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One of the biggest questions we get when it comes to buying a watch has to do with how large or small the case is. It is one of those times when size really does matter, especially since we are often witnessing different trends in watch sizes. For instance, decades ago, in the mid 20th century, most watches were small. The majority of watches were typically from about 32mm (1.2 inches) in diameter to 34mm (1.5 inches). People were fine with that. The watch was there to tell the time and to look inconspicuous.

But in the 1980’s things started to change. Watches that were 36mm (1.4 inches across)or 38mm (1.5 inches) in diameter emerged on the market. They were more sporty watches and they looked good in larger sizes. Within the coming decades, watches grew progressively larger and eventually would explode in sizes. A 42mm or 44mm (1.73 inches in diameter) watch became the norm and then in the 21st century, we witnessed large 48 and even 52 mm sizes that were more like two inches in diameter coming from daring brands that wanted to be sure everyone sees the watch on your wrist.

Much of the influence on size came from fashion codes and from the new desire to have the watch make a statement. Sometimes, though, size was a byproduct of function. The more complications and features a brand built into a mechanical watch, the more parts were required and the movement would get larger and thicker.

In the past decade, though, we have been witnessing a slimming down of watches – both in diameter and thickness. Today, the 42mm watch is more in demand than at 48mm watch for men and 36mm is a great size for a slimmer wrist. Again, some of this transition has to do with taste and style and some of it has to do with the advent of micro-technology.

Today’s brands can make a mechanical watch smaller in diameter and thinner in thickness than ever before thanks to nano- and micro-technology.

Still, we can find watches on either side of the current “norm” spectrum, especially depending on if the watch is a dress watch or a sports watch. The thing to remember is that size really is a personal preference. However, here are a few hints that may help when trying to decide.

Consider readability. Some people love the look of a mini watch (26-30mm) but find the dial difficult to read. Most of the time these watches are created by designer brands and are meant to be dainty accessories. Cleaner, larger dials are easier to read.

Consider the look. Most people want a watch to sit perfectly on their wrist. If the watch lugs (the pieces that connect the case to the strap) come out too far on the sides of the wrist, the watch is probably too big for you. You could find yourself accidentally snagging it on things. It is best if the entire case sits nicely on your wrist.

Consider the reason you’re buying the watch. If you are buying a watch for a sport you indulge in – like diving or flying — you will most likely want a larger watch that can be worn over a wetsuit and be easily readable. Plus, sports watches like chronographs and field or tool watches tend to be bigger and more rugged so they can go the distance with you.

Consider Comfort. Sometimes watches have an ergonomic fit. The cases are slightly curved to fit the wrist better and be more comfortable. Sometimes they have curved lugs for the same reason. Some people prefer a supple mesh style bracelet to a stiff bracelet because it feels better against the skin and is typically thinner and sleeker looking. Other people prefer straps to bracelets because they are more comfortable with fabric, leather or rubber against the wrist instead of metal that can get hot or cold.

But in the end, like every buying decision you make, it comes down to what you like, what looks good, what has the features and functions you want and what makes your personal statement come to life.

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Swiss watch brand Longines, with more than 190 years of history, has a long and storied past in the world of aviation. After all, the advent of wristwatches and flying almost grew up together, with both having roots in the early 20th century. Now, Longines recalls that aviation heart and soul in the newest Pilot Majetek that is inspired by a model first released in 1935. If you love modern retro, this watch has your name all over it.

First, a bit about Longines and the pilots of yesteryear. Throughout the 1920’s and 1930’s Longines watches were a top choice among aviators. In fact, beginning in 1919, the brand was the official timekeeper for the FAI and timed 34 record setting flights in the ensuing two decades. This is the brand that Charles Lindbergh wore on his epic nearly 34-hourlong flight across the Atlantic – marking the first solo flight from New York to Paris. It was all timed by Longines, and this is the brand that inspired Lindbergh to work together with Longines to create the now-famed Hour Angel watch.

Longines also accompanied Amelia Earhart on her journeys, including the flight in 1928 when she became the first woman to cross the Atlantic from Canada to Northern Ireland in less than 15 hours. In fact, over the years, Longines was the watch of choice for Elinor Smith, Howard Hughes and many more thanks to the reliability of its watches.

