Wempe Watch Blog

Wempe Watch Blog
2016-07-28
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The wearable technology category continues to grow by leaps and bounds. In fact, according to a recent Wearable Technology report conducted by IDTechEx Research, the segment accounts for about $30 billion, with $11 billion of that coming from smart watches and fitness trackers.

While many watch pundits feared the coming of Smart watches — thinking they would steal growth from the traditional watch category — they have actually fueled interest in what people are wearing on the wrists.

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Additionally, some of today's top watch brands are delving into the category and offering a deft blend of traditional watchmaking and smart technology. Among them are TAG Heuer, Frederique Constant, Breitling, Alpina, Tissot and others.

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Brands such as Montblanc and Bulgari have entered the market with more unusual devices. Montblanc offers the e-Strap to attach to certain watches, and Bulgari partnered with WiseKey to create secure document storage accessible only with the watch.

2016-07-26
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Over the past week or so we have talked a lot about active watches for summer — covering pilots and aviation watches, dive watches and water resistance. Another very important thing to consider during the summer months is how to care for your mechanical or quartz watch.

Clean It: Because watches generally take a bit more of a beating in summer when we indulge in a more active lifestyle, it is important to regularly clean it. If you take a watch worn regularly off your wrist and turn it over, there is most likely some ugly dirt buildup on the case, caseback and lugs. This is not good for a watch because if the seals or gaskets are loose, dirt can get inside and damage the movement. Additionally, it wears down the strap faster.

We suggest a gentle cleaning with a soft cloth (such as a non-abrasive towel or cotton tee-shirt). You may need to put a little elbow grease into it, but do not use water. You can also use the same soft cloth on the watch crystal.

On the inside of the strap, you can use a damp towel with a little soap to clean the strap and then dry it carefully. Even if you have a water-resistant watch, it's best to clean it after swimming, as chlorine and salt can be abrasive. Also, always be sure the crown (stem) is pushed in tightly, and if you have a screw-down crown, once it is pushed in, you need to screw it into the locked position.

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Avoid Rigorous Activity: While many watches today are shock resistant, they should not be subjected to rigorous activity unless proven to be able to withstand intense treatment (such as a COSC-certified chronometer). Be careful to avoid holding your watch over a hardwood floor or cement pool patio while putting it on. Sometimes we are in a rush and the watch drops, which can cause damage. We have seen this sort of thing all too often.

Replace Cracked Crystals: If your watch crystal is scratched or has a hairline fracture, get it replaced fast — before dust or moisture seeps inside. This can do even greater harm.

Keep Batteries Running: For quartz watches, if your battery dies, get it fixed. Do not leave a dead battery inside a watch or it can eventually corrode, leak and ruin the timepiece. Always take your watch to an authorized retailer or a retailer with a properly equipped service department to have the battery replaced.

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Have it Serviced: This is especially important for mechanical watches, which — much like a fine car — need an oil change and maintenance every so often. Even quartz watches — if worn in the water — should be checked annually just to ensure it remains water resistant and the gaskets are still intact.

Check Water Resistance: Don’t assume your watch is ready to join you for a dive into the ocean or pool just because it says water-resistant. We wrote about water resistance here a few weeks ago, and we suggest you scroll back and see what your watch can or can't do, depending on its depth of water resistance.

Other than that, stop in our store anytime to check out our newest watches, or to talk about watch care.

2016-07-21
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It was 47 years ago today, on July 21,1969, that American astronaut Neil Armstrong stepped onto the Moon's surface at 2:56:15 AM (GMT).

Armstrong was commander of the US Apollo 11 Moon mission, and during a landmark broadcast, people around the world marveled at the first man to walk on the moon. He stepped down and said: "That's one small step for man, one giant leap for mankind."

Over the years, many different watch brands got involved in space exploration, equipping astronauts or cosmonauts with timepieces that could go the distance.

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Breitling is one such brand. In fact, on May 24, 1962, Scott Carpenter orbited the Earth three times aboard the Aurora 7 capsule. On his wrist was a Navitimer with a 24-hour time indicator. Even today, the brand equips astronauts and has several on board as brand ambassadors. Among them are astronaut brothers Mark and Scott Kelly. In fact, Scott, the younger of the Kelly twins, now holds the record for the most consecutive days spent in space: 382. He took four personal items with him for his time spent in the space station: his eyeglasses and three Breitling watches.

Additionally, Breitling sponsors the famed Breitling Jet Team, and has a host of pilot instrument watches in its line-up. Even actor John Travolta — a seasoned pilot — is on the brand's ambassador roster. Stop in any time to see our collection of Breitling watches.

(Pictured below: Twin astronauts Mark and Scott Kelly, and John Travolta)

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2016-07-19
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Vintage watches and clocks always amaze us when they go up for auction. They seem to always hold their value — especially when they have a celebrity provenance. Recently, at Christie's New York auction of comedian Joan Rivers' property, several clocks and watches were sold for more than double the estimated price.

Lot 28, an Austrian silver, gilt and malachite table clock with gemstones, was expected to fetch $2,000. The early 20th century ornate clock measuring 8-1/2 inches tall sold for $3,750.

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Selling for $6,875 was Lot 31, another malachite table clock. This one was a late 19th century German Ormolu malachite-veneered table clock with a gilded astronomer sitting atop. The dial is signed John Hartmann, Horloger Du Roi, Berlin. The clock measures 20 inches in height. Experts had estimated that the clock may fetch $3,000.

As to watches, a lady's Chanel Premier watch with quartz movement and a two-row gold-plated link bracelet, circa 1987, was estimated to sell in the range of $1,500 to $2,000. It realized $3,750. Additionally, Lot 95, a lady's quartz Chopard watch with black resin case and dial was supposed to sell for $1,000 and actually sold for $2,125.

