its LIFE program five years ago, which makes management more aware of ways to become environmentally conscious. LVMH is a member of the Business for Social Responsibility Network, and is committed to sustainable practices within its many factories and new constructions.

Brands within the LVMH Group have also created their own strong messages, teaming with other groups and organizations to bring clean drinking water to countries in need, or to save animals. TAG Heuer, for instance, is a member of the Responsible Jewelry Council (RJC), an organization committed to the promotion of ethics, human and social rights and environmental practices throughout the gold and diamond product chain, from the mines to retail. The Council has developed the RJC System, a certification system that applies to all Members’ businesses that contribute to the diamond and gold jewelry supply chain.

Under the RJC system, all Commercial Members of the RJC are required to be audited by accredited, third-party auditors to verify their conformance with the RJC’s Code of Practices, and become certified under the RJC System. TAG Heuer also certifies that all of the diamonds used in its timepieces are cut by legitimate sources and that they are not involved in armed conflicts, in compliance with the United Nations’ resolutions, on the basis of written guarantees produced by its suppliers. Additionally, through its brand ambassadors, it supports a host of charities involved in sustainability. Stop in any time and see which brands we carry that support sustainability, the environment and Earth.

Credits: Earth Day graphic via BigStockPhoto.com; Wildlife photo courtesy of LVMH Group.

2017-04-18

Recently during the Baselworld 2017 watch exhibition, The Watchstars Awards were presented. A pinnacle in the watch industry, the international watch awards are given out annually by an international committee of experts. Watchstars honors “the best watches of the world” in five different categories. The judging is based on the previous year’s innovations.

The 2017 awards were given for timepieces unveiled in 2016 – and that are in stores now. We are proud to carry the timepiece shown, above.

Representatives of the honored brands were presented with beautiful star statues. Here are the winners in the five categories:
Classic Stars: Rolex Perpetual Air King
Technical Stars: Audemars Piguet Royal Oak Concept Supersonnerie
Design Stars: Hermes Slim d’Hermes Grand Feu Enamel
Stars for a Lifetime: Audemars Piguet Royal Oak Extra Thin
New Stars: Bulgari Octo Finissimo Minute Repeater*

* It should be noted that while Bulgari is by no means a "new" star, the brand's haute horlogerie status of watchmaking has risen greatly over the past decade, becoming a new benchmark in the watch industry.

The Watchstars jury committee consists of the most experienced watch specialists around the world. Only committee members are allowed to nominate and vote for the winning watches: manufacturers are not permitted to submit watches. All watches, regardless of size, brand, or country of origin, are eligible for the Watchstars Awards.

There are nearly 90 jurors on the committee, including some true veteran journalists in the field of watches. Among them are Roberta Naas of ATimelyPerspective.com online watch magazine, Joe Thompson, Norma Buchanan and Mark Bernardo of WatchTime, freelancer Jason Heaton, Ariel Adams of ABlogtoWatch.com and Sabine Zwettler, freelancer.

2017-04-13

Well, auction season is in full swing, with the top watch auction houses putting some of their most recent finds up on the block. More now than ever before, the concept of buying vintage watches at auction has taken off. For young first-time collectors as well as seasoned veteran collectors, the vintage watch market, in general, and auctions, in particular, are a great way to find that one rare piece. The best auction houses include Christie's, Sotheby's, Antiquorum and Phillips by Bacs and Russo. There are also smaller auction houses to keep an eye on, as well.

We believe in investing in vintage timepieces, as typically many of these watches hold their value. Vintage watches also often make a great sentimental gift. However, before you dive in, here are three important things to know...

1 — Read up. Sometimes if you see something going up for auction that you really want it is difficult to resist. However, investigate the watch, its provenance and its rarity before you bid. Recently, the head of one top watch auction house said that most buyers of vintage pieces at auction make their biggest mistakes in the first year of auction buying. It’s important to know the authenticity of the watch, as well, to ensure the dial, hands or markers haven't been changed, as this significantly affects the value of the watch. You can read books and blogs, such as www.ATimelyPerspective.com and Hodinkee.com to learn more about hot watches.

2 — Ask for help. In addition to reading books, blogs and doing your homework, you shouldn't hesitate to ask the experts — ourselves included. Don’t be afraid to take some pictures of the watch you are considering buying at auction or in a store where pre-owned is a category. While most of the info you are seeking will be readily available if the watch is being sold by a top auction house, that may not be the case if you are buying vintage at retail stores. The one thing you will quickly learn about the watch community is that people are eager to talk about this passion and to give advice, so go to the watch forums, ask the experts and talk up the watch. Also, as an aside, if you are buying from a retailer, ask about your options for returns and refunds right up front.

3 — Have a budget and stick to it. It is easy to break the bank, but if you are not in a position to do so, don't. Other good deals will come along. If you've done your homework, you know what that value is based on sales of similar watches of that genre, make, model, dial color, etc. Happy hunting, and stop in any time to talk about pre-owned and vintage watches.

2017-04-11

If you love watches and art, you may be interested in making a trip to the National Watch & Clock Museum. Beginning on April 30 and running through the end of the year, the museum will host an exhibit featuring the work of watch photographer Atom Moore, whose creative take on time portrays watches in new and unusual ways.

