Horologio Blog

Horologio Blog
2016-12-07

With the holidays here, you are most likely contemplating the perfect gift — or maybe even a self purchase. We know that a watch is a great, timeless investment — one that can hold its value for years to come.

While our customers often have varying degrees of passion about watches, some have gotten hooked on the singular statement a watch can make, and have purchased multiple timepieces — making him or her a "collector" of sorts. We are often asked how many watches one needs to have to be considered a collector, or to have a true watch wardrobe. The thing is, it is less about the number of watches you own and more about what types of watches you own that help in building a watch wardrobe.

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Generally, most people opt for either a classic work-type watch as their first timepiece, or a sportier watch. These are often the most versatile, and can go from day to night to weekend without a hiccup. It is safe to say that everyone building a wardrobe should have at least one classic dress watch perfect for work, and one sportier, rugged watch that can go out hiking or skiing on weekends.

From there, you build up. Women may want a diamond or gemstone watch for elegant evenings, especially if they do a lot of socializing. They also may want to add a fashion-forward watch — one that makes a color or artistic statement. Other genres of watches also appeal to both sexes, but men often find themselves attracted to pilot or military-inspired watches and there is an entire segment of brands that offer such timepieces. This is where a person's real likes or dislikes, interests or hobbies come into play. There are car-inspired watches, colorful watches, three-dimensional space-age looking watches and so much more.

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We advise you, if searching for a watch as a self-purchase or a gift, to consider what styles you already own, what is missing from your collection (or that of the person you are buying for) and what excites you in terms of look and style. The key to having a watch wardrobe is wearing the watches, and if you don't love them, you won't wear them. So buy what you like. We invite you to stop in any time to take a long look at what we have to offer in all watch genres.

2016-12-02
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It's been a wild and wonderful ride at auction this year for timepieces. As the month of December sees several final auctions, we are already getting great results — results that bode well for the argument that a watch is a fine investment in your future.

Just this week, Phillips Auction House sold, among others, several watches previously owned by watch lover and musician Eric Clapton. The auction, which concluded on Tuesday, November 29, along with a Rolex Milestones auction the House held the evening before, achieved almost $25.5 million in sales.

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In its sale a couple of weeks ago, Phillips, in association with Bacs & Russo, sold a Patek Philippe watch that achieved a world record — selling for $11 million. The watch had been made in 1943 and a was a stainless steel Reference 1518 perpetual calendar chronograph with moon phase. In that auction, a total of nearly 180 watches from more than a dozen different brands sold — to the tune of $27.8 million.

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According to Aurel Bacs, senior consultant with Phillips, the world record accomplishment "is a strong testimony that the watch market is universally accepted as an important pillar of the international art collector community."

2016-11-29
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Recently, at a New York City event attended by actress Gwyneth Paltrow, Frederique Constant unveiled its new Horological Smartwatch for women. Paltrow, a brand ambassador for Frederique Constant, introduced the new watch and noted the charitable side of the brand. That night, Frederique Constant contributed $50,000 to DonorsChoose.org, one of Paltrow's favorite charities.

The new Horological Smartwatch for women offers an analog look so it has beauty and brawn. It features MMT technology and a host of functions that include activity tracking, sleep tracking, message and call notifications, and more.

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There are  five models in the collection, including steel and two-tone versions on straps or bracelets, and featuring black or white dials with guilloche decorations, diamond and mother-of-pearl accents. The 34mm watches are powered by a quartz module and join the men's Horological Smartwatches that were unveiled just about two years ago. We invite you in to see the Frederique Constant watches we carry in our store.

2016-11-23
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It's almost here —  Black Friday — and with it the stress and joy of holiday shopping. We want to help take the stress out of the shopping experience by offering a bit of advice about what to look for when buying a watch for a loved one.

Watches actually make a wonderful gift for a variety of reasons, including the fact that a watch is timeless.  It also requires a bit of personal thought and decision-making, which means it shows you cared enough to take the time to give the recipient time. Besides which, every time he or she puts that watch on the wrist — and looks at it throughout the day — a thought of you will come to mind. So, relax, stroll on in to our store, and let us help you pick the perfect timepiece using these key tips in making your selection.