In fact, the brand had begun building chronometer timepieces as early as 1915. In 1920, more than 100 years ago, Longines introduced the first rotating bezel watch with moving hour marker to act as an aviation counter. It continued to make technical advances over the years and in 1935 released the Longines 3582, created for the Czechoslovak Air Force. On the case back, the words “Majetek Czechoslovak army” – Property of the Czechoslovak army.

Now, Longines introduces the Pilot Majetek in honor of its aviation history and of this special 1935 watch. Naturally, it is equipped with the most current mechanics and movements, with rugged materials and state-of-the-art technology, but the design is a contemporary take on history – with all of the signature features of the original.

The 43mm Pilot Majetek is crafted in stainless steel with a bi-directional fluted bezel that is meticulously finished and incredibly alluring. The bezel is mounted on a cushioncornered squared case with ergonomic lugs. The case shape rings true to the original shape that was registered by the “winged hourglass” brand (the shape of its logo) on April 1, 1935. The highly precise timepiece boasts modern proportions and is slightly more curved for easier wearability than its bulkier 1935 muse. Majetek offers hours, minutes, seconds and a Super-LumiNova triangle arrow to indicate “starting time.”

A journey around the watch reveals a midnight black dial with Super-LumiNova hands and Arabic numerals and an oversized subsidiary seconds dial at 6:00. There is a small minute track on the outer edge of the dial. A plate at 9:00 on the case reads “1935.” The case back is screwed in to allow for better water resistance – 100 meters.

The mechanical self-winding movement, the Longines L893.6 caliber, boasts a new patented gear mechanism and is equipped with a magnetic-resistant silicon balance spring. A certified chronometer – by the COSC – ensures high precision. The watch offers 72 hours of power reserve and is sold with a brown or green leather strap with beige topstitching or with a NATO strap made from recycled materials.

For those who love aviation and retro-inspired watches, this is a must-see timepiece. Stop in any time.

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In the watch industry, there is so much talk about the looks of a watch, its features, its functions, what powers it. But sometimes there is another conversation, one that can be overlooked: the material that your watch is made of. Today, we have so many choices of materials for cases, bezels, straps and more that it can be a little mind boggling. Keep in mind, though, that what your watch is made of can impact things like durability, scratch-ability, longevity, and even price.

Long the staple in watchmaking, noble materials such as gold and platinum remain important to the watch world. They are considered the precious metals and will never go out of style. But they simply aren’t enough for today’s visionary watchmakers who are spending millions investing in new substances that offer an added advantage to the wearer and make an important statement in time.

In addition to searching for new materials, many brands are finding new ways to make and machine existing materials, creating alloys that are ever stronger and more durable or hypo allergenic or something. In fact, some brands have even established their own research laboratories or working with universities or outside-the-watch-world companies for new alternatives. Here, we take a look at some of the top alternative materials on the market for watch cases and bezels, what they are and why they matter.


In addition to the noble metals,stainless steel plays an important role in the watch world. In fact, it was back in the 1970’s that brands really started exploring stainless steel as an alternative to the higher-priced precious metals. Stainless steel is durable, doesn’t scratch as easily as the nobles and is often resistant to the elements of water, salt and perspiration. It is still a great option in today’s watches, from dress to daily wear and, of course, sport watches.

Titanium watches came about later in the 20th century, and over the past few decades have become all the rage. Titanium is ultralight in weight, about 40 percent less than a steel watch, and incredibly strong – making it an ideal sports watch material. It has antimagnetic properties, is hypo-allergenic and is more scratch resistant than stainless steel. Also, as of late, can be polished or satin finished for a nice look on the wrist. Furthermore, it is corrosion resistant. However, it is not as malleable to work with as steel and therefore typically costs more than steel.

Another thing to take note of when looking at a watch is that some brands coat their steel or titanium watches in colors to offer a stealth or colorful appeal. Those coatings are done either by Physical Vapor Deposit (PVD), or the more expensive and more scratch resistant alternative: Diamond Like Coating (DLC).

Another metal gaining popularity in the past decade or so (but that first made its debut on a Gerald Genta Gefica Safari watch back in the 1980’s) is bronze. While bronze is a softer alloy than steel but it has the distinct advantage of changing its patina over time with wear and exposure to elements. Each bronze watch will develop its own unique patina and that makes it a sought after case material among collectors.


