Tuesday, September 27, 2011

TAG Heuer

TAG Heuer is a Swiss luxury watchmaker known for its sports watches and chronographs. It is a division of luxury goods company LVMH Moët Hennessy • Louis Vuitton. The company motto is "Swiss Avant-Garde Since 1860". In addition to watches, TAG Heuer produces glasses and cell phones.

 Heuer triple-date chronograph ca 1955

19th century
The TAG Heuer company has its roots in 1860 when Edouard Heuer founded Uhrenmanufaktur Heuer AG in St-Imier, Switzerland, patenting his first chronograph in 1882. In 1887 Heuer patented an 'oscillating pinion' still used by major watchmakers for mechanical chronographs.

Early 20th century
In 1911, Heuer received a patent for the "Time of Trip", the first dashboard chronograph. Designed for use in automobiles and aircraft, two large hands mounted from the center pinion indicate the time of day, as on a traditional clock. A small pair of hands, mounted at the top of the dial (12 o'clock position) indicates the duration of the trip (up to 12 hours). A top-mounted crown allows the user to set the time; a button mounted in that crown operates the start / stop / reset functions of the "duration of trip" counter.

Heuer introduced its first wrist chronograph in 1914. The crown was at the 12 o'clock position, as these first wrist chronographs were adapted from pocket chronographs. In 1916, Heuer introduced the "Micrograph", the first stopwatch accurate to 1/100 of a second. This model was soon followed by the "Semikrograph", a stopwatch that offered 1/50 of a second timing, as well as a split-second function (which allows the user to determine the interval between two contestants or events).

Timepieces of the 1930s and 1940s
In 1933, Heuer introduced the "Autavia", a dashboard timer used for automobiles and aviation (whence its name, from "AUTos" and "AVIAtion"). The companion "Hervue" was a clock that could run for eight days without being wound. Over the period from 1935 through the early 1940s, Heuer manufactured chronographs for pilots in the German air force, known as "Flieger" (pilots) chronographs. The earlier version featured a hinged-back case and one pusher (for start / stop / reset); the later version had a snap-back case and added a second pusher (for time-in and time-out). All these Flieger chronographs had two-registers, with a capacity of 30 minutes.".

In the mid-1940s, Heuer expanded its line of chronographs to include both two- and three-register models, as well as a three-register chronograph that included a full calendar function (day / date / month). As the highest development of Heuer's chronographs, these "triple calendar" chronographs were offered in stainless steel, 14 carat gold 18 and 22 carat gold cases. Dial colors were white, black or copper.

1950s chronographs
In the early 1950s, Heuer produced watches for the American retailer Abercrombie & Fitch. The "Seafarer" and "Auto-Graph" were unique chronographs produced by Heuer to be sold by Abercrombie & Fitch. The "Seafarers" had special dials—with blue, green and yellow patterns—that showed the high and low tides. This dial could also be used to track the phases of the moon. Heuer produced a version of the "Seafarer" for sale under the Heuer name, with this model called the "Mareographe". The "Auto-Graph" was produced in 1953 and 1954, and featured a tachymeter scale on the dial and a hand that could be preset to a specific point on the scale. This allowed a rally driver or navigator to determine whether the car was achieving the desired pace, over a measured mile. Advertisements and literature also pointed out that this hand could be rotated to count golf scores or other events.

Late 1950s – new series of dashboard timers
From 1911, Heuer manufactured timepieces to be mounted on the dashboards of automobiles, aircraft and boats. These clocks and timers included a variety of models, designed to address specific needs of racers and rallyists. In 1958, Heuer introduced a new line of dashboard timepieces, which included the Master Time (8-day clock), the Monte Carlo (12-hour stopwatch), the Super Autavia (full chronograph), Sebring (60-minute, split-second timer) and Auto-Rallye (60-minute stopwatch). Heuer continued to manufacture these dashboard timepieces into the 1980s, at which time they were discontinued. Heuer also introduced timing devices for ski and motor racing events, including Formula One.

1960s chronographs
From the 1950s to the 1970s, Heuers were popular watches among automobile racers, both professionals and amateurs. Heuer was a leading producer of stopwatches and timing equipment, based on the volume of its sales, so it was only natural that racers, their crews and event sponsors began to wear Heuer's chronographs. Special versions of Heuer chronographs were produced with logos of the Indianapolis Motor Speedway, as well as the names or logos of racing teams or sponsors (for example, Shelby Cobra, MG and Champion Sparkplugs).

In 1962, Heuer became the first Swiss watchmaker in space. John Glenn wore a Heuer stopwatch when he piloted the Mercury Atlas 6 spacecraft on the first US manned space flight to orbit the earth. This stopwatch was the back-up clock for the mission and was started manually by Glenn 20 seconds into the flight. It is currently on display at the San Diego Air and Space Museum.

