Tuesday, June 26, 2007

Time for a bit of fun

A watch with a slot machine? That, and another that keeps track of four major stock markets, were the highlights of the Girard-Perregaux 2007 collection, unveiled recently in Geneva.
THIS year, Girard-Perregaux created a stir when they introduced a very interesting watch – the Vintage 1945 Jackpot Tourbillon. This combines a Tourbillon and a slot machine, complete with a striking mechanism in perfect proportion with the Vintage 1945 case.

This watch was extremely popular at the recent Salon International Haute Horlogerie (SIHH) held in Geneva, and journalists clamoured to pull the lever to try to hit the jackpot!
Yes, you can really make the reels spin on this watch. It works by pulling a handle at the side of the case which is connected to a rack. By doing this, the rack slides up, and when it reaches its highest point, it starts the reels spinning and slowly slides back down. Stoppers then come into action to halt the reels one by one and this synchronically activates the striking mechanism. Out of the 125 combinations, only one represents the jackpot: three bells in a row.

Although this watch is a lot of fun to play with, only a select few will be able to afford it – it costs a whopping RM2.1mil.
According to Stefano Macaluso, vice president of Girard-Perregaux, the brand just wanted to create something different for a change.
Girard-Perregaux is a very classic brand, so something very different for us would be to create something fun,’’ says the 32-year-old.
When it comes to brand direction, Macaluso says they are starting on a new advertising campaign (already running now) which is fashioned around the concept of “waiting”.
“The watchmaking field is very competitive, you see very aggressive campaigns. It’s important for us to be more personal.
“Our concept is a simple one. (There is) A classic luxury environment ... we decided to introduce many elements and items of quality which you need time and skill to develop. People need to be connoisseurs in order to recognise (valuable) items. For example, the red grape turning into Bordeaux wine, or the time it takes for a piece of coal to turn into a diamond. Time matters and this is the same for the GP watch – it takes time to make one.’’
And, according to him, that is why Girard-Perregaux prides itself on making watches only for the select few.

Of course it wasn’t all fun and games with the collection: Another watch that generated interest and required some explanation as to how it works was the ww.tc-Financial – the world’s first chronograph to indicate the different times around the world and when four major stock markets (New York, London, Hong Kong, Tokyo) open for business.
“It looks complicated, but it’s actually very simple,” assures Macaluso. “This watch is targeted for people working at the stock exchange.”
It works courtesy of two mobile disks around the dial. A 24-hour ring is synchronised with the hour hand. A second disc can be adjusted with the crown at 9 o’clock and it displays the name of 24 cities and the periods when the four bourses are open for business.

Another timepiece worth a mention is from the BMW Oracle Racing collection. The Laureato Regatta Tourbillon chronograph with countdown mechanism was designed specifically for yachting competitions. One hand is dedicated to the countdown of the ten minutes preceding the start of the race, enabling the remaining time to be read with precision in the zone situated between 9 and 12 o’clock. Then the counter at 1 o’clock takes over the calculation of the duration of the race. A single pusher is used to operate the various functions.
Other watches in this collection include the Laureato USA 98 (this series uses a whole range of materials such as titanium and vulcanised rubber) and there’s also the first feminine adaptation, the Laureato USA 98 Lady, which is set with diamonds. For a more classic style, there is the 1966 Full Calendar with a round case that houses a full calendar, enabling the display of the date, day of the week, month and phases of the moon.

Girard-Perregaux is a partner of the Monte-Carlo Historic Rally, the legendary car road race that takes place in Monaco biennially. The brand has dedicated a limited series watch collection to this event and the models for this year are the Richeville Chronograph “Monte-Carlo 1954” and the Fly-back Chronograph “Monte-Carlo 1970”.

We have an incredible collection of Girard-Perregaux watches on our website http://www.thewatchery.com/ or give us a call on 1-866-843-9282!

