Richard Mille Tourbillon RM 052 Skull

We’re all familiar with skeleton watches, but this Richard Mille tourbillon timepiece is more accurately described as a skull 2015 Cheap  Replica Watches UK, hence its name: the Tourbillon RM 052 Skull. The watch, which made its debut at  SIHH 2012, was released in a limited edition of 21 pieces — 15 in titanium and six unique pieces set in rose or white gold.

The watch’s signature feature, of course, is its striking, skull-shaped baseplate made of grade 5 titanium. However, it’s not just a clever design element but also integrated into the movement: the upper and lower “jaws” hold the ruby of the tourbillon cage, and the back of the skull is also the movement’s center bridge. The four bridges that connect the movement to the case are arranged in a “skull-and-crossbones” pattern inspired by flags from pirate ships. The baseplate and bridges (skeletonized, naturally) have been subjected to rigorous testing to ensure a high level of strength and rigidity. The titanium alloy used for them is also used frequently  in the aerospace, automobile and aeronautical industries due to its high corrosion-resistance.

Richard Mille Tourbillon RM 052 Skull

Among the other technical touches are a free-sprung balance, which provides protection from shocks and allows for more precise adjustments; a fast-rotating barrel (six hours per revolution rather than 7.5 hours), which helps increase performance by diminishing mainspring cohesion; a barrel pawl with progressive recoil, which helps in distributing the Swiss Replica Watches mainspring’s internal tension; and spline screws made of grade 5 titanium, used for the bridges, which permit better torque control during assembly. The tripartite case requires 255 machining steps, including 86 stamping operations. Richard Mille has made the big case lighter by creating openings in the bezel and caseback. The case also uses spline screws in titanium for greater torque control, and has a torque-limiting crown, an additional security feature to prevent accidental overwinding.

Richard Mille Tourbillon RM 052 Skull - Front CU

Jaeger-LeCoultre caught in a virtuous circle

As the adventure of the first Hybris Artistica draws to a close, Jaeger-LeCoultre keeps aficionados satisfied with the Rendez-Vous Ivy and the Hybris Mechanica 11. There is also a new collection in the offing, scheduled for launch in 2015. The details from Chief Executive Daniel Riedo, at Watches&Wonders in Hong Kong.

Some things speak for themselves, beginning with the calm that reigned over the Jaeger-LeCoultre booth at Watches&Wonders, the fine watch fair that held its second edition in Hong Kong, end September. Despite the crowds that pressed into the space, and the barrage of questions from visitors eager to learn more about Replica Watches UK Online Store,the atmosphere of quiet serenity was undisturbed.The Grande Maison de la Vallée de Joux,as it likes to call itself,clearly has the wind in its sails.

One for the history books

The first Hybris Artistica are a fine example of this success. Initially, just twelve were to be made, one of each model, but as demand grew beyond expectations their number was increased to thirty. Unveiled at the Salon International de la Haute Horlogerie in Geneva as the quintessence of the métiers d’art applied to the company’s mastery of mechanical timekeeping, these watches have since travelled the world, appearing at prestigious events hosted by the brand, such as at the Venice Film Festival. Before Taipei, the collection made its penultimate stop in Hong Kong, where visitors to the fair were among the last to have this chance to contemplate all twelve watches together in the same place.

“We are indeed bringing this adventure to a close and will deliver the watches early next year,” confirmed Jaeger-LeCoultre Chief Executive Daniel Riedo. “To date, twenty-seven of the Hybris Artistica have found takers, and I’m expecting imminent confirmation for the twenty-eighth, the one-of-a-kind Atmos Marqueterie. This leaves two Reverso Cordonnet Neva, which is very much a jewellery watch with less emphasis on horological content.” Knowing that some of Fashion Swiss Replica Watches were snapped up on the day of their presentation – including one by a collector who flew in from London just to see the piece and place an order – and that their price ranges from CHF 200,000 to over a million for the most costly, this unique anthology of the Maison’s artistic crafts already marks an historic moment.

