Wempe Watch Blog

Wempe Watch Blog
2017-05-31

This past weekend in Bermuda, sailing lovers were treated to the kickoff of the 35th America’s Cup presented by Louis Vuitton. The competition for the oldest trophy in international sports dates back to 1851. Defending the Cup is America’s Oracle Team USA (which won the 2013 America’s Cup races and the 2010 series before that). Five challengers are now racing one another over the course of nearly a month to determine which will be the final challenger.

Officine Panerai is the Official Watch of the 35th America’s Cup. It is also the Official Watch of the Defenders: Oracle Team USA, skippered by Jimmy Spithill, and the Official Watch of challenger Softbank Team Japan.

Panerai also unveiled watches to celebrate the event and the teams. Top among them is the Official Watch of the America’s Cup, the Panerai Luminor Marina 1950 America’s Cup 3 Days Automatic Acciaio 44mm. The 44mm stainless steel watch features Panerai’s patented crown protecting lever device and is water resistant to 300 meters. It displays the words “America’s Cup” on the dial. Powered by the in-house-made automatic caliber P. 9010 movement with three days of power reserve, the piece is being made in a limited edition of 300 units. Additionally, the brand has a host of other America's Cup-related timepieces. We invite you in any time to see the complete line up.

2017-05-25

Earlier this week, we reviewed the pros and cons of different types of watch straps, including fabric, rubber and leather. Today, we take a closer look at bracelet watches.

Easily one of the most durable materials on the market, metal can have its advantages over straps. For the purposes of this article, we will focus on lightweight titanium and stainless steel bracelets, as those are the most popular with summer sports and outdoor enthusiasts.

Generally, a bracelet is made of individual links that are held together with pins, screws or both. Because of their labor-intensive construction, and their material, bracelets are typically more expensive than straps. However, bracelets can last for years compared to straps and are relatively easy to take care of. Generally, one just needs to wipe them down with a soft wet cloth or with a little dish soap. Additionally, bracelets are preferred in hot, sticky climates because leather straps that can stick to the skin.

Thanks to processes, such as PVD (physical vapor deposit) and IP (ionic plating), steel and titanium can be coated in a range of colors. While their natural silver hue is typically preferred, black has become the new stealth look, and sometimes blue, as well. Two-tone bracelets (a mix of steel and gold or gold-plate) are also becoming popular again.

Perhaps the only real disadvantage of a steel bracelet is the fact that it is heavier than both titanium and leather. Some people, however, like the feel of the weight on the wrist. As with all choices regarding straps and bracelets, the best advice is to buy what you most like to wear.

2017-05-23

With summer around the corner and more short sleeves and bathing suits being worn, it is a good time to address the issue of leather vs. rubber vs. fabric watch straps. While the decision about what type of strap to wear is typically a matter of personal preference, there are some factors that may influence your decision. These include climate, temperature, exposure to water and activity.

Leather

Leather straps are comfortable to wear and can be found in a variety of colors and textures. Leather ranges from calfskin, ostrich and stingray to crocodile, alligator, snake and more. Generally, leather straps are relatively easy to take care of in the right temperatures — often with just a wipe of a damp cloth and dish detergent. In severe heat and humidity, though, these straps tend to get a bit sticky on the wrist.

Rubber

Rubber straps are the perfect choice if you are a water person. Rubber weathers the elements beautifully: water doesn't bother it and it dries quickly without sticking to the wrist. Typically rubber doesn't fade or lose its luster. Many of today's top rubber straps feature embossed details or have tire treads or other motifs on them. Additionally, most are blends of polycarbonate and other materials that keep them from becoming dry or brittle.

Fabric:

Fabric straps come in all types and fabrics. Easily the most preferred fabric for outdoor use is a woven material typical of a NATO strap. Sometimes referred to as military straps, NATO straps have roots dating back to the early 1970s when British soldiers used nylon straps that were highly durable, could be easily cleaned and were not expensive to buy. NATO straps are easy to change and usually slip through the top lugs, pass over the case back and though the bottom lugs. The system acts as double security, too, because one need not worry about spring bars breaking or popping as with typical straps. They are very durable and highly functional, as they dry quickly, don’t stick to the wrist and are designed for extreme wear.

2017-05-18

Jackie Kennedy © Getty Images courtesy of Christie's Auction House

Christie's Auction House has announced that at its upcoming June 21 New York Rare Watches and American Icons Sale it will put up for auction a watch owned by Jacqueline Kennedy Onassis. The Cartier Tank watch, which the former First Lady wore for years and can be seen in many photos of her, is estimated to sell for between $60,000 and $120,000.

Apparently the watch was a gift from her brother-in-law Prince Stanislaw “Stas” Radziwill in 1963 and has an engraving on the caseback: "Stas to Jackie 23 Feb. 63 2:05 AM to 9:35 PM.” The 2:05 a.m. to 9:35 p.m. engraving references the beginning and end times of the 50-mile hike that took place in Palm Beach in 1963. The hikes were part of Kennedy's concept for people to get healthy.