Engineered high-tech ceramic has become a material of choice for cases and bezels for many brands. With the initial ceramic watches making their debut in the 1980’s (by Omega’s sister brand, Rado), engineered ceramic was a concept borrowed from the space industry. Within a decade or so other savvy watch brands began creating entire collections in engineered ceramic, which is virtually scratchproof and typically has a high sheen to it.

Chanel was a leader in its use of ceramic, which initially could be made only in black or white (Chanel’s natural colors). Now, however, certain watch brands are creating ceramic in a host of colors that range from khaki green to pale blue and more. Make no mistake, though, developing colored ceramic is no easy feat.

Engineered sapphire is made using a heating and cooling process that renders the materials hard, durable, light weight and hypoallergenic. The material is perfect for bezels in dive watches because they can withstand chemical erosion and they boast antimagnetic properties.

Not all ceramic is created equally, and the ceramic of a luxury watch can differ in attributes from a lower-priced ceramic watch that is more affordable. Additionally, some top notch brands are even presenting their own ceramic alloys. IWC, for instance, blends ceramic with titanium for its patented Ceratanium® that is harder, more shock resistant and more hypo allergenic.

Carbon Fiber

Carbon and carbon fiber watches are another great choice for sporty timepieces especially. The material is extremely light weight and durable and is considered to be about five times as strong as stainless steel. Relatively speaking, a carbon watch will be more expensive than its stainless steel counterpart due to the complexity involved in its making, which requires a special machining process that is an expensive investment. Still, scientists say that carbon fiber can last for more than 50 years without showing signs of wear and tear. One of the nicest things about carbon fiber, other than its stealth appeal, weight, durability and anti-corrosion properties, is its looks. Carbon fiber watches have a distinctive pattern on them that results from the weaving and heating of all of the individual strands of carbon.

Of course, there are a host of other high-tech substances on the market that include sapphire, Kevlar and a variety of other alloys and proprietary advancements. Why not stop in sometime to take a look at the watches we carry that include some of these alternative materials.

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Long respected as a noble metal, gold was among the earliest metals to be formed into jewelry, artifacts and more. Early civilizations worshipped gold, paid homage to gold and held it up as a symbol of wealth and even religion. Today, gold pervades our cultures – as a color, as an adjective (think golden anniversaries and golden opportunities), as a metal and as an international monetary exchange.

A preferred choice for luxury watches (as well as platinum, of course), gold comes in many hues today – ranging from yellow gold to pink gold, rich rose gold, white gold and more. Some brands have even developed their own proprietary colors of gold that have warmer hues or that offer added benefits like enhanced scratch resistance. The colors and features are derived from additives mixed with the gold.

Mined from the Earth for centuries, gold in its raw form is usually found in chunks and because of its extreme malleability, it can be shaped. However, in its natural state, it is soft, so it is usually mixed with other metals to improve the strength and hardness – especially for watches and jewelry.

So, what creates the colors of gold? The different metals, and the varying amounts of those metals, that comprise the final 18-karat gold piece. These metals are added to the gold during the heating and melting process so that in the end, an 18-karat gold item is 75 percent pure gold.

  • Yellow gold generally consists of 75 percent pure 24-karat gold and 25 percent silver and copper mixed in even parts. However, brands that want a warmer yellow shade will add more copper to the mix and less silver.
  • White gold is created using 75 percent pure 24-karat gold mixed with white metals such as nickel, zinc or palladium.
  • Pink, rose and richer gold hues are warmer tones than yellow and each is achieved by a adding a different amount of copper to the pure gold.For instance, the lighter-hued pink gold is typically referred to as 3N (75 percent pure gold, 12.5 percent silver and 12.5 percent copper).The slightly deeper rose gold is typically called 4N and consists of more copper than silver. The darker, almost red-colored, gold is referred to as 5N rose gold and consists of 75 percent puregold and 25 percent copper.

These colors of gold are the most prevalent used in watches. However, as mentioned, some brands formulate their own colors of gold, with hues ranging from honey to brown and more, and often with metals that help prolong the life of the gold or enhance its scratch resistance. Rolex boasts Everose gold and Chanel, for instance, has its own patented Beige gold that exudes a softer, warmer tone than yellow gold but is not on the pink side. The gold has been alloyed according to a secret mixture to ensure that the gold won’t fade or tarnish over time.