TAG Heuer Autavia, 1962

The Autavia chronograph was introduced in 1962 and featured a rotating bezel, marked in either hours, minutes, decimal minutes (1/100th minute increments) or with a tachymeter scale. All manual-wind Autavias from the 1960s had a black dial, with white registers. Early cases had a screw-back and later models (from and after 1968) had snap-backs. The "Autavia" name had previously been used on Heuer's dashboard timers (described above).

The Carrera chronograph, designed by Jack Heuer, was introduced in 1963. The Carrera had a very simple design, with only the registers and applied markers on the dial. The fixed inner bezel is divided into 1/5 second increments. The 1960s Carreras were available with a variety of dials, including all-white, all-black, white registers on a black dial, and black registers on a black dial. A three-register, triple calendar version of the Carrera was introduced around 1968.

 TAG Heuer Carrera, 1963

Most of Heuer chronographs from this period—including the Autavias and Carreras—used movements manufactured by Valjoux, including the Valjoux 72 movement (for a 12-hour chronograph) and the Valjoux 92 movement (for a 30-minute or 45-minute chronograph). The Valjoux 72 movement utilized a 'tri-compax' design, with three registers on the dial—one register for the chronograph hours (at the bottom), one register for the chronograph minutes (at the right), and a third register for a continuously running second hand (at the left). The second hand for the chronograph was mounted on the center pinion, along with the time-of-day hands.

Heuer acquired the "Leonidas" brand in the early 1960s, with the combined company marketing watches under the "Heuer-Leonidas" name. One of the designs that Heuer acquired from Leonidas was the "Bundeswehr" chronograph, used by the German air force. These "BWs" feature a 'fly-back' mechanism, so that when the chronograph is reset to zero, it immediately begins running again, to time the next segment or event.

World's first automatic chronographs
Commencing in the mid-1960s, Heuer was part of a partnership (with Breitling and Hamilton) that sought to introduce the world's first automatic chronograph. Seiko (a Japanese watch manufacturer) and Zenith (a Swiss watch manufacturer) were also seeking to be the first to offer these chronographs. These projects were conducted in secret, as none of the competitors wanted the other companies to be aware of their efforts. Most agree that the Heuer-Breitling venture was first to introduce their new line of automatic chronographs to the world wide market, with Heuer-Breitling-Hamilton holding lavish press conferences in Geneva and New York, on 3 March 1969, to show their new lines of chronographs.

Heuer's first automatic chronographs were the Autavia, Carrera and Monaco. These were powered by the Cal 11 and Cal 12 movements (12-hour chronograph); Cal 14 movement (12-hour chronograph and additional hand for GMT / second time-zone) and the Cal 15 movement (30-minute chronograph). Unusually, the winding crown was on the left, with the pushers for the chronograph on the right. The earliest of Heuer's Cal 11 chronographs (from 1969) were named "Chrono-Matic". In the early 1970s, Heuer expanded its line of automatic chronographs to include the Daytona, Montreal, Silverstone, Calculator, Monza and Jarama models, all of them powered by the Caliber 11 movement.

Several of the automatic Heuer chronographs powered by the Caliber 11 series of movements are associated with automobile racing and specific drivers. Steve McQueen wore a blue Monaco in the 1971 movie, Le Mans (with this model now referred to as the "McQueen Monaco") and Swiss Formula One star Jo Siffert customarily wore a white-dialed Autavia with black registers. In 1974, Heuer produced a special version of the black-dialed Autavia that was offered by the Viceroy cigarette company, in a special promotion for $88. The Viceroy advertisements for this promotion featured racer Parnelli Jones, this version of the Autavia got to be called the "Viceroy".

Chronographs of the 1970s and 1980s
In 1975, Heuer introduced the Chronosplit, a digital chronograph with dual LED and LCD displays. Later versions featured two LCD displays.

Heuer began using the Valjoux 7750 movement in its automatic chronographs, with the Kentucky and Pasadena models (both introduced in 1977). The Valjoux 7750 movement was a three-register chronograph (with seconds, minutes and hours), that also offered day / date windows.

In the mid-1970s, Heuer introduced a series of chronographs powered by the Lemania 5100 movement. The Lemania 5100 movements have the minute hand for the chronograph on the center pinion (rather than on a smaller register), greatly improving legibility. The Lemania 5100 movement is considered very rugged and has been used in a variety of chronographs issued to military pilots. There are ten models of Heuer chronographs powered by the Lemania 5100—Reference 510.500 (stainless steel), 510.501 (black coated), 510.502 (olive drab coated), 510.503 (pewter coated), 510.511 (Carrera dialed acrylic crystal PVD finish), 510.523 (Carrera dialed acrylic crystal stainless steel), as well as models with the names Silverstone (steel case with black dial) and Cortina (steel case with blue dial); the Reference 510.543 was made for the A.M.I. (Italian Air Force) and a special edition (with no reference number marked on the case) was made for AudiSport.

TAG Heuer was formed in 1985 when TAG (Techniques d'Avant Garde), manufacturers of high-tech items such as ceramic turbochargers for Formula One cars, acquired Heuer.

