Wempe Watch Blog

Wempe Watch Blog
2015-10-29
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Daylight Saving Time ends in the United States at 2 a.m. on Sunday Nov. 1. So, if you don’t stay up until 2 a.m., you may want to set your clocks back one hour on Saturday night before you go to bed so you don't miss that extra hour of sleep in the morning.

Commonly referred to as the "fall back" weekend of the “Spring Forward, Fall Back” concept, Daylight Saving Time this weekend equates to gaining an hour of time for most of us in the USA. The U.S. Virgin Islands, Puerto Rico, Hawaii and most of Arizona, however, don’t participate in DST.

The origins of DST are often argued. Some say the concept was the brainchild of American Benjamin Franklin, who, in a 1784 essay entitled "An Economical Project for Diminishing the Cost of Light," suggested people get out of bed earlier in the morning to use the light instead of candles.

A century later, in 1895, New Zealander George Vernon Hudson, who collected insects in his free time, wanted more daylight time for his studies, so he presented a report to the Wellington Philosophical Society proposing a two-hour daylight savings time program. A decade later, in 1905, British builder William Willett proposed the idea of DST, suggesting setting clocks ahead in April and switching them back in September. His idea caught the attention of Robert Pearce, who introduced a bill to the House of Commons in 1908. The concept was opposed by farmers in England and did not pass. It was Germany, in 1916, that was the first country to implement DST.

In the United States, we have the Uniform Time Act, established in 1966, to set a protocol for DST times/dates. As part of the Energy Policy Act of 2005, the length of DST in America was extended by four weeks, starting in 2007. At any rate, please don’t forget to change your clocks and your watches.

2015-10-27
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It isn't often that we write about brands we don't carry, but this one warrants a close-up look. Last week, a 44-year-old Bulova Chronograph sold at auction for $1.62 million. What made the watch so special? It was the only non-Omega (the official watch of NASA) watch to be worn on the lunar surface. The mission was Apollo 15 in 1971.

Astronaut and Commander David R. Scott on Apollo 15 (the fourth mission to land men on the moon) had worn his own private watch onto the moon's surface in his third and final walk. He had worn his NASA-issued watch on the first two walks, but the crystal had popped off. Needing to keep close track of time, he donned his own personal Bulova for the final walk. The watch recently went up for auction via Boston-based RR Auction house.

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Scott wore the watch during Apollo 15's third excursion that lasted 4 hours, 49 minutes and 50 seconds. He also reportedly wore it through splashdown and recovery, so it shows definite signs of wear and tear. Those well-worn features may have added to the allure of the watch during bidding. What's in your closet?

2015-10-23
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Audemars Piguet — a brand with a long-standing history of creating top complications — unveils its newest model: the 2015 Royal Oak Perpetual Calendar ultra-flat watch. Offered in stainless steel or 18-karat gold, the watch is a true statement in elegance and precision.

To begin with, the 41mm timepiece is equipped with an astronomical moon indication — laser micro-structured and laid on the aventurine dial — that is so precise it will not need an adjustment for 125 years and 317 days. The Caliber 5134 is also an ultra-flat caliber, measuring just 4.31mm thick thanks to a suspended barrel that helps keep the 374-part movement thin. In addition to the days, date, months and leap years, the watch also shows the weeks of the year indicated on an outer chapter ring and offers 40 hours of power reserve.

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As with all Audemars Piguet watches, each finishing operation is done by hand according to the brand’s strict standards of Haute Horology. The suspended barrel features circular Cotes de Genève and the wheels are circular satin-brushed. The mainplate is also circular grained and all bevels are polished.

2015-10-22
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Every once in a while we take a look at a classic watch and think about how thoroughly contemporary it is. This is the case with our strong collection of Calibre de Cartier Chronographs. The 42mm watches are immediately identifiable as Cartier from across a room, yet they are subtle and sensational at the same time.

Each watch in the Calibre de Cartier collection reinterprets the round form with unique character. The watches are equipped with the Manufacture-made mechanical self-winding 1904 MC caliber and offer a sporty masculine appeal.

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Each case features a seven-sided crown set with a faceted synthetic blue spinel. Versions include stainless steel, steel and gold, and gold. Dials — with chronograph sundials and calendar aperture at 6:00 — are offered in black or white, with luminescent sword-shaped hands. Water-resistant to 100 meters, these chronographs look great in and out of the office. Stop in any time to see our collection.

2015-10-20

In watch lingo, we often talk about the power reserve, sometimes referred to in Swiss watches as Reserve de Marche. Essentially, power reserve indicates how long a mechanical watch can run when fully wound. Every mechanical watch offers a certain amount of power before needing to be wound.