A Rendez-Vous with success

Nor is Jaeger-LeCoultre merely flaunting its skills. “When thirteen years ago we launched the Hybris Mechanica collection, the reflection of Jaeger-LeCoultre’s expertise and innovation in grandes complications, our objective wasn’t just to produce exceptional timepieces. We also wanted the results of this research to trickle down into the other collections,” notes Daniel Riedo. “The same is true of the Hybris Artistica watches. We intend them to open up new applications for the métiers d’art that will benefit the Maison’s other ranges. Here at Watches&Wonders, we have also trained the spotlight on the eleventh piece in our Hybris Mechanica series, the Master Ultra Thin Minute Repeater Flying Tourbillon, which to a certain extent has been overshadowed by the twelve Hybris Artistica. We’ve also brought with us a Rendez-Vous Ivy Minute Repeater, a perfect illustration of what I was saying just before.”

This deliciously feminine timepiece is fitted with the new Calibre 942A, which takes advantage of innovations developed for the Hybris Mechanica Grande Sonnerie, including trebuchet hammers and a silent regulator. Further emulation is apparent in the enamelled white gold dial which is decorated with a sunburst guilloché pattern and embellished with ivy leaves, picked out in snow-set diamonds. That the spirit of the Hybris Artistica should be spreading to the Rendez-Vous line ought to come as no surprise. Introduced barely three years ago and now the brand’s flagship women’s collection, it accounts for 40% of sales in quantity. In fact its success has been such that Jaeger-LeCoultre has doubled production capacity for this range, which by way of complications already boasts a tourbillon, a Perpetual Calendar, and a moving star chart.

A new collection fills a gap

Now the Manufacture has decided to go a step further, as Daniel Riedo explains: “Whereas 2016 will be the year of the Reverso, we are working on a new collection, our eighth, for next year that will also benefit from developments made for the Hybris series. Between the Duomètre, with its highly complex movements, and the Master range which is a compromise between classicism and technical performance, we feel there is room for a new line that will cover a high added-value segment.”

In the meantime, Jaeger-LeCoultre is further consolidating its foundations as it continues along the same upward trajectory it has been following for some considerable time already. Says Daniel Riedo: “Over the past four or five years, we have stepped up the pace of boutique openings alongside our distributor and retailer networks, and are now equally present in each of these three channels. We currently have sixty-one points of sale in our own name, with a balance point expected at between eighty-five and ninety. Momentum is extremely positive in the United States, where the market is opening up to segments other than sport Top Swiss Replica Watches UK, hence we are putting particular emphasis on this region. As for production, we are continuing to expand our site in Porrentruy, in the Swiss Jura. The number of watchmakers employed there has already gone from fifteen to fifty, and should eventually reach two hundred. So we are still hiring because we can’t entirely meet demand. We don’t deliberately set out to create product scarcity, but that’s what the situation is. And it is quite a comfortable situation to be in!”

COSC: number-one for precision

Internationally recognised as the symbol of Swiss precision, the Contrôle officiel suisse des chronomètres (COSC) attests to the chronometric precision of a movement and, by extension, a watch. Introduced in 1973, it is still going strong.

In 2013, the Contrôle officiel suisse des chronomètres (COSC) delivered 1,688,441 certificates. In 1976, the worst year in its records but also the same year the international chronometry standard was introduced, this figure was barely 200,000. Having weathered the quartz crisis, the COSC seems to have brands’ full confidence as they square up to a likely invasion of smart Replica Watches UK Online. What explains the success of an organisation whose test criteria and protocol haven’t changed since day one?

The COSC label presents a number of solid advantages, beginning with the very reason it exists: chronometric precision. The COSC is the Swiss application of ISO/CEI 3159 international standard, established in 1976. It sets down the seven criteria required of a chronometer and defines a protocol for fifteen days of uninterrupted testing (meaning COSC offices employ staff 350 days a year). The movement is tested in five positions – 3, 6 and 9 o’clock up, dial up and dial down – for a period of 24 hours each time. Each cycle of tests is carried out at three temperatures: 23°C, 8°C and 38°C.