Omega is a master at creating its own proprietary golds. To date, the brand boasts five different golds that were developed in house and offer a variety of features. Its Sedna™ Gold (named for a red orbiting planetoid) consists of 75 percent pure gold, just over 20 percent copper, and a secret metal for a richer red hue. The brand’s Moonshine™ Gold is an 18-karat yellow gold alloy, inspired by the moon, that is a softer, moretoned-down hue of yellow. It consists of 75 percent gold, 14 percent platinum, 1 percent palladium and other undisclosed metals that offer enhanced color and luster.

Turning to white colors, Omega offers its proprietary 18-karat Canopus™ Gold that ranges warmer than white gold and boasts a silver/gray sheen thanks to a mix of 75 percent pure gold, 20 percent palladium and 5 percent “undisclosed.” It is named for the incredibly bright Canopus star that is visible in the Southern Hemisphere.

On the more high-tech side, Omega blends gold with other elements to achieve a specific end look or feature. For instance, its Ceragold™ is blended with ceramic to create a highly scratch-resistant gold with an incredible sheen. Its most recently released patented Bronze Gold is a mix of 50 percent copper and just 37.5 percent gold (9-karat),silver and gallium to offer an incredible bronze color that will retain its original brown hue for a longer amount of time that full bronze watches. The material is also corrosion resistant and hypoallergenic.

The list goes on as to what brands are doing with nature’s beloved gold, and we are certain more innovations are already in the works for the brands we carry in our stores. Come in and take a look at these different golds side by side if you’re in the mood to compare time and color.

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It seems every year around St. Patrick’s Day, people far and wide bring out their green as a way to celebrate – Irish or not. The thing is, green is a perfect color for year-round wear, especially when it comes to watches. In fact, over the past year or so we have witnessed an incredible uptick in watches with green dials – making green the new blue for timepieces. From khaki green and olive hues to vibrant grass green, British racing green and even rich forest green, a plethora of exciting watches awaits you. Here are just a few great examples of men’s and women’s watches, along with some unisex pieces, in a host of price ranges.


A wonderful blend of technology and allure, the Omega Constellation Globemaster Co-Axial Master Chronometer Annual Calendar watch perfect for any time of year. Yes, the name is a mouthful, but the 41mm watch is worthy of it. Crafted in stainless steel with a tungsten carbide fluted bezel, the watch features a sun-brushed dark green dial that recalls the first Constellation watch from 1952. Between each Super-LumiNova filled white gold marker the months of the year are listed for the annual calendar function (which uses a pointer hand). The complex self-winding movement inside, caliber 8922, is a certified chronometer that is tested according to the Master Chronometer Certification process approved by METAS. It also boasts the brand’s proprietary anti-magnetic technology that protects up to 15,000 gauss. The watch offers 55 hours of power reserve and features a sapphire crystal and case back. $8,700.


Swiss watch brand Longines embraces the popular khaki color of matte green for the dial and for the ceramic bezel of this versatile stainless steel Hydroconquest watch. The 41mm timepiece is water resistant to 300 meters thanks to a screw-down case back and screw-in crown. The automatic watch offers hours, minutes, seconds and date, and features Super-LumiNova hands, markers and numerals for easy underwater readability. It is finished with a stainless steel bracelet with safety folding clasp and an integrated diver extension for use over a wetsuit. Make no mistake, though, this watch is perfect for land as well as water. $1,775.

TAG Heuer

This TAG Heuer Carrera chronograph watch will definitely surprise you. The 44mm stainless steel case with brushed finished steel bracelet deftly recalls the brand’s rich automotive racing roots thanks to the tachymeter bezel and racing green color of the dial and subsidiary chronograph counters. It is powered by the 4Hz Heuer 02 automatic movement that boasts a columnwheel chronograph and an impressive 80 hours of power reserve. In addition to hours, minutes, seconds and date, the chronograph times to ¼ second, 30 minutes and 12 hours. The hands are coated with Super-LumiNova to ensure readability in the dark. $6,050.


A bit bolder and brighter, the Tudor Black Bay Fifty-Eight watch is crafted in 18-karat yellow gold, which makes the green domed dial and unidirectional rotating bezel (in yellow gold and anodized aluminium) jump out at you. Powered by the manufacture caliber MT5400 automatic movement, the 39mm watch is a COSC certified chronometer and is water resistant to 200 meters. The Black Bay collection is one of the brand’s best sellers and harkens back to its early dive watch years in the mid 20th century. The watch is sold with a brown leather strap and a complimentary green and gold NATO strap. $17,400.