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To power a watch, a spring is tightly wound and then placed inside a cylinder or barrel. This is where the energy is stored. The spring releases its tension in a consistent manner, offering constant energy to power the watch at a regular rate. The amount of power a watch has is determined by many factors, including the number of barrels and springs.

Power reserve can differ from watch to watch depending on if the mechanical watch is manually wound (one the wearer must wind himself or herself) or an automatic watch (wherein the rotor of the watch automatically winds during use). The norm on an automatic watch is usually 36 to 42 hours, while a manual wind watch can be equipped with enough power reserve to last for weeks.

Often, the amount of power in the watch is indicated on the dial so that the wearer can see when the watch will need rewinding. That indication can be displayed in a variety of ways. Among them: arched subdials with a hand pointing to an indicator of the remaining power. This is also sometimes achieved using a color palette, such as an arch that displays blue but slowly turns to red as the power runs out. Some brands offer a + or – sign with a hand pointing first to the plus sign when wound and the slowly moving to the minus sign as the power dwindles. There are also linear indications on some watches.

It is important to note that not all watches have visible power reserve indicators. Sometimes, the indication is on the back of the watch and other times there is no indication at all, one just has to intermittently wind the watch, and/or, for some watches – use an automatic winder to keep them powered when not being worn.

2015-10-15
Montblanc Heritage Chronométrie Dual Time Vasco da Gama Limited Edition ...

Montblanc, which earlier this year paid tribute to explorer Vasco Da Gama in a new collection, extends the line to include the newly unveiled Heritage Chronograph Dual Time Vasco da Gama 238 watch. The 41mm watch is crafted in stainless steel with a rose gold bezel, crown and markers — offering a balance in aesthetics. The Dual Time function is read via two hour hands that operate independently of one another. One is blue and one is gold — for the home time and the local time. If you are not traveling or tracking another time zone, one hand can be moved over the other so that only one hour hand shows on the dial.

Easy to use, the watch is slim at 9.9mm and houses an automatic movement, Caliber MB 29.19, with a 21-part dual time complication added to it. The watch features a world map disk that has been specially engraved, and at 12:00, there is a 24-hour disk designed to depict the night sky from the Southern Hemisphere — recalling the sky as Vasco da Gama would have seen it during his sea explorations in 1497. The watch is offered in a limited edition of 238 pieces (the height measure in feet of the lighthouse at Cape Point Peak).

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2015-10-13

One of the watch industry's top magazines, WatchTime, has developed an exhibition in New York of some of the most influential watch brands in America. The show is devoted to wristwatch collectors and enthusiasts and will be held on Friday, October 23rd (evening only), and on Saturday the 24th at Manhattan’s elegant Gotham Hall.

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More than 20 luxury watch brands, from internationally renowned manufacturers to up-and-coming independents, will exhibit their newest timepieces at the show. Some of the brands will be on display in the U.S. for the first time.

Guests will have the opportunity to see and try on watches, as well as mingle with watch company executives, industry experts and fellow watch aficionados.

The event begins with a VIP cocktail party on Friday the 23rd, and continues with an all-day session on Saturday. Both days will feature presentations, watchmaker demonstrations and more. So if you plan to be in New York, you may want to visit the exhibition. Tickets can be purchased at www.WatchTimeNewYork.com.

2015-10-09
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This year marks the 10th anniversary of the Hublot Big Bang. The watch was the brainchild of watch guru Jean-Claude Biver, Chairman of the brand and creator of the Hublot "fusion" concept. His goal when he took over the helm of Hublot was to bring the brand to new heights perfect for today's discerning customers. The idea is to blend bold, sporty looks with high-tech materials. Biver, together with Ricardo Guadalupe, CEO of the brand, has done exactly that.

Today's Big Bang watches are all about unusual materials and bold looks. The watches are not for everyone — only for those who really want to make a statement. To commemorate the 10th anniversary, Hublot has unveiled three new models: the Big Bang Unico Full Magic Gold (with "One Click" strap attachment system and the brand's unique scratch-resistant 18-karat gold); the Big Bang Tourbillon 5-Day Power Reserve Indicator Full Magic Gold, and the Big Bang Unico “10 Years” Haute Joaillerie.

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The Big Bang Tourbillon 5-Day Power Reserve Indicator marks the first Tourbillon in the new generation Big Bang line. It is also crafted in Full Magic Gold — an unscratchable gold alloy developed and made in house. The watch features a beautiful skeleton movement and a practical power reserve indicator function on the dial side. Then — for the not so feint of heart — there is a series of diamond Big Bang Unico "10 years" Haute Joaillerie watches — each valued at $1 million and created in limited numbers.