Tuesday, June 19, 2007

How country of origin still affects luxury brands

A recent study found that when it comes to consumers ages 18 to 24, a brand's country-of-origin is unimportant. This came as a surprise to some marketers who believed that products could use their country of origin as a significant brand differentiator, as in luxury categories such as Swiss watches and French perfumes. The study suggested that, in the online world, geographic boundaries are less relevant than they once were, particularly to younger consumers. In fact, the publication Advertising Age recently discussed whether the days of flag-waving are numbered and whether marketing tactics like the 'Heartbeat of America' are becoming less important. Now, New York-based customer engagement and loyalty research consultancy Brand Keys has drilled down into its Customer Loyalty and Engagement Index to identify which categories are most influenced by partisan positioning. It found that the top five categories that are still heavily influenced by a 'country of origin' positioning are: wine, luxury automobiles, watches, vodka, and bottled water.

Visit us at http://www.thewatchery.com/ to see our huge selection of luxury watches.

Thursday, June 14, 2007

Omega in Apollo 13 (1995)

There are a number of great Omega Speedmaster views in this movie as many of the characters wear one, including Jim Lovell (Tom Hanks), Fred Haise (Bill Paxton) and Jack Swigert (Kevin Bacon), who are pictured here.

The Omega story begins in 1848, with its founder Louis Brandt, hand assembling pocket watches put together from parts made in the local La Chaux-de-Fonds. Louis Brandt passed away in 1879, leaving the company to his two sons Louis-Paul and Cesar, who moved the company to Bienne in January 1880.
The name OMEGA made it’s debut in 1894, as it was used as the name of one of the Brandt brother’s watch movement calibers.
Both Brandt brothers died in 1903, placing the fate of the company in the control of four people, the oldest of which, Paul-Emile Brandt, was only 23 years of age.
Following a merger with Tissot in 1930 a new parent company, SSIH, Société suisse pour l'industrie horlogère SA, Geneva, was created. This group eventually grew to over 50 companies including, Lanco, Lémania and Hamilton. Eventually SSIH became the third largest producers of finished watches and movements in the world.
During this period Omega produced some of its most collectible vintage watches Omega is famous for today.
Omega Constellation watches, the Omega Speedmaster chronograph, the Omega Seamaster waterproof sports watch and Seamaster Diver watches were all developed during this period. Omega also made a name for itself proving military watches and pilots watches during World War 2.
Through an economic crisis in the 1980’s the company merged with another large Swiss conglomerate, ASUAG, makers of Swatch, Longines and Rado, to create a new company ASUAG-SSIH. Eventually this pairing fell on hard times and the company was taken over by a private group and renamed SMH, which still exists today.
To get your own Omega or choose from many other luxury watch brands.
For more information give us a call 1-866-843-9282.

Monday, June 11, 2007

Buying a Watch...?

If you are looking to buy a watch then there are a few things that you need to think about before making that purchase. In this article, we will detail some of the things that are important when buying a watch such as pricing, quality, water-resistance, and other watch buying issues.

Budget, Budget, Budget...
The first thing you should consider is the pricing of the watches that you are considering and your own budgetary constraints. Why even look at a $5000 Rolex if you can't afford it? (OK, so it's fun to just look and dream!) Set your budget realistically and give yourself a range of pricing to work with. Maybe your price range is $100-$200, $700-$800, or maybe the sky is the limit. Give yourself limits and your watch buying experience will be much easier and pleasurable.

Examine the Quality
There's no better industry than the watch industry in examining the fact that the higher the quality, the higher the price tag! Why are some watches much more expensive than others? There are a myriad of reasons which include:
The craftsmanship that goes into the watch while being made. (The movement and parts that makes up the internals of the watch.)
The materials that the watch is made out of. (A gold-plated watch with diamond bezels is going to be more expensive than a stainless steel watch!)
The actual strap or bracelet can be made of many different materials which range in price from a few dollars to thousands of dollars.
The prestige of the watch also can have a large effect on the price of the watch.
Examine the components that make up a watch and make sure that you are buying the highest quality materials that your money can buy.

Form over Function?
Another thing that has to be considered is what function is the watch going to be used in. Obviously common sense is your major guide here; don't buy an elegant dress watch that is jewel-studded and use it in sporting activities! Figure out what you do on a daily basis and buy the watch that fits your lifestyle best. Or, better yet, some people buy watches for different purposes in their life. For example, a person may buy a high fashioned Rolex watch for their nights out on the town or business entertaining and buy a much less expensive durable watch for their everyday use in life. Make sure you buy a watch that fits your lifestyle.