1. Think about the person you are buying for, especially their hobbies and interests. Are they sports lovers? If so, what kind? There are a lot of watches that offer chronographs for timing laps, or tachymeters for tracking speed, for instance. Is he or she an dive-, auto- or aviation-lover? If so, water-, car- and pilot-inspired watches work beautifully.

2. Consider where the person lives and what the climate may be. These factors will help influence whether you select a watch with a metal bracelet, or a rubber or leather strap. Warm climates are often suitable for bracelets, so the strap doesn’t get clammy or sticky on the wrist. Colder climates may call for the warmth of a leather strap. Rubber straps work in all climates and in cases where the person is very active. Interchangeable straps are a great concept because they enable versatility.

3. Don't forget to take age and career into account when selecting a watch. Generally, teenagers and young adults are more interested in what is stylish and trendy, than the functions of the watch, while older people may want a larger, easy-to-read dial. Additionally, lifecycle may come into play. Buying for someone just starting a career versus someone already well entrenched in his or her career may mean the difference between a fashion statement and a "success" statement.

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While these three easy tips will help you out, we also urge you to keep your own budget in mind. You should have a set amount you want to spend already figured out and stay within that range. Now that you are thinking about your loved one’s interests and personality, we invite you to visit our store and take a close up look at the gift of time.

2016-11-17

More than 50 years after her tragic death, legendary starlet Marilyn Monroe still has legions of fans and admirers. Thanks to the upcoming sale by Julien's Auctions, you may have a chance to bid on a wide array of Monroe's personal artifacts, including two of her watches.

The sale will take place over a three-day period from November 17 to 19, with the items on display in Los Angeles. The watches are set to hit the auction block on November 18.

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Culled from multiple sources, including the Collection of David Gainsborough-Roberts, The Estate of Lee Strasberg and Déjà vu Property From The Life and Career of Marilyn Monroe, this may be the most comprehensive sale of Marilyn artifacts ever.

Included in the sale are notes scribbled on paper, letters, makeup cases, lipsticks, costumes, handbags, furs, the original sequined dress she wore when she sang “Happy Birthday Mr. President” to John F. Kennedy, jewelry and several timepieces.

While Monroe did not own glitzy jewelry, she did possess several watches, including a diamond cocktail watch by Blancpain (with movement stamped Blancpain and Rayville Watch Co.) The Art Deco piece, to which diamonds have been added, is believed to be gift from her third husband, Arthur Miller. The watch is expected to sell in the range of $80,000 and  $100,000.

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A second Art Deco watch possessed by Monroe is also up for sale. The watch houses a movement made by Marvin and features a gold-tone metal bracelet with diamonds that were added later. It is expected to sell in the range of $15,000 to $20,000.

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2016-11-14
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Last week we brought you a story about the annual watch awards known as the Grand Prix de Horlogerie Geneve (GPHG) and showed a few brands we carry that were in the final running. Well, the winners have been announced and we are pleased to bring some of the results to you now. Oh, and make note, you can view these award-winning brands in our store any time.

Girard-Perregaux, a brand we are proud to carry, won in two categories. The Cat's Eye Tourbillon with Gold Bridge won the Ladies' High-Mech category thanks to the tourbillon with mechanical manual-wind movement and meticulous diamond setting, while the brand's La Esmeralda Tourbillon built in honor of the company's 225th anniversary won the Tourbillon category.

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TAG Heuer won the Revival category with its affordable Monza Chronograph. This self-winding mechanical watch recalls the brand’s involvement in the auto-racing world.

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2016-11-09
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One of the watch industry's biggest events —The Grand Prix de Horlogerie Geneva (GPHG) — takes place tomorrow in Geneva. Every year for the past 15 years, the GPHG has celebrated the finest timepieces on the market by honoring one watch in a host of different categories.

This year there are 12 categories, including Ladies, Ladies High-Mech, Men’s, Chronograph, Tourbillon, Calendar, Travel Time, Mechanical Exception, Petite Aiguille (best in show), Sports, Jewelry and Artistic Crafts. There is also a People’s Choice Award that is selected based on votes from the general public.

Approximately 160+ watches were submitted to the GPHG for consideration this past June. These watches were then culled down by a jury to the final pre-selected nominations of six per each within the 12 categories, for a final 72 watches. We will bring you the results of the awards next week, but here are a few nominees from the brands we are proud to carry in our store.