On 13 September 1999 TAG Heuer accepted a bid from LVMH Moët Hennessy Louis Vuitton S.A. of SwFr1.15 billion (£452.15 million) (US$739 million) contingent upon a transfer of 50.1% of stocks.

Current models
TAG Heuer's current lines include Formula One, Aquaracer, Link, Carrera, Monaco and Grand Carrera.

TAG Heuer, in keeping with its image as a luxury brand with an innovative spirit, has long standing links with the world of sport and Hollywood. TAG Heuer has been the official timekeeper of the three Summer Olympic Games of the 1920s, the Skiing World Championships, the Formula One World Championships and having developed a watch for the McLaren F1 team. The brand has also had a long list of sports and Hollywood ambassadors.

Some of the more recently announced models include the Monaco V4 (the movement of which is driven by belts rather than gears); the Carrera Calibre 360 (the first mechanical wrist chronograph to measure and display time to 1/100 of a second) and the Monaco 69 (with both a digital chronograph accurate to a millisecond and a traditional mechanical movement, with a hinged mechanism allowing wearers to flip the watch between its two separate dials).

In January 2011 TAG Heuer announced the new Carrera Mikrograph, the first TAG Heuer to use the in-house Mikrograph movement, which is accurate to 1/100 of a second. In addition to that, TAG Heuer has also released the limited edition Carrera MP4-12C to commemorate the launch of the McLaren MP4-12C supercar. TAG Heuer has been a partner of the McLaren F1 team for over 26 years now.

At the Basel 2011 show in March 2011, TAG Heuer announced the Mikrotimer Flying 1000, a concept mechanical watch capable of accuracy of 1/1000 of a second- ten times faster than the Mikrograph.

 TAG Heuer Formula 1 Lady Steel & Ceramic Pavee Watch 
For Charming Ladies

In 2007 TAG Heuer won the iF product design award for its Monaco Calibre 360 LS Concept Chronograph. The award was given away by the International Forum Design Hannover GmbH, held in Hanover, Germany. The watch received the award in the Leisure/Lifestyle category. It was chosen among more than 2,200 timepieces presented by watchmakers from 35 countries. TAG Heuer received the iF product design award for the second time in two years. In 2006 another TAG Heuer watch, entitled Professional Golf Watch, won in the same Leisure/Lifestyle category. The design of the Professional Golf Watch was developed with Tiger Woods.

In 2010 The Carrera 1887 won La Petite Aiguille award (“the small hand” for watches retailing for less than CHF5,000) at the Grand Prix d’Horlogerie de Genève.

 Tag Heuer Limited Edition Indy 500 Centennial Chronograph Watch



Tissot is a luxury Swiss watchmaker company founded in 1853 by Charles-Félicien Tissot and his son Charles-Émile Tissot who established the Tissot factory in the Swiss city of Le Locle, in the Neuchâtel area of the Jura Mountains.

Tissot should not be confused with Mathey-Tissot, a separate Swiss watchmaking firm established by Edmond Mathey-Tissot in 1886.

 Tissot T-Race MotoGP Limited Edition 2008

Tissot introduced the first mass-produced pocket watch and the first pocket watch with two times zones in 1853 and the first anti-magnetic watch in 1929-30. Charles-Emile Tissot left for Russia in 1858 and succeeded in selling their savonnette pocket watches across the Russian Empire. The Tissot company was also the first to make watches out of plastic (IDEA 2001 in 1971), stone (the Alpine granite Rock watch in 1985), mother of pearl (the Pearl watch in 1987), and wood (the Wood watch in 1988). Tissot merged with the Omega watch making family in 1930 and Tissot-Omega watches from this era are sought after by collectors.

 Tissot T-Tempo Gent Automatic Watch Family

Still based in Le Locle, Switzerland and present in more than 150 countries around the world, Tissot has been a member of The Swatch Group Ltd., the largest watch producer and distributor in the world, since 1983.

Tissot is an official timekeeper for the world championships in cycling, motorcycling, fencing and ice hockey, and was used for the Davis Cup in 1957 and Downhill Skiing in Switzerland in 1938. Tissot was also a key Sponsor for the Formula one teams Lotus, Renault and Sauber. Tissot's first engagement as an official timekeeper was in 1938 where they timed a series of Ski races in Villar, near the company's home town in the Jura mountains.

For early events, handheld stop watches were sufficient to provide official timings. Today Tissot works with various sporting bodies to develop system to produce ever more accurate timings for specific events. In competitive cycling for instance, sensors and placed on bikes and the track and linked by computers to provide track timings and performance data.

 Tissot Men's PRS 516 Quartz Watch

Tissot has become known in recent years for its tactile, or "T-Touch," technology; several new watches have touch-sensitive sapphire glasses and include compasses, barometers, altimeters and thermometers. T-Touch watches have been recently featured on Angelina Jolie's wrist in the movies Lara Croft Tomb Raider: The Cradle of Life and Mr. & Mrs. Smith.