On the lighter side, and deftly blending iconic looks with contemporary appeal, Cartier adorns its beloved Tank Must watch with a superb mint-green strap that is made with non-animal leather. The watch – a true legend in the watchmaking world dating back to the 1930s – is crafted in stainless steel and houses the brand’s SolarBeat™ movement. The SolarBeat quartz movement was first released by Cartier in 2021. It is powered by light and expected to run for approximately 16 years before needing a battery replacement. Essentially, the numerals of the dial are constructed in a way that lets light filter through to the photovoltaic sell underneath. The watch features a cabochon-cut spinel on the crown and sword-shaped blued hands.

These are just a sampling of our wonderful green
watch choices. Stop in – for St. Patrick’s Day or any
other time of year to experience our green machines.

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Since its founding in Paris in 1847 by Louis-Francois Cartier, the house of Cartier has been synonymous with luxury, mystical beauty and creativity. The brand’s pioneering spirit has always been evident in its luxurious jewelry collections. As far back as the 19th century, the idea of a panther as a decorative motif could be found in Cartier goods.

However, it was in the first half of the 20th century, in 1933, that designer Jeanne Toussaint was appointed by Louis Cartier (also her lover) as Director of Fine Jewelry. Her influences can be found throughout those early pieces, but none so much as the beloved panther motif.

Toussaint is credited with bringing the beloved panther to life in her contemporary designs – making it one of the most iconic Cartier motifs of all time. Since she embraced the big cat as a symbol of mystery, feminine beguile and selfconfidence, this grand animal has served as the muse for Cartier designers ever since.

Continually re-interpreting the Panthere motif, Cartier has brought the concept to life in its watch collections, as well as jewelry. The panther first made its way to the brand’s Swiss-made timepiece collection in 1983 in the form of a square case with cushioned corners. The watch boasted a bold, integrated bracelet with links that were incredibly supple just like the cat’s moves. It was an instant success

In fact, the Panthère de Cartier watch – with its great ‘80’s vibe – enjoyed much fame during the 1980’s and 1990’s and was seen on the wrists of celebrities like Madonna, Gwyneth Paltrow and others. Unfortunately, it was discontinued in 2004, but that didn’t stop true Cartier watch lovers from seeking it out on the pre-owned market.

It was so in demand that it was re-launched in 2017 with subtle updates. The concept was to make this a true jewelry watch with a metal bracelet that felt more like fabric than metal and without needing to overdo it on the diamonds. Cartier added multi-row wrap bracelets, manchette shaped pieces and mini versions for a sophisticated selection for women in the know. The smaller sizes were sleeker and more in tune with the 21st century.

The collection to date includes pieces in rose gold, white gold and yellow gold, as well as a mixture of the different colors. They come with diamond settings on the bezel, or devoid of diamonds.

Recently, too, Cartier added four more magnificent versions in smaller sizes perfect for any wrist. The new watches boast dial colors and with diagonally crisscrossed segments on the dial that offer a great play on lights and shadows and exude a contemporary appeal.

The versions include an 18-karat rose gold version set with a diamond bezel and a golden plum colored dial, an 18-karat yellow gold version with a golden-hued dial, and two steel models, one with anthracite gray/black dial and no diamonds, or with midnight blue dial and 36 brilliant-cut diamonds on the bezel.

Immediately identifiable from across a crowded room, the Panthere de Cartier collection is the brand’s quintessential jewelry watch thanks to the ultra-flexible bracelet and the stunning cushion-cornered square case. Measuring just 6.05 mm in thickness, the pieces – powered by quartz movements – are true statement makers.

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What It’s Like To Walk The World’s Most Important Watch Exhibition

What It’s Like To Walk The World’s Most Important Watch Exhibition

Recently, certain members of the C.D. Peacock team traveled to Geneva for the annual Watches & Wonders exhibition. Easily the most important trade fair of the year, this is the place where the world’s most prestigious watch brands – many of which we carry – show off their newest introductions: watches that are setting trends this year and next year around the world.

It is a week-long journey where we get to see, touch and discuss the watches we select to bring into our stores later this year. It is the place to learn about new directions – from design and aesthetics to innovations, patents and more. Sometimes, there are even mind-blowing new timepieces that have our seasoned team shaking our heads in wonder.