Just about a year ago, Moore's photography was on display in New York and, subsequently, he published a book: Watch Portraits, with dozens of color photos of his work. The exhibit at the NAWCC in Columbia, Pa., is also called "Watch Portraits," and is open to the public.

Photo by Atom Moore.

From May 20-22, the NAWCC will be offering a three-day course on how to evaluate watches and recognizing genuine pieces vs. fakes. More information is available on the NAWCC website at this link...

2017-04-06

TAG Heuer officially unveiled its newest smart watch at Baselworld. It's called the Connected Modular 45 and it is Made in Switzerland (thanks to a clever move to assemble parts of the electronic module in that country). The new watch is offered in a modular format so customers can select various aspects of the watch to suit their needs — with thousands of different combinations of straps, dials, bezels and more.

The 45mm watch is powered by Intel and utilizes the Google Android Wear 2 operating system.The watch is offered with a digital head, but customers can also choose to buy a mechanical watch head so they can switch between having a smart watch or a mechanical watch, or to keep the timepiece intact as a watch once the OS becomes outdated.

The electronic watch head is powered by the Intel Atom processor Z34XX series (smaller and more energy efficient) and offers Android Pay, as well as a host of other features. The watch has in improved screen, which features a bright, colorful AMOLED display. Additionally, the watch uses a rotating command crown to scroll through menus and messages. It houses a new generation lithium battery for 24 hours of active power.

2017-04-04

Well, the Baselworld 2017 watch and jewelry exhibition has come to a close and we can sit back and reflect on the trends we believe will make their way to wrists around the world this year.

Top among the trends was a revival of mixed metals. In fact, two-tone watches — with stainless steel and 18-karat rose gold coming together in one timepiece — were all the rage. In some instances two-tone watches made their appearance in an effort to usher in less expensive prices than all-gold, but in other instances, it was all about the look. A sleek rose gold bezel against a steel case has impressive appeal. However, gold isn't stepping aside to let the two-tone looks dominate — gold is still going strong. We saw a little yellow gold emerging, but rose gold is still in vogue.

Color also gains attention this year, with beautiful dials in pale shades of pink, blue and green. Chocolate and slate gray also reign as top dial choices for both men and women. Straps emerge strongly in all hues, including bright white, orange, red, yellow and rich fall colors.

As predicted, we saw a lot of sport watches, especially chronographs, making their appearance, as well. Many of those sport watches follow a theme, such as dive watches, pilot or aviation-inspired watches and auto-inspired pieces — all with rugged, yet refined, appeal.

Finally, women's watches are stealing the limelight as more and more brands unveiled pieces dedicated to ladies. Crafted in steel, gold and other materials, the newest women's watches are either highly classic in look, sporty chic or over-the-top with diamonds.

All of these trends will be flowing our way with new product in our cases throughout the year, so we invite you in any time to see the latest and greatest timepieces.

2017-03-28

It was a wild and wonderful Baselworld, with a host of new introductions. One of our favorites is the Breitling Avenger Hurricane with an ultra-light case made of the proprietary Breitlight®. The material is not only super lightweight, but also incredibly durable and scratch resistant. This is the first time the brand has used Breitlight® for an Avenger Hurricane watch. The properties of the material make it corrosive resistant and thermally stable. It's also anti-magnetic and non allergen.

The new 50mm extra-large diameter watch is offered with either a yellow or black dial and is water resistant to 100 meters like the previous watch. However the new watch is now powered by the high-performance Manufacture Breitling Caliber 01 chronograph movement — offering form and function to the wearer. The watch is, like all Breitling timepieces, a COSC-certified chronometer.

2017-03-23

Every year since we can remember, the world's largest and, perhaps, most important watch exhibition, BaselWorld, has taken place in Basel, Switzerland, in March. This year, the exhibition runs from March 23 until March 30. This is a huge affair, with hundreds of watch brands unveiling their newest timepieces — watches that are sure to set wrist trends for another year.

BaselWorld is a meeting of minds, of technology and craftsmanship. Here, in five separate buildings, as well as off-site, some of the best brands in the world unveil the watches that they have been secretly working on for years.

While we will bring you specific watch brand information after the show, here are five trends we expect to be prevalent this year:

Affordability. As global economics have a huge effect on watch lineups, we expect this year to see some more affordable timepieces with quality movements and great design. These will appeal more to the younger audiences and those being a bit more frugal this year.

Over the Top.  We also still expect to see some truly over-the-top watches: timepieces with astronomical complications, musical features, and top-of-the-line complexities. Along with that, we expect that diamond- and gemstone-set watches will be strong.

Color. This is the year for brands to make a color statement. From blue to red and from pale pink to white, color should abound this year. Along with colorful dials and straps, we may find some interesting new interchangeable straps.

Sporty Appeal. Chronograph watches, pilot watches, dive watches and watches inspired by the world of automotive racing will continue to steal the spotlight. We look forward to seeing the newest affiliations and iterations from the brands we carry.

Connectivity. Smart watches in the "traditional" watch world continue. Let's see what is unveiled this week.

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