You should also consider the maintenance requirements on any watch that you are considering to buy. In general, mechanical watches should be cleaned and serviced every 3 years by an authorized service center. Quartz watches, which are battery operated, should be fully serviced whenever a battery is replaced every 2 to 6 years depending on the battery type. Remember to always have your watch serviced by an authorized retailer or service center.

Water Resistance
Water resistance is always a concern when buying a watch and there are a few things you should keep in mind when examining this vital element inherent to watches. The first thing to note is that water resistance is measured in "bars" and watches are tested at different levels of bars for varying lengths of time. Obviously, people who are scuba divers or jet pilots can experience much higher levels of pressure than the average person so these occupations need special types of watches for what they do. Here are some guidelines to use when evaluating water resistance:
30m/100 ft - Rain Proof/Shallow Still Water
50m/165 ft - Swimming Activities
100m/330 ft - Light Scuba Diving in shallow waters
Over 100m/330ft - Heavy duty deep water scuba diving

The Extras
Another consideration when buying a watch are the extras that can be included on a watch. Some common extras that watches have are built-in calendars, chronograph (stop watch functionality that is not digital), multiple time zone timekeeping, moon phases, built-in alarm, scuba dive functions, and there are a few others. Determine the features you need and don't need and choose wisely.

Educated Buying Decision
Last of all, do some whole-hearted comparison shopping to make sure that you are getting the best price and the highest quality watch for what you are paying. We Garauntee that on www.TheWatchery.com. Take a look at our huge selection of luxury watches, and for more information give us a call at 1-866-The-Watch.


A handy glossary of terms that summarized most of the lingo that makes up watches and timepieces.

Small opening. The dials of some watches (in French: montres à guichet) have apertures in which certain indications are given (e.g. the date, the hour, etc).
Applique or applied chapters are numerals or symbols cut out of a sheet metal and stuck or riveted to a dial.

Process of fitting together the components of a movement. This was formerly done entirely by hand, but the operations have now been largely automated. Nevertheless, the human element is still primordial, especially for inspection and testing.
French term for the parts used for making an escapement.

A watch whose mainspring is wound by the movements or accelerations of the wearer's arm. On the basis of the principle of terrestrial attraction, a rotor turns and transmits its energy to the spring by means of an appropriate mechanism. The system was invented in Switzerland by Abraham-Louis Perrelet in the 18th century.

Moving part, usually circular, oscillating about its axis of rotation. The hairspring coupled to it makes it swing to and fro, dividing time into exactly equal parts. Each of the to-and-fro movements of the balance ("tick-tack") is called an "oscillation". One oscillation is composed of two vibrations.

Bar, lug

In wristwatch-cases, a thin metal rod fixed between the horns, for attaching the wristlet.

Thin cylindrical box containing the mainspring of a watch. The toothed rim of the barrel drives the train.

Complementary part fixed to the main plate to form the frame of a watch movement. The other parts are mounted inside the frame (part of the "ébauche").

Originally used to mean the size of a watch movement, this term now denotes a type of movement (men's calibre, automatic calibre, etc). When a calibre number is accompanied by the manufacturer's mark, it serves as an indication of origin.

(Watch-) Case
Container that protects the watch-movement from dust, damp and shocks. It also gives the watch as attractive an appearance as possible, subject to fashion and the taste of the public.

Casing (up)
Process of inserting and fixing a watch movement into its case.

French term for a watch movement (not including the dial and hands), of which all or part of the components are not assembled.

Watch or other apparatus with two independent time systems: one indicates the time of day, and the other measures brief intervals of time. Counters registering seconds, minutes and even hours can be started and stopped as desired. It is therefore possible to measure the exact duration of a phenomenon. Not to be confused with the timer, the stopwatch and the chronometer.

Watch which has undergone a series of precision tests in an official institute. The requirements are very severe: a few seconds per day in the most unfavourable temperature conditions (for mechanical watches) and positions that are ordinarily encountered.

Knurled knob located on the outside of a watch case and used for winding the mainspring. It is also used for setting the hands to the right time and for correcting thecalendar indications.