While it sounds great, make no mistake, visiting Watches & Wonders and the exhibitors also showing around the city, is work. We start early – typically we are in the show by 830 in the morning and have back-to-back meetings all day long. Evenings are spent with brands for long yet enjoyable dinners with colleagues and friends that last late into the night. Then the next day, we do it all again – making time along the way to strategize, evaluate the watches, consider the likes and wants of our valued customers, and take it all in.

So, what was new at this year’s fair? A lot – from small things we noticed to significant shifts in trends. Here, we take a look at a few important trends that will hit the market beginning in summer and make quite a splash.

It’s all about size … and ergonomics

We have been witnessing a gradual reduction in the diameters of watches over the past year. Some brands are reducing the size of their watches by just a millimeter or two, while others are shifting to release entire collections that are smaller than previous generations by at least 4 millimeters. It may not seem like a lot, but when it is on the wrist – those smaller sizes can make a world of difference. Instead of 44mm to 48 mm watches, expect to see more 40 and 42 mm sizes and even 38mm that are incredibly versatile.

At the same time as watches are thinning down in diameter, they are also slimming down in thickness, as nanotechnology allows for the making of smaller movement parts and, by extension, thinner calibers inside the case.

Additionally, as many brands re-think sizes, they are also tweaking factors that contribute to comfort on the wrist. We are witnessing a slimming and curving of the lugs, and more integrated bracelets and straps that allow the watch to sit more ergonomically on the wrist. In generally, these aren’t big changes you will notice at a glance, but they are changes that will continue as we see a slight renaissance or uptick on a more classic look.

Vintage revisited

Another important trend that continues is the re-evaluation of current watch collections – in tandem with closer looks at brand archives. A host of top companies this year were inspired by their past and took cues of yesteryear but with a sophisticated and contemporary aesthetic. The result is a deft blend of past and present – sometimes with iconic watch lines. Another hint of vintage: the emergence of copper or salmon colored dials on stainless steel or white gold watches.

New colorways

As has been the case for years now, color reigns supreme when it comes to watch designs. However, while the most popular dial and strap hues have typically tended to be gray and blue, this year we are witnessing a refreshing painter’s pallet. Greens in all hues make their own statement, as do reds, burgundies and wine colored dial and straps.

High function

In addition to wanting to offer consumers clean dials and great looks, brands also want to offer functions and useful features on classic watches, as well as sports watches. Calendar watches – from annual calendars to perpetual calendars—are a prime example, as more brands released this useful function on sophisticated timepieces. Also important are watches with dual- and multi- time zone indications.

On the sporty side, we can never get enough of chronographs and watch brands this year are offering an array of watches that can time events with the push of a button. Savvy brands are even releasing Split-Second chronographs that can time multiple events with different endings simultaneously.

Sports minded

With more and more people living active lifestyles these days, we are witnessing a rebirth of tool and sporty watches: pilot watches, dive watches, field watches. As brands become more adept at creating watches that are stronger, more durable, rugged and even more shock- and water- resistant, this category continues to evolve. Today’s sport watch looks very different – both inside and out – from sports watches of 20 years ago.

There is also a continued emphasis on the coupling of cars and watches. Some brands this year celebrate big anniversaries of their relationship with an automotive race, a race car driver or racing design. TAG Heuer, for instance, celebrates the 60th anniversary of its Carrera watch, named for the famed Porsche 911 Carrera, by offering a host of new watches in conjunction with Porsche.

Jewelry accents

This year more so than in previous years, we are also witnessing an emphasis on women’s watches. Brands that didn’t use diamonds on watch dials or bezels in the past are adding them to offer a touch of elegance. Brands that have typically released feminine styles are upping the game this year by turning to slabs of gemstones like lapis lazuli, tiger eye and even meteorite as dials, or by implementing unusual diamond and gemstone settings. There is also a re-emergence of the feminine cocktail watch, and even – at the very high end – pendant watches.

These are just a few of the trends we spotted while walking the halls of the show. Expect to see most of them making their way to our stores starting very soon. Please, come in and take a look.

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If you’ve ever seen a watch with a tourbillon escapement built into it, and visible on the dial side, you would remember it. The constantly moving escapement is simply mesmerizing. So, you may be wondering: exactly what is a tourbillon and what does it do?

