Wempe Watch Blog

Wempe Watch Blog
2014-11-28
Composition of clock and christmas decorations on bright backgro

It’s here. Black Friday. For many it’s a day for sales and early shopping. For others, it’s a time to stay home — out of the shopping throngs and crowds — and do a little research about what they want to buy their loved ones. Earlier this week, we discussed how to select a watch to match the recipient's lifestyle. Here, in Part 2 of Holiday Shopping, we bring you the top five things you need to know about the watch before making a gift purchase.

IMG_3969

1. Watch Materials. Things to consider when looking at a watch include whether the watch is made of steel, titanium or precious metals. Not only will the material have an impact on pricing, but also it play a role in the look, feel and use of the watch. Similarly, you may want to inquire if the crystal of the watch is mineral or sapphire. We have covered this subject before, but as a brief reminder, a mineral crystal can get scratches on it (some of which may be buffed out but not all), while a sapphire crystal is generally more scratch resistant. Mineral crystals, however, carry a lesser price tag.

IMG_3968

2. Watch Movement. There are Swiss movements and Japanese movements (and a host of others, but most reputable watches will be powered by a Swiss or Japanese caliber). There are also mechanical movements, quartz movements and solar-powered movements. Often, the movement is not of great concern to the casual watch wearer. However, the more informed watch wearer might have a personal preference.

Quartz watches — powered by a battery — require no winding and are more affordable than mechanical watches. They typically run for three to five years without needing a battery change. Solar watches are powered by exposure to light, and people who are conservation minded often like this concept. Finally, mechanical watches — offered in self-winding or manual-winding versions — are generally great for a watch enthusiast who enjoys knowing the engine was hand-built and runs on good mechanics. Movement types are generally more important in self-purchases than in gift purchasing, but it may be something you want to consider if the recipient is an advanced watch lover.

IMG_3971

3. Brand Reputation/History. Sometimes a certain brand name carries a certain cachet with it. Often this cachet revolves around great marketing and positioning, reliability, precision, or — well, let’s face it — popularity and easy recognizability. One brand may have a reputation as being the leader in aviation, while another has a reputation as being the leader in fashion, mechanics and diamonds. Knowing the best brands in the category you are considering can be a help. Other times, the brand’s history may play a role. Some people are reluctant to purchase a relatively new brand on the market for fear it won’t be there years down the road if the watch needs servicing. Contrary to that, there are some watch lovers who want the newest, trendiest brand on the market. Often, history has nothing to do with age, but instead, with origin. Some people may prefer a brand because it has Japanese, Swiss, French, British or other roots.

4. Budget. Just as we said earlier in the week, knowing your budget is key when it comes to the final selection. Sometimes budget brings you to a new timepiece. Perhaps you can’t afford the top-of-the-line “aviation” watch, for instance, but another great brand exists that offers that category of product in your budget range. We are happy to help here, as we carry a strong variety of product in all price ranges.

5. Authorized Retailers and the Warranty. Buying from a retailer who is authorized to carry your preferred brand is critical. To begin with, buying from an authorized retailer makes the brand’s warranty valid. Secondly, should there be any issue with your watch or its functions, the authorized retailer has access to complete and legitimate after-sales service. As to the brand’s warranty on the watch, all brands offer different guarantees and warranties. Most are a minimum of a year, while others are two, three and even five years. Again, we are happy to disclose all of the information you may want to know about brand warranties.

One last statement as you embark on your watch-buying journey. We offer you peace of mind. If for any reason the gift recipient isn’t happy with the watch, we will work with you and the recipient to find the perfect watch solution. Stop in any time to see our selection of watches, watch categories, watch price ranges and to discuss your needs and concerns.

Top image: Bigstockphoto.com

2014-11-25

With Black Friday around the corner and the holiday shopping season upon us, it’s time to give thought to the perfect gift for those you love. Today, perhaps more than ever before, one of the best gifts is a timeless one: a watch. Time is crucial in everyone’s busy life, and while there is a clock on the cell phone and one on the computer – a watch on the wrist is looked at multiple times a day – always reminding the person of who gave it to him or her and why. Indeed, a watch is the single most important accessory and statement maker a man or woman can have.

Concerned that you don’t know what type of watch your loved one may like? First, take a look at these four factors about that person. Then, consider five important factors about the brand, which we will bring you on Friday in Part 2 of this article. Once armed with all this valuable information, we encourage you to let your heart make the final selection.

1. Hobbies and interests. Is he or she a sports fanatic who loves running, biking or hiking? For that person, one may want to consider a chronograph that times runs, or an instrument watch with functions, such as an altimeter, tachymeter, glow-in-the-dark dials, etc. Perhaps that person loves water, snorkeling, diving? There is a host of great dive and high-water-resistance watches on the market that can fit the bill in any price range. The same is true for aviation buffs, and car lovers — selection abounds — so knowing the person’s hobbies and interests is key.