Ordinal number referring to a day of the month: the 10th February. Date-watch: watch indicating the date, the month and sometimes the year and the phases of the moon. Also called a calendar-watch or calendar. Perpetual calendar: watch indicating leap years as well as the date.

Indicating "face" or plate of metal or other material, bearing various markings to show, in ordinary watches and clocks, the hours, minutes and seconds. Dials vary verymuch in shape, decoration, material, etc. The indications are given by means of numerals, divisions or symbols of various types.

Refers to a seconds-hand that moves forwards in little jerks. Trotteuse, French term for a direct-drive seconds-hand, especially a centre seconds-hand.

Indication of time or other data, either by means of hands moving over a dial (analogue display) or by means of numerals appearing in one or more windows (digital or numerical display); these numerals may be completed by alphabetical indications (alphanumerical display) or by signs of any other kind. Example: 12.05 MO 12.3 = 12 hours, 5 minutes, Monday 12th March. Such displays can be obtained by mechanicalor electronic means.

French term (but commonly used in English-speaking countries) for a movement blank, i.e. an incomplete watch movement which is sold as a set of loose parts, comprising the main plate, the bridges, the train, the winding and setting mechanism and the regulator. The timing system, the escapement and the mainspring, however, are not parts of the "ébauche".

Set of parts (escape wheel, lever, roller) which converts the rotary motion of the train into to-and-fro motion (the balance).

French term for the method of manufacturing watches and/or movements by assembling their various components. It generally includes the following operations: receipt, inspection and stocking of the "ébauche", the regulating elements and the other parts of the movement and of the make-up; assembling; springing and timing; fitting the dial and hands; casing; final inspection before packing and dispatching.

French term for a watch factory which is engaged only in assembling watches, without itself producing the components, which it buys from specialist suppliers.

In the Swiss watch industry, the term manufacture is used of a factory in which watches are manufactured almost completely, as distinct from an "atelier de terminage", which is concerned only with assembling, timing, fitting the hands and casing.

Fly-back Hand
In a chronograph with analogue display, an additional centre second hand which can remain superposed on the other one as it moves, can be stopped independently and then made to "fly back" so as to catch up with the other hand, can be stopped and reset to zero together with the other hand. In chronographs with numerical display, a "function" having the same effect.

Glass, Crystal
Thin plate of glass or transparent synthetic material, for protecting the dials of watches, clocks, etc.

Indicator, usually made of a thin, light piece of metal, very variable in form, which moves over a graduated dial or scale. Watches usually have three hands showing the hours, minutes and seconds.

Bearing, endstone or pallet used for reducing friction. Generally made of synthetic material, except for the precious or semi-precious stones (ruby, sapphire, garnet) which are sometimes used in "de luxe" watches.

Main Plate
Base plate on which all the other parts of a watch movement are mounted (part of the "ébauche").

The driving spring of a watch or clock, contained in the barrel.

French term for a watch factory which itself produces the components (particularly the "ébauches") needed for the manufacture of its products (watches, alarm and desk clocks, etc).

Highly accurate mechanical or electronic timekeeper enclosed in a box (hence the term box chronometer), used for determining the longitude on board ship.Marine chronometers with mechanical movements are mounted on gimbals so that they remain in the horizontal position is necessary for their precision.

Middle(of watch-case)
Middle part of the case, in which the movement is fitted.

Assembly consisting of the principal elements and mechanisms of a watch or clock: the winding and setting mechanism, the mainspring, the train, the escapement, the regulating elements. "Anatomically", the movement consists of the "ébauche", the regulating elements and the other components.

Set of parts comprising the regulating system (sprung balance) and the escapement (escape wheel, lever and roller).

Watch that strikes the hours by means of a mechanism operated by a push-piece or bolt. There are various types of repeaters. Quarter-repeater: sounding a low note for the hours and a "ding-dong" for each of the quarters; Five-minute repeater: striking the hours, quarters and five-minute periods after the quarter; Minute-repeater: striking the hours, quarters and minutes; Grande sonnerie (grand strike): striking the hours and quarters automatically and repeating when a push-piece is pressed down; Chiming repeater: in which the quarters are struck on three or four gongs of different pitch.

Half-disc of heavy metal, which is made to rotate inside the case of an automatic watch by the energy produced by the movements of the wearer's arm. Its weight tends always to bring it back to the vertical position. Demultiplied by a specially designed device, its rotations continually wind the mainspring of the watch.