 Tissot Classic Prince Watches in Art Deco Style

Famous people who have worn Tissot watches include the actress Sarah Bernhardt, singer Carmen Miranda, Elvis Presley, Grace Kelly, and Nelson Mandela. James Stewart also wears a Tissot watch in the movie "Rear Window".Indian actor Kamal Hassan also wears a Tissot watch in the Tamil Movie "Dasavatharam".

Sponsored people
  • Nicky Hayden, American MotoGP Rider
  • Danica Patrick, American Indycar Driver
  • Michael Owen, English Footballer
  • Huang Xiaoming, Chinese Actor
  • Barbie Hsu, Taiwanese Actress
  • Deepika Padukone, Indian Actress
  • Thomas Lüthi, Swiss 250cc Rider
  • CBA Official Timekeeper
  • IIHL Official Timekeeper
  • NASCAR Official Timekeeper
  • MotoGP Official Timekeeper
  • AFL Official Timekeeper
  • Asian Games Official Timekeeper
  • Steven Stamkos Hockey Player
  • Tony Parker Basketball Player

Watch models
  • Sailing T-Touch
  • SeaTouch
  • T-Touch Expert
  • T-Touch
  • T-Touch II
  • T-Race MotoGP
  • T-Race
  • T-Navigator 3000
  • T-Sport
  • T-One
  • TXL & TXS
  • PRS 516
  • PRS 200
  • PRC 200 Chronograph
  • PRC 200
  • PRC 100
  • PR 50
  • Bascule
  • Six-T
  • T-Wave
  • Ice-T
  • Equi-T
  • Diver Seastar Automatic 1000
  • Seastar 660
  • Seastar 7
  • Seastar 2
  • Bellflhour
  • Flower Power
  • V8
  • Cocktail
  • Le Locle
  • Heritage
  • T-Lord
  • Stylist BB
  • High-T
  • Visodate


    Seiko Holdings Corporation is a Japanese watch company.

    History and ongoing developments
    The company started in 1881, when Kintarō Hattori opened a watch and jewelry shop called "K. Hattori"  in the Ginza area of Tokyo, Japan. Eleven years later, in 1892, he began to produce clocks under the name Seikosha, meaning roughly "House of Exquisite Workmanship." According to Seiko's official company history, titled "A Journey In Time: The Remarkable Story of Seiko" (2003), Seiko is a Japanese word meaning "exquisite," "minute," or "success."

    Seiko Sportura FC Barcelona Chronograph Watch

    The first watches produced under the Seiko brand appeared in 1924. In 1969, Seiko introduced the Astron, the world's first production quartz watch; when it was introduced, it cost the same as a medium-sized car. Seiko later went on to introduce the first quartz chronograph. In 1985, Orient Watches and Seiko established a joint factory.

    The company was incorporated (K. Hattori & Co., Ltd.) in 1917 and was renamed Hattori Seiko Co., Ltd. in 1983 and Seiko Corporation in 1990. After reconstructing and creating its operating subsidiaries (such as Seiko Watch Corporation and Seiko Clock Inc.), it became a holding company in 2001 and was renamed Seiko Holdings Corporation as of July 1, 2007.

     Seiko Ananta Automatic Chronograph Diver’s watch

    Seiko is perhaps best known for its wristwatches, all of which were at one time produced entirely in-house. This includes not only major items such as microgears, motors, hands, crystal oscillators, batteries, sensors, LCDs but also minor items such as the oils used in lubricating the watches and the luminous compounds used on the hands and the dials. Currently watch movements are made in Shizukuishi, Iwate (SII Morioka Seiko Instruments), Ninohe, Iwate (SII Ninohe Tokei Kogyo), Shiojiri, Nagano (Seiko Epson) and their subsidiaries in China, Malaysia and Singapore. The fully integrated in-house production system is still practised in Japan.

    Seiko produces both quartz and mechanical watches of varying prices. The least expensive are around ¥4,000 (US$45) (Alba); the most expensive (Credor JURI GBBX998) costs ¥50,000,000 (US$554,000). Seiko's mechanical watches are highly prized by collectors—from the Seiko "5" series (the 5 reflects the five essential features of the watch, namely shock resistant, water resistant, automatic, and day and date display), which is the most common; the Seiko automatic Chronometer series; the "Bell-Matic," with a mechanical alarm; to the highly prized luxury "Credor," "King Seiko," and "Grand Seiko" lines. Seiko Kinetic watches account for a large proportion of sales nowadays and combine the self-energizing attributes of an automatic watch with quartz accuracy. The watch is entirely powered by its movement in everyday wear. On 7 October 2005, Seiko announced the launch of the Seiko Spring Drive, a new movement that provides 72 hours of power compared to 40 hours for mechanical and 3 years for battery powered quartz watches. This new movement uses a "Tri-synchro Regulator". The power from the spring is used to turn the gear train and a generator. The generator powers a circuit that includes a low consumption (~25 nanowatts) quartz crystal oscillator. The oscillator is a part of a continuous feedback circuit, which holds the speed of the generator close to eight revolutions per second. According to Seiko records the resulting movement delivers accuracy commensrate with other quartz timed watch movements.