French for “whirlwind” – the tourbillon escapement is a regulating mechanism that compensates for errors in timekeeping due to the effect of gravity on the watch when it is in certain positions. Basically, when a watch is lying flat, the balance spring dilates during oscillation and creates some drag – resulting in timetracking errors of as much as a second a day. Theoretically, this does not happen when the watch is in a vertical position on the wrist. However, the wrist is not always in a vertical position.

The tourbillon escapement compensates for these differences -- countering out the drag thanks to itsconstruction, wherein the balance wheel and escapement – now combined as the tourbillon escapement -- are fitted into a rotating cage or carriage and the complete assembly revolves continuously at a constant rate. This averages the effects of gravity over each revolution or spin of the tourbillon cage.

The tourbillon, a true feat of technical mastery and hypnotic beauty was originally invented by Abraham-Louis Breguet in 1795.

A legendary watchmaker obsessed with perfecting timekeeping, Breguet patented it in 1801 and marketed it in 1805. His tourbillon escapement featured the seconds indication on the carriage pivot, so he ensured that the tourbillon rotated once a minute.

Most of today’s tourbillons are referred to as one-minute tourbillons. However today’s watchmakers have elevated the tourbillon to all new heights – with some offering multiple (double or triple) axis tourbillons and others creating 30-second tourbillons, multiple-minute tourbillons and more. Others have eliminated the two bridges that hold the escapement in place, using just one upper bridge so the tourbillon looks like it is suspended in air. This is called a flying tourbillon.

Other brands have built their tourbillon escapements to look like three-dimensional works of art – using spherical or globe-like carriages. Gyrotourbillons gyrate on multiple different axis to counteract gravity. Some tourbillon escapements are placed in Faraday-like cages to be able to spin more freely and yet others house multiple cages that spin at different rates. Some brands even combine the tourbillon escapement with other high complications (such as minute repeaters or perpetual calendars) to offer what the industry refers to as a grand complication.

Most brands that build tourbillons — and there are not a lot that do — have patented tourbillon cages and systems.

Because of the complexity of the tourbillon, and the time it takes to build (a single watch can take as long as six months to assemble), tourbillon watches generally command high retail prices – well over $50,000 to $75,000 and more. It should be noted, though, that a few brands are obsessed with creating “affordable” tourbillon watches that sell for somewhere in the $20,000 to $30,000 price range. Some brands even combine the tourbillon escapement with other high complications (such as minute repeaters or perpetual calendars) to offer what the industry refers to as a grand complication. Among the watch collecting community, a tourbillon watch is among the most coveted.

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Obsessed with always knowing the date, as well as the time? What about knowing the months, leap years, moon phases and more? With a perpetual calendar watch, you have all the information just above your fingertips – in the form of the watch on your wrist.

One of the most beloved complications on the watch market, a perpetual calendar watch boasts a beautifully balanced dial design and a complex mechanical movement – often with several hundred tiny parts working together in unison to track and display a wealth of information.

In addition to tracking hours, minutes and seconds, a perpetual calendar watch tracks the day, date and month automatically no matter how many days are in the month. It also tracks leap years. Most also display the phases of the moon – sometimes in two hemispheres.

Even more astounding is the fact that most perpetual calendar watches on the market today – provided they don’t lose power reserve -- will automatically track this information until the year 2100 before needing an adjustment. That adjustment must be made by a watchmaker and is necessary only because we will be skipping the leap year that otherwise would have been scheduled for that year so that real time on the Gregorian Calendar properly coincides with solar time. The watch will need an adjustment on March 1, 2100.

Depending on the perpetual calendar watch you are looking at, the design of the dial will vary. Some use apertures to display the additional information and others use pointers or hands. The preferred method is apertures that enable quick and easy reading. Make no mistake, though. Just because watch brands have made the display of information easy to read, this is no easy watch to make.

Considered a high complication in the world of watchmaking, the movement inside a perpetual calendar watch has dozens upon dozens of tiny gears, wheels and levers that have a mechanical memory capable of tracking four years of information at a time. The disk-and-lever systems mechanically calculate the correct number of days in every month, including leap-year February.

It is no easy feat. The masters of perpetual calendar mechanisms design the watches to “think” that all months are 31 days, and at the end of the months with 28, 29, or 30 days, the disk-and-lever mechanical memory system communicates with the date wheel, which then skips through the unused dates. For watches with moonphase displays, disks with teeth on them keep the phases properly synchronized.