99.99% precision

The purpose of these tests is to analyse possible variations in rate, in other words if the movement runs fast or slow in any of these positions, to then calculate a mean. The movement is always wound between tests to ensure it has the same power supply. Tolerances vary according to the size of the movement from -4 to +6 seconds/day for calibres more than 2cm in diameter; -5 to +8 seconds/day for anything smaller. A quartz movement must run at between -0.07 and +0.07 seconds/day. By way of comparison, a variation of -10 to +30 seconds/day for a non-chronometer-certified mechanical movement is considered acceptable.

Despite its 40-plus years, the COSC standard is as relevant as ever. “Statistically speaking, the precision of a COSC-certified movement is 99.99%,” explains COSC director Andreas Wyss. “This means that tolerated variations in rate during the testing phase represent just 0.01% of absolute precision. Precision in a wristwatch must also be seen in practical terms. There will always be an element of subjectivity in that precision has to correspond to what a person expects from their watch. From an everyday point of view, let’s just say that COSC certification guarantees that a Shopping Replica Cartier Watches is more than precise enough to ensure its wearer will never miss an appointment.” Wyss’ comment is a reminder that when the question of a standard was first raised, investigators were sent out to ask the ordinary Swiss man in the street what he considered important. Their findings would serve as a starting-point from which to draw up criteria.

Large volumes

COSC certification also acknowledges industrial performance. “To produce tens of thousands of chronometer movements a year, as some Swiss brands do, requires considerable expertise in development and production,” comments Andreas Wyss. “A brand has to master numerous complex parameters to achieve such a degree of precision across large-volume production.” In this case, COSC certification generally reflects a philosophy that applies at every level of the company.

Registered as a non-profit organisation, its board of directors is majoritarily composed of representatives from public authorities, hence the COSC operates without pressure from industry. Its three test centres, in Le Locle, Saint-Imier and Bienne, are fully able to handle the mass influx of watches sent for testing while maintaining complete impartiality. “So as to maintain our capacities, we are currently working with the Ecole Polytechnique Fédérale de Lausanne to improve our winding and positioning systems for greater efficiency. Our clients innovate in their business and we have to keep pace.”

COSC certification is a worthwhile investment for a brand. It costs less than ten Swiss francs to have a simple calibre tested (between CHF 5 and 5.40 for a chronograph movement, for example) whereas the COSC inscription on a dial can add up to 27% to the end price.

Necessary improvements

While results corresponding to ISO 3159 standard are perfectly satisfactory, there is nonetheless room for, and perhaps even call for, improvement. Very few Omega Replica Watches for Sale are tested as “watch heads”, that is in their finished form but without a strap, yet fitting the dial, the hands and casing the movement can cause significant tension which may have an impact on the movement’s precision. Nor does ISO 3159 standard require any test of shock-resistance after wearing, for example on a robotic arm that would reproduce human arm movements. Because ISO standards are drafted by a college of national representatives, there is no quick or easy way to modify them. Which won’t prevent the COSC board from raising the question of possible changes when it meets next year.

That there should be no great urgency reflects the COSC’s dominant position among Swiss quality labels. The context is evolving, however, beginning with the revised criteria which the Poinçon de Genève adopted in 2011. In March this year, Geneva-based laboratory Timelab unveiled the Chronometric+ Observatory certificate. This new system aims to guarantee the overall reliability of all mechanical watches that are made in Switzerland by testing factors from precision to water-resistance, power reserve and resistance to shocks or magnetic fields. At the time of writing, the system was pending two approvals from the Swiss Accreditation Service.

Montblanc Heritage Spirit Orbis Terrarum

In homage to the spirit of the legendary Montblanc Meisterstück Fountain Pen launched in 1924, Montblanc introduced a new watch collection to honour its 90th anniversary in 2014. From 2015 onwards this collection will assume its future position among the Montblanc watch families as the Heritage Spirit Collection.