    To the frustration of collectors, Seiko does not release all of its watch lines in every region; some are exclusively available in Asia, for instance. Many online retailers will ship watches overseas, though.

    Seiko Corporation of America is responsible for distribution of Seiko watches and clocks, as well as Pulsar brand watches, in the United States. The models available in the United States are normally a smaller subset of the full line produced in Japan. Seiko Corporation of America has its headquarters (and Coserv repair center) in Mahwah, New Jersey. In the United States, Seiko watches are sold primarily by fine jewelers and department stores as well as 19 company stores located in various cities.

     Seiko Premier Kinetic Rose Gold Chronograph Watch

    Seiko's 2004 marketing campaign emphasized that a watch, as opposed to other traits (such as what car they drive, for example), tells the most about a person.

    Various Seiko watches were worn by the cinematic James Bond 007 in four films starring Roger Moore from 1977 to 1985. Also, a Seiko watch was worn by Sean Connery in the 1983 Bond film Never Say Never Again. A Seiko Chronograph is also worn by Jason Bourne in the book "The Bourne Identity" by Robert Ludlum.

    Seiko also produces other electronic devices. Notably, during the 1980s, the company produced a range of digital synthesizers, such as the DS-250, for use in electronic music. Today, the music division, a part of Seiko Life Sports, produces metronomes & tuning devices.

    Official timekeeper
    Seiko is also the official timer of many major sporting events:
    • Tokyo Olympic Summer Games in Japan, 1964
    • 1978 World Cup in Argentina
    • 1982 World Cup in Spain
    • 1986 World Cup in Mexico
    • IAAF World Championships in Athletics in Italy, 1987
    • 1990 World Cup in Italy
    • IAAF World Championships in Athletics in Tokyo, Japan, 1991
    • Barcelona Olympic Summer Games in Spain, 1992
    • Lillehammer Olympic Winter Games in Norway, 1994
    • Nagano Olympic Winter Games in Japan, 1998
    • Salt Lake City Olympic Winter Games in USA, 2002
    Seiko is also named as the official timekeeper of the Gran Turismo racing game series, published by Sony. It's also the sponsor of FC Barcelona.

    Seiko used to sponsor Honda F1 (previously known as BAR [British American Racing] Honda). The Seiko name cannot currently be found on the Honda racing cars because Seiko Japan refused to be advertised whilst the names of tobacco companies are still appearing on the cars. They can, however, be found on the lollipop used in the pitlane.

    Sunday, September 25, 2011


    Rado is a Swiss manufacturer of watches, with headquarters in Lengnau, Switzerland. It is noted for its use of scratch-proof materials, a field in which it is considered a pioneer. Today the company produces about half a million watches a year with a staff of about 470 in total. Rado's watches are obtainable in more than 150 countries, at over 5900 ponts of sale. The most important markets are Southeast Asia, Japan, China, Middle East as well as countries within Europe (Switzerland, Germany, Italy) and the USA.

    Formed in 1917 as Schlup & Co., Rado initially produced watch movements only. In 1957 the company launched its first collection of watches under the Rado brand. In 1962 the Rado Diastar, the world's first scratch-proof watch, was launched. It has been in production ever since, now sold as DiaStar The Original.

    In 1983 Rado became part of the SMH group which was renamed in 1998 as the Swatch Group. Rado's sister brands within the Group include Omega, Breguet, Hamilton, Longines and Tissot.

    RADO differs from the traditional Swiss watch makers in that it leans towards innovative uses of high tech materials in distinct design. RADO has focused on pioneering the use of a number of materials that are unique within the watch making industry, such as e.g. hardmetal (tungsten- and titanium-carbide), ceramics, lanthanum and sapphire crystal.

    In 2004 RADO created a 'high-tech diamond', by the transformation of carbon into a nanocrystalline diamond with a Vickers hardness number of 10,000, thus naming the watch the V10K. It is the hardest watch on Earth, certified by the Guinness Book of World Records.

    The newer RADO watches are also distinct from the traditional Swiss watch industry in that their aesthetic is unique. Market reaction tends to be mixed to such a strong aesthetic, with many who appreciate the unique and distinct RADO look and those who do not.

    During their time, RADO has received more than 20 elite international design awards, from the RED DOT Award to the iF Design Award, for both their product and most recently, their collaboration with Jasper Morrison for an innovative watch box that mimics the shape of the human wrist.

    Rado Silver Star


    The Orient Watch Company is Japan's largest producer of mechanical watches. It has been a subsidiary of the Seiko Epson Corporation since 2001 and became a wholly owned subsidiary of Seiko Epson in 2009. The company produces both quartz and mechanical watches, but concentrates its marketing efforts and receives 55% of its international sales from the latter.

