Wempe Watch Blog

Wempe Watch Blog
2017-07-28

Generally, when one thinks of Cartier watches, beautiful gold Tank watches and handsome Cartier Santos watches come to mind. This summer, though, we encourage you to stop in and take a closer look at a truly useful, yet aesthetically appealing, technical timepiece: the Calibre de Cartier Diver watch.

An authentic diving instrument, the Calibre de Cartier Diver watch is water resistant to 300 meters and features a uni-directional turning bezel and time-control displays in Super-LumiNova for easy underwater readability. Powered by a manufacture self-winding mechanical movement, 1904 MC, each watch holds to the strict technical requirements of ISO 6425 standards.

The collection consists of several 42mm versions in steel or in ADLC-coated stainless steel with either a textured rubber strap or a steel bracelet. There is even a Calibre de Cartier Carbon Diver. Each features a sapphire crystal and meets all of the stringent requirements of Cartier in its craftsmanship and design. Stop in any time to see our collection of sporty — and chic — Cartier watches.

2017-07-26

With summer here and everyone focused on sports watches and timepieces that can keep up with their rugged, active lifestyles, it's a good time to take a closeup look at what it means when a watch is a certified chronometer.

Chronometer roots date back to the 18th century when ships at sea were running aground because they had no way to determine longitude. A race was on amongst the seafaring countries to develop an onboard instrument that could keep accurate time and calculate longitude. When the first such pieces were made for ships they were referred to as chronometers and were considered the most rugged, durable timepieces to date.

Today, many watch brands insist that their high-precision watches house a movement that can keep up with the active pace of today's individuals. This means putting them through stringent testing in different positions and in all sorts of conditions (water, weather, humidity, pressure, etc.).

Generally, a chronometer is rated under laboratory conditions in a specified testing institute and is then certified as having passed those tests within certain ranges of accuracy and precision. There are several chronometer testing institutes around the world (Germany has the Glashutte Observatory in Saxony; France has the Observatory at Besancon), and some brands test their watches in-house and certify them accordingly.

The well known testing institute for Swiss watchmaking is the Controle Officiale Suisse des Chronometres – or C.O.S.C. There are three different COSC laboratory testing facilities in Switzerland: Biel/Bienne, Geneva, LeLocle, but they all use the same guidelines and criteria.

Each watch tested must comply with ISO 3159 standards after being tested for five to 15 days in five positions at several different temperatures. Measurements are made daily via cameras and advanced equipment based on comparisons with two independent atomic clocks. After testing, watches must meet an average daily rate criteria of -4/+6 seconds; a mean variation in rate of 2 seconds; a thermal variation of + or – 0.6; and more.

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Certified COSC chronometers have a serial number engraved on the movement and are sold with a certificate. Because of the rigorous testing and high standards, just about 3 percent of all Swiss watches produced are COSC-certified chronometers.

Stop in any time to see the chronometer watches we carry.

2017-07-21

Heading to New England any time soon? Love clocks, or just looking for something a little off the beaten path to do that is quite different? We suggest you visit the self-described "Old Cranks" at the American Clock and Watch Museum in Bristol, Conn. The museum offers an Old Cranks tour with one of four volunteers who visit the museum on a regular basis to wind approximately 60 to 70 of the historic clocks on display.

As the "Old Cranks" work their way through the museum’s eight galleries, visitors can watch the volunteers wind different kinds of timepieces, and hear the fascinating stories about the history of the clocks and of the watch industry in America. The Old Cranks even discuss what makes a clock tick. The Old Cranks are the people responsible for turning the clocks forward or backward during Daylight Saving Time — beginning and end. It is a wonderful tour of sound, sight and education.

The American Clock & Watch Museum offers Old Cranks tours on the first and third Fridays of each month from 10 – 11 a.m. The tours are included with the price of museum admission.

Images courtesy of American Clock & Watch Museum, Bristol, CT 06010; www.clockandwatchmuseum.org.

2017-07-18

In November, the seventh annual "Only Watch" auction will take place in Geneva with 49 luxury watch brands (thus far) donating a one-off watch for the charity auction. Only Watch is organized by the Monaco Association against Duchenne Muscular Dystrophy, and the auction is led by Christie’s auction house. Proceeds go to the fight for a cure for Duchenne Muscular Dystrophy.