The entire mechanical marvel needs to stay wound and cannot run out of power reserve or the perpetual calendar displays will have to be reset. Having a watch winder definitely helps so that you can take your watch off for a few days but still have it winding appropriately

Perpetual calendar watches are different from annual or complete calendar watches.

Their early development is credited to British watchmaker Thomas Mudge who invented what is referred to as a detached lever escapement in 1755 – making perpetual calendar pocket watches possible. Still, other than Mudge’s watch, which is on display at the British Museum in London, watchmakers didn’t pursue the concept until Jules Louis Audemars (of Audemars Piguet) created a perpetual calendar timepiece in 1853 as his watchmaking school project. Some 22 years later, in 1875, Audemars and Edward Piguet unveiled a production perpetual calendar pocket watch with 48 months using a circular cam to account for the differences in the dates. That stirred more interest by other brands to create this complication.

Today, many of the top brands that build perpetual calendar watches often have patents on their mechanical systems or on their displays. Some brands also take the perpetual calendar concept to new horological heights by combining it with other functions or features, including astronomical indications, tourbillon escapements and more.

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True Omega watch lovers will recognize the words “Speedy Tuesday.” It is a phrase that caught on back in 2012 when Robert Jan Broer of Fratello watches (a watch blog) posted a picture of his Speedmaster, which collectors often refer to as Speedy, on Facebook on a Tuesday and dubbed it Speedy Tuesday. Since then, the idea of posting about Omega Speedmaster watches on social media platforms on a Tuesday is referred to as Speedy Tuesday

Of course, the history of the
Omega Speedmaster goes
far beyond Speedy Tuesday.

In fact, the line of chronographs was first introduced 66 years ago in 1957. It evolved continually ever since. The Omega Speedmaster has the distinction of being the first watch in space on the wrist ofastronaut Walter Schirra in 1962 during his Mercury-Atlas 8 mission. Later, the Speedmaster was named the only NASA-approved watch for spaceflight. The watch waked on the moon during the Apollo 11 mission and helped time the re-entry to Earth’s atmosphere in the ill-fated Apollo 13 mission. The watch is also a fan favorite amongst race car drivers and is the line of choice for Omega when it comes to creating watches that honor the Olympics, which the brand times to the tiniest fraction of a second.

As such, it comes as no surprise that the biggest invention, the Spirate™ System, recently released is a huge deal when it comes to speed and precision. It is housed inside the all-new Speedmaster Super Racing watch. The new spiral is a mechanical advancement in watchmaking. It has a patent pending on it, and the mechanism allows for such ultra-fine rate adjustments that it is precisely accurate to 0/+2 seconds per day. This is a rarity among watches unless you are dealing in chronometers. Omega’s Co-Axial chronometers are more accurate than most chronometers at a deviation of no more than 0/+5 seconds per day. The new high-frequency movement (4Hz) in the Super Racing watch obviously beats Omega’s own records.

In fact, it is Omega’s expertise in chronometers that enabled the brand, along with the help of the Swatch Group’s technical resources, to reinvent the wheel (well, ok, the spiral). Years in the development stages, the Spirate™ System is combined with a new Si14 balance spring and an adjustment mechanism located on the balance bridge where the watchmaker can make the fine-tune adjustment for higher accuracy. The spiral is made from a single silicon wafer that is then processed using Deep Reactive Ion Etching (DRIE).

The Spirate System™ makes its debut in the Speedmaster Super Racing stainless steel watch in the form of the Co-Axial Master Chronometer 9920 movement. The watch is certified by METAS, the Federal Institute of Metrology, and is sold with a red METAS card confirming its precision of 0/+2 seconds per day.

Additionally, the 44.25mm stainless steel watch, with distinctive black-and-yellow color scheme on the dial (reminiscent of the Aqua-Terra Bumblebee watch released 10 years ago), features a tachymeter ceramic black bezel with yellow grand feu enamel scale, and chronograph subdials for 60-minute and 12-hour time tracking, as well as a central seconds hand. The hands and markers are also coated with SuperLumiNova that glows in bold yellow. The dial boasts a honeycomb pattern. This watch, antimagnetic to 15,000 GAUSS and is sold with a steel bracelet and a NATO strap made of recycled nylon and showcasing black and yellow stripes. The watch boasts a sapphire crystal case back for viewing of the state-of-the-art caliber.

We are pretty certain that Omega will begin equipping more of its Speedmaster watches with this new movement and Spirate™ System in the years to come.

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