Singlespeed_mountain_biking_04

2 – Climate the person lives in and his/her activity level. This element may bear some weight on whether you select a bracelet watch or a rubber or leather strap watch. People living in warm climates often turn to bracelets, so the strap doesn’t get clammy or sticky on the wrist, whereas people living in cooler climates sometimes prefer the warmth and snugness of a strap. Things to think about: Active people on the go in the great outdoors also sometimes like the look and feel of a rubber strap; bracelet watches will last longer than rubber or leather; leathers come in a variety of colors and types and so offer great versatility.

3 – Age, career and watch knowledge of the recipient. Age plays an important part in the purchase of a watch as a gift. Generally, teenagers and young adults are more interested in what is stylish and trendy than what functions the watch offers or what it is made of. If you are thinking about a watch for a young person, you may consider designer watches, sports watches or even colorful, well-made fashion watches that will make the recipient thrilled to wear it to school, work or clubs.

Buying for adults who have already started their working careers and may be in their 30s is a different task. They often want a watch that says something about their personal identity – and so a strong look coupled with certain functions or a particular well-known brand name may be more important to them. Those already established and successful in the working world typically already have a good knowledge of watches and may prefer a piece for its individuality, character, brand name or functionality. This is something we are happy to explore with you when you visit our store to explore options.

IMG_3967

4) Your own budget. Watches range from $50 to millions of dollars. Before venturing into a store, you should consider your own budget. Have a base opening price that you are thinking of spending and have a cap in mind. There is a way to blend your budget with quality timepieces perfect for the one you love – and we can help you do that.

Buying from a reputable, authorized retailer brings you peace of mind. You know that if for any reason the person you buy a watch for isn’t happy with it, we will work with you and them to find the perfect watch solution. Now that you are thinking about your loved one’s interests, likes and watch awareness, we invite you to visit our site again on Black Friday for Part 2 of of this article, where we will cover what you need to know about the watch you are considering.

Top image: BigStockPhoto.com

2014-11-20
metal link

Generally, when you look at the watch on your wrist your eyes hone in on the dial or the case, but there are a host of other important elements that go into the finished look of a timepiece. One such element is the bracelet – the very piece that secures the watch to your wrist – ensuring safety and enduring full-on wear and tear daily.

IMG_2460

Top-quality metal bracelets that look good, and offer comfort and security are not necessarily easy to make. In fact, they can be quite complex, requiring hundreds of links and even more screws, pins, or accessory parts. They take a good deal of time to assemble, and typically undergo stringent testing. In fact, because bracelet making is so technically daunting and demanding, many brands do not make their own bracelets, but instead source this out to the bracelet-making specialty companies. Only the fully integrated top-level brands make their own bracelets in house, and they are all hand assembled.

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

Among the challenges in making watch bracelets – other than the obvious design, aesthetics and technical complexities – are factors such as weight. A watch bracelet must be heavy enough to feel significant, yet light enough be comfortable. At the same time, if the bracelet is too lightweight, the customer often questions the value.

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

Metal bracelets – especially stainless steel and titanium bracelets -- are capable of withstanding the elements of water, wear and tear, temperature extremes and more. These are highly durable bracelets. Another advantage to a steel bracelet is that it can be coated via a PVD (physical vapor deposit) process so that it can be created in black, as well as in its natural silver hue. Similarly, gold bracelets weather the elements, as well, but are less recommended for intense sports wear due to their softer nature, wherein scratching can occur. Titanium and some other alloy bracelets have the added benefit of being hypoallergenic — a property that is important to some wearers.

417606542_o

In terms of look, the bracelet is all about the link type and size, as well as the number of rows of links. Popular today for dress watches is the vintage-inspired Milanese Mesh bracelet – a super supple link of interlaced round links that give the appearance of chainmail armor or woven fabric and that envelops the wrist magnificently.

Sportier watches tend to be three-row bracelet links (especially useful for two-tone styles) or solid horizontal links that wrap around the wrist nicely. Clasps are also important elements in the bracelet look, design, durability and security. The deployment or deployant clasp (which opens with the squeeze of a couple of tabs, or with the lifting of a lock latch) generally consists of several interlocking parts and is also complex to build.

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

Typically a watch with a metal bracelet costs more than a watch with a leather strap because of the material, durability and composition. A good metal bracelet needs little care other than cleaning it, or rinsing it after immersion in seawater. Occasionally, it may need to be buffed or polished to remove scratches. That said, a metal watch bracelet should last a very long time.