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2016-11-03

Daylight Saving Time in the United States ends at 2 a.m. on Sunday, Nov. 6, when the clocks fall back by an hour, and many of us will certainly enjoy an extra 60 minutes of much-needed sleep. Meanwhile, our friends at ATimelyPerspective.com offer a fun look at the origins of DST, which happen to stretch back to the days of our Founding Fathers. Here is a little insight into the history of DST for true time junkies.

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Some credit the concept of DST to American politician and inventor Benjamin Franklin, who, in a 1784 essay entitled “An Economical Project for Diminishing the Cost of Light,” suggested people get out of bed earlier in the morning to use the light instead of candles.

More than a century later, in 1895, a New Zealand entomologist, George Vernon Hudson, who liked to collect insects in his free time, wanted more daylight time for his studies, so he presented a report to the Wellington Philosophical Society proposing a two-hour daylight savings time program. Though the concept wasn’t embraced internationally, it laid the groundwork for what would come later.

In 1905, British builder William Willett proposed the idea of DST, suggesting setting clocks ahead in April and switching them back in September. His idea caught the attention of Robert Pearce, who introduced a bill to the House of Commons in 1908. The concept was opposed by farmers in England and did not pass, but it laid more groundwork.

In 1916, Germany was the first country to implement DST and several countries followed suit, including America.

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In the United States after World War II, states could choose whether or not they wanted to impose DST and on which dates. However, mass confusion caused Congress to establish the Uniform Time Act in 1966, which set a protocol for DST times/dates. Still, some U.S. states/territories don’t participate, calling out the dubious usefulness of DST.

As part of the Energy Policy Act of 2005, the length of DST in America was extended by four weeks, starting in 2007. Additionally, while it is recognized around the world, not all countries practice DST, and those that do, do so on different dates.

Daylight Savings Time image: karenroach/Bigstockphoto.com

2016-11-01

We have so many watch aficionados asking us all the time about what they need to know when it comes to buying vintage watches. Now, the National Association of Watch & Clock Collectors (NAWCC) has put together a three-day course entitled "Luxury or Lie? How to Identify a Genuine Watch."

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Now, you know that if you buy a new watch from an authorized retailer you are safe. But when it comes to buying vintage watches from a source you don't know you need to be careful.  The course — being offered in Santa Paula, Calif., November 12-14 — reviews watch terminology, complications, movements and more. Additionally, it teaches which components are the most important to study when buying a vintage watch, including dials, hands, strap and even the case.

The course instructors are also bringing in both genuine and fake watches for participants to examine close up.  Among brands covered throughout the two day event are Omega, Rolex, Rolex-Tudor, Breitling, Cartier, Tag Heuer, Panerai, Bell & Ross, Montblanc, Girard-Perregaux, Audermars Piquet and others.

There is a fee for the class and interested parties should visit NAWCC.org. Of course, you can typically trust vintage watches sold by authorized retailers as well as the major auction houses.

2016-10-27
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Halloween is around the corner and that makes this the perfect time to talk about skeletons. Well, not the kind we usually think of at Halloween, but the kind we think of when we think luxury timepieces: Skeleton watches. Referred to as skeletons or skeletonized watches, these timepieces are intricate and alluring because the majority of the metal movement parts have been cut away and sculpted to offer open-worked magnificence.

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To create a skeletonized watch, skilled master artisans and watchmakers spend hours upon hours slimming pieces to their tiniest possible size so that only the minimum metal is visible.  Sometimes the skeletonizing — the act of paring away the metal and then finely finishing it — can take several weeks to a month. It is also a fine balancing act, because as the metal is removed, the strength of the material can be compromised, affecting the integrity of the watch. The perfect skeleton is bare bones, but still generates maximum efficiency and precision.

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Generally, once a movement has been fully finished, it is cased between a sapphire crystal and sapphire case back, enabling stunning see-through visibility of the beautiful work of art. While there are several brands that are masters at skeleton watches, Ulysse Nardin, a brand we are proud to carry, offers great depth and scope. We invite you to stop in any time and take a look at the masterful work inherent in a skeleton watch.

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