Basic unit of time (abbr. s or sec), corresponding to one 86,000th part of the mean solar day, i.e. the duration of rotation, about its own axis, of an ideal Earth describing a circle round the Sun in one year, at a constant speed and in the plane of the Equator. After the Second World War, atomic clocks became so accurate that they could demonstrate the infinitesimal irregularities (a few hundreths of a second per year) of the Earth's rotation about its own axis. It was then decided to redefine the reference standard; this was done by the 13th General Conference on Weights and Measures in 1967, in the following terms: "The second is the duration of 9,192,631,770 periods of the radiation corresponding to the transition between the two hyperfine levels of the fundamental state of the atom of caesium 133". Conventionally, the second is subdivised into tenths, hundredths, thousendths (milliseconds), millionths (microseconds), thousand-millionths (nanoseconds) and billionths (picoseconds).

Setting(to time)
Process of bringing the hands of a watch or clock to the position corresponding to the exact time.

Resilient bearing which, in a watch, is intended to take up the shocks received by the balance staff and thus protects its delicate pivots from damage.

Skeleton watch: watch in which the case and various parts of the movement are of transparent material, enabling the main parts of the watch to be seen.

Timekeeping instrument which can be used for measuring intervals of time. When this is done, the time display is partly or wholly lost until the hands are reset.

In a watch or clock, automatic or hand-operated mechanism that strikes the hours, etc, or rings an alarm-bell (v. repeater).

Instrument for measuring speed. In watchmaking, a timer or chronograph with a graduated dial on which speed can be read off in kilometres per hour or some other unit (see timer).

French term denoting the process of assembling watch parts for the account of a producer.

French term for an independent watchmaker (or workshop) engaged in assembling watches, either wholly or in part, for the account of an "établisseur" or a "manufacture", who supply the necessary loose parts.

Instrument used for registering intervals of time (durations, brief times), without any indication of the time of day.

Device invented to eliminate errors of rate in the vertical positions. It consists of a mobile carriage or cage carrying all the parts of the escapement, with the balance in the centre. The escape pinion turns about the fixed fourth wheel. The case makes one revolution per minute, thus annulling errors of rate in the vertical positions.
Movement of a pendulum or other oscillating element, limited by two consecutive extreme positions. The balance of a mechanical watch generally makes five or six vibrations per second (i.e. 18,000 or 21,600 per hour), but that of a high-frequency watch may make seven, eight or even ten vibrations per second (i.e. 25,200, 28,800 or 36, 000 per hour).
Loose parts, components either for producing watches or for repairing them. In the latter case, they are often called "spare parts" or "repair material".
Made to prevent water from entering. Water-resistant case, watch-case whose joints are made to prevent moisture from entering.
Operation consisting in tightening the mainspring of a watch. This can be done by hand (by means of the crown) or automatically (by means of a rotor, which is caused to swing by the movements of the wearer's arm).

IWC celebrates 'Da Vinci' watches at star-studded gala

Luxury Swiss watch manufacturer IWC Schaffhausen celebrated its new Da Vinci models with a star-studded gala event in Geneva, featuring a much-hyped stage play by Oscar winner Kevin Spacey.
Approximately 1,400 guests, including actors Cate Blanchett, Matthew Modine and Jean Reno, singer Ronan Keating, former sporting heroes Boris Becker and Kimiko Date among others gathered in Florentine palazzo for the event.

IWC CEO Georges Kern played the perfect host for the evening and displayed an animated film portraying the new Da Vinci models on the big screen.
The highlight of the night, however, was the performance of a self-produced play by screen and stage actor Kevin Spacey. The play, "Leo and Lisa," was created especially for IWC, and starred Spacey in the leading role as an inquisitor questioning Mona Lisa's smile. Actress Thandie Newton, of Mission Impossible 2 fame, took on the leading female role of Lisa.
The 15-minute play was recorded by a film crew, and the production will be accessible to the public as a short film on IWC's corporate Web site.

Take a look at the beautiful collection of IWC watches we have on our website, http://www.thewatchery.com/

Or give us a call at 1-866-THE-WATCH, For more information