Valentine’s Pick: Cartier Les Heures Fabuleuses Collection

Valentine’s Day is approaching us once again, and as most suitors may know, in this age of creativity, a simple box of chocolates just will not do it anymore. Many internet blogs are already full to bursting with fun, quirky ideas designed to thrill the lady in your life. However, unless you are still on a college budget, a heart-shaped pizza with “I Luv You” spelled out in M&Ms is not cute. It is time to step up your game. Luckily, jewelry is always in vogue. Something rich and elegant from a luxury watch brand is sure to thrill her, and ensure your name is dropped lovingly every time the piece is asked about.

 

If you are wondering at the sheer volume of merchandise being shelved out specifically for the lover’s holiday, look no further. Just in time for Valentine’s Day, Cartier has unveiled the new Les Heures Fabuleuses collection at the annual and prestigious Geneva Salon International Haute Horlogerie (SIHH) 2013. The three-part ladies watch collection each has an animal theme: the Panthère Divine, the Tortue Secret, and the Peacock Motif. Here is a quick run-through of each model, to ensure it fits the personality of the lady in mind.

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The Panthère Divine, or the Divine Panther, is a classy and fierce quartz movement watch covered in loose diamonds. The black dial face is an elegant and lithe panther, a favorite mascot of Cartier. Symbolizing luxury and grace, the 18K white gold panther is decorated with black enamel spots to accentuate the expertly cut precious stones. The watch dial comes in black brass with barleycorn guilloché motif, while the rotating hands are rhodium-plated steel. Completing the look is the black calfskin strap, hooked to a double adjustable folding buckle, which is also 18K white gold. This intense diamond piece is perfect for the strong female in your life; tell her she deserves divinity and strength on her wrist with the Divine Panther.

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Next up in the trio is Cartier’s Tortue Secret, or Secret Turtle. This elegant piece is named for its closed dial in the form of a turtle shell that easily converts the watch into a bracelet. The Turtle itself is decorated lavishly with diamonds and precious stones. When the shell is slid open, it reveals the watch’s silvered flinqué dial. The watchcase is made in rhodium-plated white gold, with brushed calfskin strap. The turtle’s mysterious eyes are set with a pair of emeralds, accentuating the diamond hour marker. Like the Panther, the Tortue Secret is a quartz movement with similar double adjustable folding buckle in 18K rhodium-plated white gold. This watch is ideal for the elusive and unique personality.

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The Les Heures Fabuleuses collection is brought to a close by the stunning Peacock Motif watch. Much like the Tortue Secret, the Peacock boasts a double function as a brooch. The bird itself is 18K white gold with the body and feathers meticulously placed with brilliant diamonds, and two sapphire eyes gleaming proudly at the wearer. In addition to this fine luxury, the watch’s silver dial is engraved with enameled flowers. Unlike the models before, the Peacock comes with a white leather strap to better highlight the flower in natural ruby crystal resting beside the peacock. The leafs adorning the ruby flowers are engraved in nephrite jade, and there is additional mother-of-pearl marquetry circling the sword-shaped watch hands, done in rhodium-plated steel. This fine quartz movement must be worn proudly as either watch or brooch to a woman of elegant nature. Be sure to chose wisely!

 

Written by Amani Liggett

SIHH 2013: All the Best to Come


At the 23rd Salon of Haute Horlogerie in Geneva, 16 world famous watch brands appeared to unveil their creations of 2013, and there was not one that disappointed the 12,500 privileged guests who showed up to be impressed.  A. Lange & Söhne, Audemars Piguet, Baume & Mercier, Cartier, Greubel Forsey, IWC, Jaeger-LeCoultre, Montblanc, Officine Panerai, Parmigiani Fleurier, Piaget, Ralph Lauren, Richard Mille, Roger Dubuis, Vacheron Constantin, Van Cleef & Arpels all were present.  The highest of the highlights are found here:

A. Lange & Söhne – The Grand Complication
A. Lange & Söhne – The Grand Complication
After 7 years of development, A. Lange & Söhne produced what has become known as the most difficult watch in history: the minute repeater.  With only 6 to be produced, this most difficult watch shone out as one of the most rare.

 

Piaget - the Emperador Coussin Automatic Minute RepeaterPiaget – the Emperador Coussin Automatic Minute Repeater 
Leaders in creating ultra-thin movements for the past 50 years, 2013 found Piaget with a double-record setting beauty.  With a 4.8mm calibre and 9.4mm case, this watch displays the combined genius of both Piaget houses and maintains the status of master craftsmen for these artists.