For the first time, in addition to individual participating brands, there are also some partnerships and even a watch school donation from WOSTEP. Some brands are even kicking in special events or brand ambassador meetings to up the ante on the bidding. Some of the watch brands we carry are donating timepieces, as you can see on this page. Over the coming months, we will bring you a closer look and complete details of some of the unique watches that will be up for bid.

2017-07-13

We say it time and again, a good watch holds its value — not just for a few years, but easily for a century or longer. Recent auctions are a prime example. One auction that was held by Boston-based RR Auction witnessed the sale of items owned by notorious gangster Al Capone.

A diamond-studded, unusually shaped pocket watch that had belonged to Prohibition-era mob boss sold for an impressive $84,375. The timepiece was a triangular platinum-cased watch with cushioned corners. It was made by Illinois Watch Company and the bezel was set with 72 diamonds. The case back reveals the movement within and has the initials AC engraved on it. The watch was sold with its original 12-inch watch chain made in 14-karat white gold.

Interestingly, Capone had incredible style, and was often seen wearing fedoras, tailored suits, the best shoes and even jewelry. The watch was a  natural fit. The watch was accompanied by a letter of provenance from Capone's great grandson. So, hold on to those watches and continue to look for special pieces that will bring enjoyment and value for decades to come.

It is fun to note that at the same auction, a three-headed snake ring owned by Bonnie Parker (of the famed Bonnie and Clyde duo) sold for $25,000, and Capone's hand-written musical manuscript (Humoresque) that Capone penned while in Alcatraz sold for $18,750.

2017-07-11

In what may be one of the largest-ever Patek Philippe exhibitions, and most likely the largest-ever watch brand presentation in New York, Patek Philippe brings 450 historic, legendary and current-day timepieces to the forefront. Beginning July 13 and running until July 23, the Patek Philippe Art of Watches Grand Exhibition is free and open to the public.

For this amazing showcase of time and innovation, Patek Philippe has taken over the entire space of Cipriani 42nd Street — and has even built a second floor in the historic space. The brand has divided the space into 10 different rooms to showcase its innovation, its watchmaking prowess and its watches. From a theater room and a U.S. historic room to demonstrations of watchmaking and the brand's legendary rare handcrafts, the exhibit is guaranteed to surprise and delight.

Material: Gilt brass, marble, wood. Measurement: 12 1/2" x 13 1/2" x 5". Description: Autonomous quartz clock made by Patek Philippe to accurately and simultaneously present the time in Moscow, Washington D.C., and Berlin. The central dial with sweep seconds displayed the time in Washington D.C. and was signed "Patek Phillppe" an "Heinz Wipperfeld, Berlin". The two smaller dials showed the respective time in Moscow and Berlin. The rectangular gilt brass casing is suspended by a curved wood support fitted into a square marble base. The clock was designed to resemble a nautical instrument recalling President Kennedy's naval service.

Patek Philippe has also brought in famed timepieces from its Geneva museum, and borrowed pieces from private collectors and other museums to give the most comprehensive look at the brand. A clock owned by President John F. Kennedy made by Patek Philippe in the 1960s is on display, as is a watch owned by baseball legend Joe DiMaggio, and ultra-complicated pocket watches owned by James Ward Packard and Henry Graves — entrepreneurs of the early 20th century whose bid to own the most complex watches gave way to the world's first most complicated timepieces.

In some rooms, the brand recreates the look of its Geneva boutiques, while others underscore the beauty of the famed city and its lake and fountain. The concept is all about bringing a bit of Geneva and Patek Philippe to America — a country with which the brand has had longstanding and close relationship.  If you have the opportunity to travel to New York City between July 13 and 23 don't miss this once-in-a-lifetime opportunity.

2017-07-05

Yesterday we celebrated the 4th of July – Independence Day — which honors America’s hard-won independence from Great Britain, and our adoption of the Declaration of Independence. While the dazzling fireworks and sumptuous picnics made the day delightful, the holiday also inspired us to show off some beautiful timepieces in red, white or blue.

These colors are beautiful on watches and can be worn throughout the year. In fact, blue is one of the hottest colors trending this season for watches, especially for men. For women, red is proving to be a popular color, especially in straps. Red is also a great sports-watch color. White is simply timeless. This is a great time to show off your patriotic spirit, so stop in and our superb staff will help you find the perfect watch.