2014-11-18

With Black Friday just 10 days away, we wanted to offer our readers a public service message — and call your attention to online selling fraud.

pr_2014-11-03_image_inside-9a65dd8defe7179861250cb64f5739b3 Photo credit: TheCounterfeitReport.com.

It is estimated that counterfeiters will produce billions of dollars in fake products globally this year. According to TheCounterfeitReport.com (a consumer protection website), a majority of online shoppers will buy products without knowing if they are authentic or even if the dealer is authorized to sell that product – whether it is shoes, designer sneakers, headphones, perfume and even watches. Counterfeit products are often listed as "100% Genuine" and often these counterfeit gift purchases go undetected until after the holidays when the product fails or is returned, or until much later when the product needs repair.

Recently, counterfeit products — including Bose headphones, Gillette Mach 3 Razor blades, Otterbox Defender Cell phone cases and Coco fragrances — were sold on line. Unlike authorized retailers, counterfeit sellers typically don’t honor returns or dispute return dates — leaving the consumer with no recourse.

The Counterfeit Report offers six self-protecting tips for buyers:

• Avoid online purchases from unauthorized sellers.
• Buy online directly from the manufacturer or from authorized retailers with clear return policies.
• Always buy with a credit card, not with bank withdrawals or wire transfers.
• When in doubt about a product, do a close comparison with an authentic product at an authorized retailer.
• Always retain the product. It is your only proof of receiving a counterfeit.
• If you find you have counterfeit product, notify your credit card company that you have kept the counterfeit product and are disputing the charge.

watches 1 copy

Of course, when it comes to buying watches, the above holds true. Counterfeit watches are all over the Internet. We are authorized dealers of all of the watch brands we carry.

Buying from an authorized retailer of a watch brand ensures:
• Full manufacturer warranty coverage of the product.
• Guarantees that the product is authentic – direct from the brand.
• Knowledgeable service.
• Continued after-sales assistance for exchanges.
• Returns accepted as per store policies.
• Peace of mind.

2014-11-13
Document9 Egyptian striking clock owned by Mrs. George Blumenthal. Cartier Paris, 1927. Gold, silver gilt, mother-of-pearl, lapis lazuli, coral, emerald, cornelian, enamel; 24 x 15.7 x 12.7cm. Cartier Collection. Photo: Nick Welsh, Cartier Collection © Cartier.

Planning a winter ski trip to Colorado? You may want to add on a day in Denver to visit an incredible exhibit of one of our favorite brands: Cartier. The exhibit, entitled “Brilliant, Cartier in the 20th Century,” began this past weekend at the Denver Art Museum and will remain in place until March 15, 2015.

AG50C30_165054  Man's pocket utility kit, Cartier New York, circa 1937. Photo: N. Welsh, Cartier Collection © Cartier

It is a one of the most comprehensive exhibits to come to America and is solely at this venue. The exhibit displays 250 dazzling Cartier jewels, watches, clocks, objects of art, desk and writing accessories and other items all created between 1900 and 1975.

Surrounding the watches, jewelry and other items are drawings, sketches, historic photos and other types of materials of the times — all setting the cultural stage for the Cartier pieces and the era during which they were made. From the aristocracy of the Russian Tsars to the Art Deco and Roaring Twenties eras, Cartier made its indelible mark in history – dressing the world’s most preeminent socialites, financiers, celebrities and more.

The exhibition is created in segments that include a focus on men’s items, such as wristwatches, pocket items and more. There are even pieces on display that were worn by some of the brand’s most famed clients: Daisy Fellowes, Wallis Warfield Simpson, the Duchess of Windsor, Princess Grace of Monaco, Barbara Hutton, Dame Elizabeth Taylor and Mexican film star María Félix.

WWL48A11_189476 Bracelet watch. Cartier Paris 1911; Made by Jaeger-LeCoultre. Photo: Nick Welsh, Cartier Collection © Cartier

While we are thrilled to have many exciting Cartier pieces in our store, and welcome you stop in and see them, this exhibit gives a rare insight into Cartier’s history. Happy skiing.

2014-11-11
jaeger1

Jaeger-LeCoultre, a brand we are proud to carry, has created its own material called Cermet. It is a revolutionary aluminum matrix composite with a thick ceramic coating that protects Jaeger-LeCoultre’s Deep Sea Chronograph.

Watchmaking dates back centuries. Still, invention prevails. Watch brands of today continue to innovate and evolve when it comes to design, technology and materials used in building today’s watches. While the noble materials of gold, platinum and even the lesser noble — but always rugged — stainless steel are the true staples of the watch world, some watch brands are embracing materials that typically preside in the automotive and aerospace world. Even others are taking creative license and delving into creating new alloys and materials that are proprietary in nature.