Making the lot even more exciting is the fact that it is being sold with an original painting by Jackie in 1963 as a gift for Radziwill also commemorating the hike and with the same date and times on it. Her painting also features a handwritten note to Radziwill: "Jackie to Stas with love and admiration."

The watch and painting are being put up for sale via Christie's from an anonymous donor who says a portion of the proceeds will go to the National Endowment for the Arts.

All photos courtesy of Christie's Auction House.

2017-05-16

After a long investigation into the world of Haute Horlogerie (fine watchmaking), the Fondation de la Haute Horlogerie (FHH) in Switzerland announces that it has created a guide book to define what really constitutes fine watchmaking.  The White Paper on Fine Watchmaking — a detailed guide of criteria and brands — is the result of three years of work by the Foundation's Cultural Council.

The FHH tapped its Cultural Council of 46 independent, international experts from across all areas of the watch industry, each of whom worked pro-bono to give their input into what defines fine watchmaking and to bring it together into one document that informs and sets forth the defining values inherent in fine watchmaking.

Within the guidelines, there are four main categories: Historic Maisons, Contemporary Brands, Luxury Brands and Artisan Creators. Additionally, the Council has developed a criteria that examines seven areas of expertise, including R&D and Production, Style and Design, History and DNA, Distribution and After-Sales Service, Collectors, Brand Image and Communication, and Training.

It specifies 28 objectives and measurable criteria across each of these areas. Each brand is evaluated against these criteria by the Cultural Council experts. For the release of The White Paper, 86 brands were evaluated and 64 met the criteria. This evaluation will be repeated every 2 to 3 years to stay current with developments in the industry.

2017-05-11

Earlier in the week, we posted an item about how time — specifically a watch — is the best Mother's Day gift. A watch shows you took the time to think about her likes, her hobbies or interests, or her favorite colors or styles. Even better, a watch is something she will glance at every day she wears it — and be reminded of you. And, let's face it, a watch is all about showing that you recognize her time is important to her and that you respect that.

With these ideas in mind, we invite you come in and take a look at the wonderful selection of women's watches we have in the store, any of which will make the perfect Mother's Day gift. Styles abound at all price points. And, if you aren't sure what to get that special mom, our staff can help point you in the right direction.

This Mother's Day, give the gift of time.

2017-05-09

Mother’s Day is Sunday, May 14. So what are your plans for your mom or your wife, the mother of your children? We have some ideas. Sure, going out to brunch or dinner is delightful (if you can stand the crowds), and candy is wonderful (though, when it's gone... it's gone). Flowers are beautiful (even though they will wilt and die). We suggest you give the gift of time.

In fact, according to the National Retail Federation, which recently conducted an annual survey with Prosper Insights & Analytics about the holiday, total spending for Mother's Day this year is expected to reach $23.6 billion. Even more important is the fact that $5 billion of that is expected to be in the jewelry and watch arena, setting a new Mother’s Day record for that category. That tally represents an increase of 19% compared with the $4.2 billion spent in 2016.

Jewelry/watches is, by far, the strongest of all gift categories, topping the list that includes the $4.2 billion earmarked for special outings, such as a dinner or brunch, $2.6 billion for flowers, $2.5 billion for gift cards, $2.1 billion for clothing, $2.1 billion for consumer electronics and $1.9 billion for personal services, such as a spa day.

By selecting a watch as a gift for Mother's Day you show her that you took the time to shop, to think about her likes and interests, and to give her something that will last a lifetime. Besides, every time she looks at that watch on her wrist, she's bound to think of you.

We have a great array of watch brands that can fit the bill for any budget and still be impressive. In fact, visit our blog later this week when we will give you a heads-up on the most recent watch trends for women so you can be armed with that info when you head out to do some shopping.

Please stop in soon to talk with our staff about finding the perfect Mother's Day watch.

2017-05-02

Longines is a brand that has had long relationships in the world of equestrian sports. In fact, back in 1878, the brand produced a chronograph engraved with a jockey on it, and three years later the brand had become the favorite of horse enthusiasts everywhere. Since then, the brand has been immersed in the world of equestrian shows, jumping competitions, flat racing and eventing competitions.

This weekend, Longines will once again be acting as the Official Timekeeper of the world-famous Kentucky Derby. The festivities begin early, with the Longines Kentucky Oaks  event showcasing 3-year-old fillies being held on Friday.  The race is a $1 million Grade 1 stakes race. It is, like the Kentucky Derby, one of the longest continually held sporting events in America.

The following day at Churchill Downs, the Kentucky Derby takes place. In honor of its incredible relationship with the equestrian world, Longines creates a host of timepieces that celebrate the sport. Stop in any time to see our collection of Longines Equestrian watches for men and women.