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In addition to unveiling new watches, Hublot also recently unveiled its new Hublot 2 factory — an addition to its first factory in Nyon, Switzerland. The two buildings are connected via a bridge that runs over a train track. The new building is dedicated to the making of component parts for movements, and is intended to help the brand increase production capacity and R&D developments.

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On September 29, Jean-Claude Biver and Ricardo Guadalupe were joined at the inauguration event by hundreds of guests from around the world, including brand ambassadors Bar Refaeli, Lapo Elkann and Pelé, who made the trip to celebrate this milestone in the brand's history. We are proud to carry Hublot and invite you to stop in any time and see our exciting collection.

2015-10-08

As summer comes to a close and fall whistles in with its cool nights and windy days, many find this a great time to settle in and pick up a good book. Lucky for you, we have some great new "reads" that have come on the market for watch lovers only. Here we bring you three top watch books for fall indulgence.

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Of particular interest to women, Times of Arabia is all about women's watches as inspired by life. The book falls into eight individual chapters and deftly captures the spirit of the things in life that inspired designers: the sky, the sea, architecture, fashion, mechanics and Earth itself. The book, written by Roberta Naas, veteran watch journalist, features full-color images and illustrations, and makes for light, easy reading and a beautiful coffee-table display.

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For lovers of nature and its interpretation in watches and jewelry, you won't want to miss the new Cartier Panthere book. This oversized hard-cover rendition traces the brand's love affair with this sleek animal, and reviews some of the most famous Panthere pieces ever made. Just the photography of the animal alone is worth taking a close-up look, not to mention the artistic masterpieces realized in its likeness.

Sports lovers and car lovers will appreciate the Shelby Cobra 50 Years book, written by Colin Comer with a forward from the late Carroll Shelby. Published with Baume & Mercier, the book offers historical insight into the big win of the Shelby Cobra over Ferrari back in the early 1960s. It is chock-full of historic racing images and superb reflections of a bygone era that made auto history.

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Each of these books offers a different take on time.

2015-10-06
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With a focus on mechanical music boxes and automatons, the National Association of Watch and Clock Collectors (NAWCC.org) hosts the 2015 Ward Francillon Time Symposium later this month.

Slated to take place from October 22-24 in Houston, the symposium focuses on the history and development of clocks and clock-operated devices, including singing bird boxes and whistlers, disc and cylinder music boxes, musical clocks and automatons.

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Lecture topics will include the history and development of musical clocks and musical machines, including string-operated phonographs and gramophones. There will also be a focus on Black Forest clocks, with a look at different types of musical Swiss and German boxes. One presenter will offer an extensive slide show on extraordinary rare musical clocks made in America in the 18th and early 19th centuries.

A host of other subjects will be covered throughout the multi-day event, including a  panel discussion on what to look for when purchasing a musical mechanism. There will also be tours of two large private collections. Registration is open to the public and no NAWCC membership is required.

2015-10-01

In September, summer sailing on the East Coast of the USA was winding down — and doing so in style. In Newport, RI, some of the finest sailing of the season took place at the Rolex New York Yacht Club Invitational Cup. A favorite among sailors worldwide, the Club is a key racing activity – held biennially and hosted by the New York Yacht Club.

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The event promotes Corinthian sailing and rewards preparation, teamwork and tactical expertise, all concepts that the title sponsor of the event, Rolex, upholds. In all, 17 teams from 11 countries came together to race New York Yacht Club Swan 42s — all identical with sails and running rigging provided. The yacht club enlists a professional technical team to ensure that all elements are equal and that no team has an equipment edge.

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During the five days of racing, teams were met with changing weather conditions as they navigated Rhode Island Sound and Narragansett Bay. It was a close race week, but in the end, Royal Thames Yacht Club won the New York Yacht Club Invitational Cup trophy, and a specially engraved Rolex watch.

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The real winner for yacht and sailing lovers globally, however, is the Rolex Yacht-Master II. A chronograph created specifically for yacht racing, the watch offers a unique countdown feature with mechanical memory programmable from 10 minutes to one. Designed for legibility, the watch is characterized by the Ring Command bezel, a patented rotatable bezel that interacts with the watch’s movement. It has a 44mm Oyster case that is water resistant to 100 meters. The perpetual mechanical self-winding regatta chronograph Caliber 4161 Manufacture Rolex powers the watch. Stop in any time to see our selection of great Rolex watches — they’re not just for the water.