Embodying all the codes of fine watchmaking down to the last and smallest detail it bears the signature of traditional craftsmanship, timeless design and flawless functionality. Based on refined design codes, the collection includes timepieces with elegant, clear dials and refined cases expressing the dna of Fine Rolex Replica Watches. Up to the Grand Complication, each model in the Montblanc Heritage Spirit collection makes its own statement, all timepieces being meticulously crafted.

The collection is enhanced by a new model that highlights again the ambition of Montblanc to share the passion for fine watchmaking. The Montblanc Heritage Spirit Orbis Terrarum interprets one of the most contemporary and useful complications – the world time function – in a new, innovative way. The earth is anchored at the core of this complication, that is named Orbis Terrarum, the Latin term for “globe”, “earth”, and “world”. This timepiece adopts a universal approach, telling the time in 24 timezones all over the world, thanks to a manufacture complication developed in-house by the Montblanc master watchmakers.

The inspiration for this complication came likewise from the history of horology and from Montblanc’s watchmaking past. The “Montres à eclipses” Best Replica Watches UK that had multiple layers of dials that could change their functionality or aesthetics – were some of the most fascinating complications at the beginning of the 20th century. Always reaching towards the pinnacle of its craft, Montblanc has developed a strong expertise for working on complications by using multiple layers – two examples manifesting this expertise being the Metamorphosis II launched in 2014 or the Rieussec Rising Hours from 2012.

The complication of the Heritage Spirit Orbis Terrarum is simple to read and easy to use, displaying the time in different parts of the world in a practical and intuitive way. The dial is constructed in a multi-layer way. At its centre, the main sapphire crystal dial displays the continents as viewed from the North Pole which are encircled by the names of the 24 cities representing the different timezones. The continents are cut out from the rest of the disc that displays the oceans in a light blue colour. Under the main dial is a disc showing day and night as well as the 24 hours timezones, which rotates with the movement mechanism. To adjust the time, the desired local city needs to be first positioned at 6 o’Clock by the aid of the pusher at 8 o’clock. Then the hours and minutes (which are always linked with the day/night and 24 hours timezones disc) can be adjusted through the crown to adjust the correct local time of the desired city. Once this is done, in addition to the correct local time the correct time of all the 24 timezones will simultaneously be displayed around the sapphire crystal dial When travelling to another timezone, the new destination city simply needs to be placed at 6 o’clock. This adjustment is again done through the pusher at 8 o’clock which will turn at the same time the continents and cities, the day/night disc with the 24 hours timezones as well as the hour hand in jumps of 1 hour. The precise time of the minutes is not affected. Once this simple regulation is done, the local time of the new destination as well as the 24 timezones will be fully synchronized again.

Due to the innovative multi-layer dial construction, the times of all 24 timezones can be indicated. A day/night disc shows at a glance where it is day or night on the planet. The rotation of this disc changes the colours of the continents as seen on the dial, alternately from light (day) to dark (night). This innovative functional principle is rare to find in fine watchmaking.

The Buy Swiss Replica Watches UK is driven by a self-winding mechanical movement, calibre MB29.20, beating at the frequency of 28,800 semi-oscillations per hour (4 hertz) with the exclusive complication developed in-house by Montblanc.

Like all timepieces of the Heritage Spirit Collection, the Montblanc Heritage Spirit “Orbis Terrarum” expresses the codes of fine watchmaking in every detail:

A 41mm case with refined and straight lines, a narrow convexly round bezel, anti-reflective cambered sapphire crystal, vertically descending flanks with horizontal satin finishing that beautifully contrast with the polished case, finely arcing horns, polished faceted hands in the classical dauphine shape, a crown with the Montblanc emblem in raised relief against a sand-blasted background, and a large-scale black alligator wristband with a triple folding clasp, for maximum comfort.

Montblanc shares its passion for fine watchmaking with the presentation of the new Heritage Spirit Orbis Terrarum model, an innovative model with an attractive value proposition.