Rivers, whose acerbic comedic style earned her legions of fans and a co-hosting gig on E!’s Fashion Police, passed away on Sept. 4, 2014, at the age of 81. During her successful 55-year-career as a comedian, actress, writer and producer, Rivers amassed an impressive collection of jewelry and watches from esteemed designers, such as Fabergé, Harry Winston, Chanel and Tiffany.

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Credits: Images courtesy of Christie's.

2016-07-14
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Earlier this week, we wrote an article about water resistance. At the close of that story, we noted that if you have a 300-meter water-resistant watch, you can do deep diving with it on your wrist. Here, we bring you a look at what constitutes a true dive watch.

A host of top watch brands offer high-precision professional dive watches that are equipped with all sorts of important features that help to make these watches impervious to the rigors of the deep. Often watch brands seek outside help from experts in the dive world as they build their professional timepieces.

To be a true dive watch, the timepiece should meet certain standards depending on whether one is snorkeling, scuba diving or deep sea diving. For diving, the true minimum should be 300 meters of water resistance. Some people may choose a  200-meter water-resistant watch — but only if staying within 100 meters of the surface.

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Other than water resistance, a true dive watch should include the following:

• One-way rotating and ratcheted bezels to measure elapsed dive time;
• SuperLuminova hands and markers for easy underwater readability;
• Anti-glare crystals;
• Rugged materials, such as titanium,steel, carbon fiber, etc.;
• Expansion bracelets for use over wetsuits;
• Depending on the depth one plans to go to, a helium escape valve.

Additionally, today’s dive watches may — depending on the brand — also offer other important features, such as double- or triple-locked winding crowns, additional gaskets, silicon "O" rings, extra-large crowns, alarm functions and double-locked bracelet clasps.

Most dive watches are also COSC-certified chronometers. Chronometers are watches that have undergone rigorous testing by the Controle Official Suisse des Chronometres (COSC) observatory over a period of time. The watches are monitored in various positions and under different conditions of pressure, temperature, depth and gravity.

If you plan to dive, stop in our store and check out our selection of superb diver watches from a host of brands.

2016-07-12

It’s summer and that means many of us are engaging in water sports. But, before you jump right in, take a look at these important factors that will help you determine if the watch on your wrist can jump in with you.

To begin with, no watch is waterproof. Watches can be rated "water resistant" to a certain depth that is typically pre-determined in a series of tests. If a watch does not carry the words "water resistant," it most likely is not water resistant. Look for the designation on the dial or caseback.

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Generally, watches are marked "water resistant" to a certain depth. Different watch brands use different measuring methods, including Bar, ATM (atmospheres), Meters and Feet. Generally 10 Bar equals 10 ATM, which equals 100 meters or 330 feet.

Several important watch parts influence whether or not a watch is water resistant. These include proper gaskets, screw-down crowns (where once the time has been set and the crown is pushed back in, the crown is screwed into locking position), and screwed casebacks (where, in the manufacture of the watch, the caseback has been threaded to fit the case with no openings).

So, what's the long and the short of it? Here is a quick guide to help you decide just how much water your watch will enjoy.

• 30 meters: It should not be worn in the water; it is most likely just splash resistant.
• 50 meters: Swim with it.
• 100 meters: Snorkel with it.
• 200 meters: Snorkel and maybe dive to 100-meters – no deep dives.
• 300 meters: Congratulations you can deep dive.

Just one other note, though. Showering or hot-tubbing with a water resistant watch is not a good idea, as the warmer temperatures of the water can affect the gasket shape and seal. We also recommend that you have your watch tested for water resistance once a year, typically before the summer season hits.

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2016-07-07
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While we are proud to carry a long list of well-known brands in our store, we are equally enthusiastic to be able to present our very own wristwatches. In fact, Wempe presents wristwatch chronometers that are certified according to the German industrial norm and carry the Wempe Glashütte/SA name.

From aviation-inspired pieces, to chronographs in round, square and tonneau shapes, the brand is comprised of two important lines (Zeitmaster and Chronometerwerks) and has something to offer both men and women. With deep roots in the Saxon watchmaking region, our Wempe Glashutte i/SA brand offers exciting small complications, such as moon phase indications, calendars, power-reserve indications and more.

The Chronometerwerks collection is reminiscent of the company's renowned ship’s chronometers. Watches in this line, such as the 43mm round 18-karat yellow gold chronometer (pictured above), are officially tested according to the German DIN 8319 standard. We invite you to stop in any time to talk to our very knowledgeable sales staff or our watchmakers about the Wempe Glashutte SA brand.

 Wempe Glashutte SA Chronometerwerks Manual Winding Tonneau watch.
2016-07-05
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Panerai has unveiled its most complicated watch to date: the Made-to-Order Radiomir 1940 Minute Repeater Carillon Tourbillon GMT. The watch is incredibly complicated in its technology and mechanics, which include a three-hammer double minute repeater mechanism that enables it to chime a local time and a second time zone. The wearer can even switch between the two time zones via a pusher on the crown when it is in selector mode. Powered by the new hand-wound skeletonized P.2005/MR manufacture-made caliber, the watch chimes the hours, 10-minute increments and minutes on different notes.

The tourbillon escapement features a unique system wherein the rotation of the tourbillon cage is on an axis that is perpendicular (instead of parallel as in most classic tourbillons) to the balance axis, and rotating at 30 seconds. It took the master watchmakers at the brand’s Laboratorio di Idee four years to develop the P.2005/MR caliber. The 49mm watch can be personalized with a special strap color, choice of hands and more.