Especially with the larger brands that have beefed up their research and development teams, finding new materials via interaction with scientists and engineers has almost become a given. It is all very space age and trendy – and translates to new watches that are lighter weight, more rugged and often even more scratch resistant.

breitling avenger blackbird black titainum case

Breitling Avenger in blackened titanium case.

The materials used to form today’s watchcases and bracelets have to have a real objective – whether that be to achieve a certain color, a certain weight, or a certain aesthetic appeal. Among the current materials trending are the following: Special forms of coated titaniums; aluminum and hypoallergenic alloys; rubber, which takes a new position as a shield for pushers on chronographs, and even as a bond for cases; carbon fiber and carbon coatings that offer strength and durability; tungsten, aluminum and magnesium alloys that offer corrosion resistance and lighter weight; and ceramic for high-tech appeal and scratch resistance. We will delve more deeply into each of these categories in the coming months.

2014-11-06
IMG_2466

The September Swiss watch export statistics are in — and they indicate strong sales in the U.S and around the globe. Exports to the United States grew by 7.3 percent to $235.1 million, according to the Federation of the Swiss Watch Industry. In terms of watch price ranges, the greatest growth was in the category of wristwatches priced under $526 (CHF 500), although the higher end of the market also outperformed the same time period of 2013.

Worldwide Swiss watch exports (including components) rose 2.8 percent to $2.065 billion (CHF 1.963 billion) in September. Exports of finished wristwatches in this same time period rose 3.2 percent to $1.951 billion (CHF1.855 billion), while the number of units shipped grew 4.2 percent to 2.672 million for this timeframe.

For the first three quarters of 2014, Swiss watch exports grew 2.7 percent to $16.934 billion (CHF 16.098 billion), while the wristwatch units exported rose by 1.4 percent to 20.722 million.

For such a small item, this is a big business — all demonstrating that buying, enjoying and collecting watches is totally in vogue.

2014-11-05
NYC_Marathon

This past weekend, TAG Heuer hosted a couple of very important events that highlight the brand’s commitment to sports. Not only did the brand unveil a new Times Square New York billboard with two recent marathon runners (Michelle DeLucca and Justin Michalski) profiled, but also announced its role as the Official Timekeeper and Timepiece for the New York City Marathon. While these exact events took place in New York City, they underscore TAG Heuer’s national (and even global) commitment to physical fitness.

In fact, TAG Heuer will be timing other sports marathons across America and around the world as part of its new strategy to reaffirm its sports roots and to convey its message “Don’t Crack Under Pressure.” The direction of the brand is to focus on sport watches, chronographs and healthy competition, and the partnerships with marathons extend its motor racing territory to another much-loved ground sport.

tag-heuer-Carrera-1887-cal-copy

“Running a marathon requires great physical strength and even more mental strength, and this is even truer if you want to be one of the gallant marathon 'finishers,'" says Stephane Linder, Global President and CEO of TAG Heuer.

For this top-notch Swiss sports watch brand, the connection to marathon running – wherein men and women of all ages participate – ensures greater visibility for the brand and its cutting-edge chronographs. Stop in to see our selection of TAG Heuer watches.

DCUP_MarathonNYC_Carrera_CAR2A10BA0799_mag_SP[1]
2014-11-04
bregeut-classic-chronometer

This past weekend in Geneva, the Grand Prix d’ Horlogerie Genève 2014 (GPHG) was held with about 1,500 top watch industry people in attendance. Considered the largest watch competition, GPHG is often dubbed the Academy Awards of the industry. This year witnessed 72 top watches competing in more than a dozen different categories for winning placements.

Capturing the top prize of the entire competition was Breguet, a brand we are proud to carry in our store. The Breguet Classique Chronométrie won the “Aiguille d’Or” Grand Prix prize. Crafted in 18-karat pink gold, the manually wound mechanical watch offers hours, minutes, seconds and power reserve indicator in a stunning, classic presentation. Breguet’s mastery of silicon enables the watch movement to be fitted with a double balance spring pallet lever and escapee wheel in silicon. The high-frequency movement has a power reserve of 60 hours.

The major innovation of this Classique Chronométrie model is the brand’s the use of magnetic pivots designed to control the negative effects of magnetism in a watch, and to improve the rotation and stability of the balance staff. The result is a balance that is insensitive to gravity, and more stable and resistant to shocks. The watch has six patents on its various technical achievements.

gphg2014_breguet_classique_dame_01

Interestingly enough, Breguet also won another prize at the GPHG. The Public Prize – voted on by the public via on-line and at-exhibition voting – went to Breguet for its Classique Dame watch. The Classique Dame 9068 model is a particularly slim watch crafted in 18-karat white gold that shows the hours, minutes and seconds as well as a date aperture. The mechanical movement features a silicon balance spring and the bezel and lugs are set with brilliant-cut diamonds.