    The company was founded in Tokyo, July 1950; though, it has roots that date back to 1901 when Shogoro Yoshida opened a wholesale watch shop in Ueno. Through its sixty-year history, the company has contributed several technological advances in watchmaking efficiency such as the development of power-reserve indicators and use of in-house movement production of watches in the hundred-dollar price range.

    In-house movement production, defined as a watch manufacturer having direct intellectual property rights to the movement they produce, is not common; the list of companies that do this is very short.

    Orient sets itself apart from the other major Japanese watch companies by focusing on self-winding mechanical watches; Seiko, Citizen, Ricoh Elemex and others primarily or exclusively sell quartz watches.

     An Orient mechanical watch


    Corum is a Swiss watchmaker based in La Chaux-de-Fonds, Canton of Neuchâtel. Founded in 1955, it makes high-quality and high-price watches, many of which are limited editions and thus especially pricey. The benchmark watch series for Corum is its "Admiral's Cup" series.

    Corum has also been the maker of the World Series of Poker watches that accompanied World Series of Poker bracelet in 2007, and became the maker of the bracelets themselves in 2007.

    Corum Grand Precis Watch

     Corum Admiral's Cup Challenge 48 Black Flag

     Corum Admiral's Cup Challenger 40 Chrono Diamonds Watch

    Monday, September 19, 2011

    Edouard Bovet

    Edouard Bovet (1797–1849) was a Swiss watchmaker and founder of the Bovet watch company.

    He was born in Fleurier in Neuchâtel, moved to London in 1814 and went on to Canton in 1818 where he set up in business in partnership with his brothers in 1822. The enterprise, that had luxury watches made in Switzerland for export to China, was a resounding success. Two generations later the Bovets were running a flourishing Swiss-Chinese commercial enterprise and were no longer interested in watchmaking. The name was sold several times and relaunched in 1994. The current Bovet watches are modeled on their luxury precursors from the 19th century and look like pocket watches for the wrist.

    Although the "Genève" tag is virtually compulsory for Swiss prestige name watches in the highest price bracket, it is the lesser known place name "Fleurier" that graces the watches from the Bovet company in Geneva: for the Bovet originated from this village in the Val-de-Travers, to the west of Neuchâtel. Watchmaking was introduced there between 1730 and 1740 by David Vaucher, probably a pupil of the legendary Daniel JeanRichard. The number of watchmakers in the Val-de-Travers grew very rapidly in the first half of the 19th century. The lace making that had provided work for a good third of the people living in the valley had been replaced by the much lower cost production on jacquard machines in France and Flanders.

    The Bovet family was responsible for Fleurier’s specialization on the Chinese market. The birth of Edouard Bovet, the son of Jean Frédéric Bovet, was registered in 1797. Four more sons and a daughter were born in the following years. After completing his apprenticeship as a watchmaker, Edouard Bovet and two of his brothers moved to London, then the center of watch assembly and the watch trade. He found a job at once, with the Magniac company who sent him to Canton in 1818 as watch repairer; this was the sole Chinese port that tolerated European merchants and businessmen - the so-called “red-haired barbarians”.

    The flourishing watch trade with China prompted Edouard Bovet to set up on his own in 1822: he founded a general partnership with the two brothers in London and one brother who had remained in Fleurier; the fourth and youngest brother also entered the business. Soon every first class watch in China with a high practical value and elegant exterior was simply called "Bovet" (pronounced "Boway" or read backwards "Tevob"). Pearl ornamentation and enamel miniature painting carried out in Geneva on Bovet watches ensured first class aesthetics at prices that, in contrast to the exaggerated luxury watches of the time, were affordable, at least for the upper class.

    For years a Bovet watch was considered an asset in China and was accepted in payment everywhere. The movement was frequently finely engraved and chased and could be observed through a glass cover at the back. The central second hand that jumped every second, like modern quartz watches, was a Bovet specialty. Bovet adapted its production to the Chinese tradition of making gifts of valuable objects (statues, vases, horses even concubines) in pairs. So he could often sell two identical watches at the same time: if one failed, there was a replacement to hand. But Bovet’s enamel painters found it very difficult to paint two identical but mirror-image miniatures.

    Edouard Bovet returned to Fleurier in 1830 as a made man, accompanied by his four year old half-Chinese son Edouard-Georges. At that time it was customary for the European merchants in China to take a "temporary" wife for the duration of their stay. If children were born of this liaison, the father had to accept full responsibility. As a fervent republican, Bovet exposed himself in the abortive Neuchâtel revolution against Prussian rule in 1831. The house that his brothers had built for him in Fleurier according to his written instructions from China had to remain empty for the time being. Bovet had to move to Besançon where he continued watchmaking with the help of other exiled watchmakers.

    Edouard Bovet’s brothers and nephews - all of them shareholders in the company - made sure that the cornerstones of the Bovet empire in Fleurier, London and Canton continued to flourish. Once the political situation was back to normal, in 1840, the firm was re-registered as Bovet Frères et Cie.; the share capital amounted to 1 million francs. Edouard Bovet died in 1849; he lived long enough to witness the triumph of the republic and the withdrawal of the Prussians in the previous year. The succession was settled and the production for China continued; in 1855 Bovet was awarded a gold medal at the world exhibition in Paris for an absolutely identical pair of watches ordered by the emperor of China.

    Admire Bovet Chronograph Cambiano Edition 2011 Watch

    Bovet Dimier Recital 0 Watch - Innovative Movement's Architecture

    Bovet Tourbillon Ottanta by Pininfarina Watch 
    Four Timepieces in One!

    Bovet Dimier Recital 1 Watch
    Functional Layout and Alluring Colors

    Bovet Presents 7-Day Tourbillon Only Watch 2011

    Bovet Amadeo Fleurier 43 Watch

    Bovet Presents Highly-Feminine Amadeo Ladies Touch Watches

    Bovet Saguaro Meteorite Chronograph

    Bovet Trilogy Watch Recreates Da Vinci's Mona Lisa

    Ernest Borel

    Ernest Borel is a watch manufacturer founded in 1856 in Neuchatel, Switzerland. They have traditionally focussed on export markets outside Europe. They won several awards in the late 19th century, including first place in the 1866 Neuchatel observatory timing accuracy competition. This was viewed by the company as an important marketing strategy for increasing the brand's value, since the Neuchatel observatory was famed at the time for its timekeeping accuracy. In 1876 they were awarded the "Premium Award" in Philadelphia, USA, and in 1878 won the only "Precious Premium Award" given to the Swiss watch and clock industry in Paris that year. The company was run by the eponymous Borel family until 1975 when, owing to the 'Quartz crisis' affecting the entire Swiss watchmaking industry, it was sold on and became a member of the Synchron Group which consisted also of Cyma and Doxa.

     Ernest Borel Chrono Watch

    Ernest Borel SA is headquartered at their new factory premises at Le Noirmont, Switzerland. Previously it was located at La Chaux-de-Fonds, Switzerland. The current CEO of Ernest Borel is Mr Raphael Bouillat, who has been at the helm of the company since 1997.

    Ernest Borel currently produces traditionally styled automatic and quartz-movement wrist watches for men and women. The majority of their product line are fashion and dress watches, with a quartz chronograph line. They have recently discontinued their diving line, "Deep Blue".

    Ernest Borel Jules Borel Watch
    Elegance and Romanticism

    This is speculated to be a brand positioning attempting, with the company choosing to focus on a traditional and conservative image. This is in keeping with the fact that their designs are often of a similar style to Longines.

    The manufacturer's life-time warranty on movements, sets Ernest Borel apart from most competitors.

    Corporate logo
    Their corporate logo of a dancing couple in 19th-century dress is intended by the company to reflect the elegance, tradition and inspiration of romance, however this traditional logo is seen by many as being old-fashioned in modern times. It is often cited as a reason for overlooking the brand in favour of its competitors.

    The brand is a second-tier Swiss brand, competing with brands such as Enicar, Oris, Titoni and Sandoz. Its major approach to the market appears to be price-based, but without sacrificing the quality expected of a Swiss made watch.

    The prices of their watches range from the low hundreds of USD up to the mid thousands of USD.

    Ernest Borel appears to be focussing their marketing on China at present, with the opening of a dedicated Ernest Borel shop in Beijing in late 2007. This also reflects the marketing strategy of their competitors.

     Rocky II Series from Ernest Borel

    Bedat & Co

    Bedat & Co is a Swiss watch brand that specializes in feminine luxury timepieces. The company was founded in 1996 by Simone Bédat and her son Christian Bédat. Bedat & Co watches are sold on four continents.

    Today, Bedat & Co is owned by LuxuryConcepts Timepieces, a Malaysian-based firm.

    After more than 50 years of experience in the watch industry, Simone Bédat decided to create her own brand with her son, Christian, in 1996. Their first collection of timepieces, the N°3, N°7.Ref. 304 and Ref. 314 was presented in 1997 during BaselWorld.

    In 2000, Gucci Group acquired 85% of Bedat & Co with Simone Bédat serving as the chairwoman while her son Christian remained the chief executive officer and a shareholder.

    In 2006, Simone and Christian Bédat departed from the company making the Gucci Group the sole owner of Bedat & Co. Following their departure, the Bedat & Co's company worked with new designers.

    In 2008, the Swiss watch brand launched its very first stand alone boutique in Kuala Lumpur, the opening of which was officiated by the Queen of Malaysia, Her Majesty Sultanah Nur Zahirah.

    In 2009, Malaysia based company, LuxuryConcepts Timepieces announced their acquisition of Bedat & Co. In spite of this, the brand remains a 100% Swiss company with global distribution.

    In 2010, Bedat & Co returned to the roots and worked again with the designer Dino Modolo for the last collection.

    Bedat and Co No 8 Watch
    Tribute to Femininity

    Bedat Co Creates Precious Watches for Ladies

    Bedat Co 883 Extravaganza Watch
    Epitome of Femininity

     Bedat Co Presents New N 388 Watch

    Bedat & Co's Ref. 384 watch

    Ball Watch Company

    Webster Clay Ball (October 6, 1847 – 1922) was a jeweler and watchmaker born in Fredericktown, Ohio. After a two-year apprenticeship to a jeweler, Ball settled in Cleveland, Ohio to join a jewelry store. When Standard Time was adopted in 1883, he was the first jeweler to use time signals from the United States Naval Observatory, bringing accurate time to Cleveland.

    In 1891 there was a collision between Lake Shore and Michigan Southern Railway trains at Kipton, Ohio, which occurred because an engineer's watch had stopped. The railroad officials commissioned Webb C. Ball as their Chief Time Inspector, in order to establish precision standards and a reliable timepiece inspection system for railroad chronometers.

    He established strict guidelines for the manufacturing of sturdy, reliable precision timepieces, including resistance to magnetism, reliability of time keeping in 5 positions, isochronism, power reserve and dial arrangement, accompanied with record keeping of the reliability of the watch on each regular inspection.

    His original jewelry business in Cleveland grew into the Ball Watch Company (currently headquartered in La Chaux-de-Fonds, Switzerland), which used other watch companies' movements, perfecting them and then reselling them. Ball Watch Company also ordered watches complete from other watch companies. Ball used movements from the top American manufacturers, Elgin, Hamilton, and Waltham, and switched to Swiss movements as early as the 1940s in their wristwatches. The Waltham Watch Company complied immediately with the requirements of Ball's guidelines, later followed by Elgin National Watch Company and most of the other American manufacturers: Aurora, Hamilton, Hampden, E. Howard & Co., Illinois, Seth Thomas, later on joined by some Swiss watch manufacturers: Audemars Piguet, Gallet, Longines, Record Watch, Vacheron Constantin.

    Webb C. Ball became the vice president of the Hamilton Watch Company and focused his efforts on developing watches for the railroads. On February 10, 1907, the Brotherhood of Locomotive Engineers honored his efforts by appointing Ball as an honorary member.

    They were the first wrist watch allowed to be used on the Railroads, (using a Swiss manual wind movement) followed quickly by the first American made wrist watch on "the roads", Elgin.

    The firm was family owned by direct descendants until the 1990s when the right to use the name was sold. The new firm continues the tradition, using Swiss-made (primarily ETA) movements and making watches for sportsmen and even for some small railroads.

    At the end of his career, Webb C. Ball was overseeing over 125,000 miles of rail tracks in the U.S.A., Mexico & Canada, having greatly contributed to the safety of all railroad systems. The Horological Institute of America celebrated his efforts on October 20, 1921. He died in 1922.

     Ball Watch Trainmaster Celsius Watch 
    Tribute to Anders Celsius

     Ball Watch Trainmaster One Hundred Twenty Watch
    120 Years of Accuracy

    Ball Watch Engineer Hydrocarbon Magnate Watch
    Optimal Reliability

     Ball Watch Storm Chaser DLC Glow Timepiece
    Unrivalled Legibility

    Alpina Watches

    Alpina Watches International SA is a manufacturer of wrist watches based in Plan-les-Ouates, Geneva, Switzerland. The company was founded in 1883 by Gottlieb Hauser, watchmaker in Winterthur, who founded the Swiss Watchmakers Corporation ("Union Horlogère Suisse"). A number of watchmakers joined to purchase watch components and organized their manufacturing. All representatives of Union Horlogère depended on the Association, which aimed to sell high quality watches under the Alpina brand. Quickly, the new concept gained acceptance. Together with qualified manufactures, the Association started to develop its own calibres and to enlarge its distribution network.

    Everything ran well until the seventies, when the quartz crises violently crushed the Swiss watch-industry. Alpina was powerless to counter the overwhelming emergence of electronic watches. Other major brands got together to form groups (predecessor of the Swatch Group), but Alpina tried to fight it alone without really succeeding. In 1972, Alpina Watch International SA was incorporated with new German investors, which purchased all shares in Alpina Union Horlogère SA. In 2002, Alpina Watch International SA was acquired by Frederique Constant SA and Alpina watches were relaunched worldwide.

    Named "Régulateur 1883" in reference to the year Alpina was founded, Alpina introduced a new model in 2005 as a fitting tribute to the long and rich tradition of the Geneva-based brand. The "regulator" dial is distinguished by the off-centred hour display at 10 o'clock, an exclusive Alpina feature.

    In 2008, Alpina Genève celebrated its 125th anniversary with the inauguration of the first movement to be made entirely in its own workshops.

    Alpina Sailing Watch

    Alpina Startimer Automatic Pilots Watch

    Alpina extreme diver 1000-meters summer

    Alpina Extreme Watch 2009

    The new Extreme Tourbillon Regulator Manufacture watches

    Alpina - Swiss Watches Since 1883