 


Roger Dubois – The Excalibur Quatuor
Caught with the difficult decision of which strange and wonderful new material to whittle a watch from, Roger Dubuis selected silicon as the perfect element.  The Excalibur Quatuor has a case made entirely from silicon, forsaking the more traditionally used steel and titanium for a greater strength and uniqueness.


Van Cleef & Arpels – The Extraordinary Dials collection
Perhaps never before has the muse of Van Cleef & Arpels inspired such magnificent and colorful creations as this year’s collection.  Five different models feature a different butterfly in stone marquetry, gold sculpture and enamel on mother-of-pearl dials.  Truly exquisite.

Vacheron Constantin – Malte Lady, MÉTIERS D’ART FLORILÈGE, PATRIMONY CONTEMPORAINE LADY
The innovators of this brand have reaffirmed its legendary status with three new lines, each featuring timepieces of a different craft: guilloche, engraving, hot enamel, inlaid with precious stones.  A refreshing blast of brilliance in a style for everyone.


Cartier – Sartier Rotonde Panthere Granulation
Although musing that their version of “Etruscan granulation” can never measure up to the long lost tradtions, Cartier still managed to carry away the show with this detailed and catching piece.  A piercing panther face made entirely from tiny gold granules peers out at you from the watchface and hearkens to ancient times and techniques in a elegantly modern way.

 

Indeed with all the wonders revealed in 2013, it is no surprise that Salon of Haute Horlogerie has already begun to count down the days until watch lovers can gather again and marvel at the next most amazing timepieces in the world!

Contributor: Lindsey Cook

IWC Schaffhausen Relaunches Ingenieur Collection With Help From Actor Gerard Butler

Written by Stephanie Hsieh

IWC Filmmakers Dinner At Eden Roc - Red Carpet Arrivals - 65th Annual Cannes Film Festival

In this year’s Salon Internationale de Haute Horlogerie, Gerard Butler stopped by IWC Schaffhausen’s booth to help the relaunch of their celebrated Ingenieur collection.

 

It’s no wonder that the Ingenieur collection should be the one to catch his eye. Unveiled in 1955, the original Ingenieur was one of the first high-precision watches to be wound by nothing more than the movements of its wearer’s arm—and nothing more. This was made possible by an innovative bidirectional automatic movement, the brainchild of famous technical director Albert Pellaton. In the 1970’s this amazing movement was paired with a rugged, sporty, technical casing: one of stainless steel, matched with a bezel marked by five distinctive bores. And with this combination a classic timepiece was born.

 

That classic timepiece lives on in 2013, with the relaunched Ingenieur redesigned to celebrate the precise, reliable engineering of Formula One racecars, as well as IWS Schaffhausen’s new partnership with the Mercedes AMG Petronas Formula One team. This partnership can be seen in the high-tech materials that have found their way into the latest Ingenieurs. Materials such as carbon, ceramic, and titanium—common to both high-performance racing cars and high-performances watches—ensure that the 2013 Ingenieur timepieces are both powerhouses of the watch-making world as well as fitting homages to the engineers of Formula One racecars. The entire collection has also been overhauled and updated with a host of new features. However, despite these modern innovations, the classic stainless-steel case and five-bored bezel remain, marks of the Ingenieur line’s proud heritage and IWC Schaffhausen’s hand in the making of this amazing new series.

 

Though the relaunched Ingenieur collection features many choice designs, one in particular deserves mention as an illustration of the culmination of the collection. This is the Ingenieur Chronograph Silberpfeil. Just as Albert Pellaton’s revolutionary new movement dominated the watchmakers of the 1950’s, so too did the Mercedes-Benz Silver Arrow dominate motorsports all around the world in that same era.

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In 2013, IWC Schaffhausen has brought these two powerhouses of technology together in a single tribute to the engineers of the past. The most striking feature of the watch is the circular-grained dial, the cloud-like pattern of overlapping circles echoing the circular-grained dashboard of the legendary Mercedes-Benz W25. This superb timepiece comes in two variations, distinguished by the brown or silver dial, and each variation has a limited run of just 1000 watches.

 

Steeped in history, performance engineering, and rugged aesthetics, the Ingenieur Chronograph Silberpfeil is truly an outstanding part of the collection and exemplary of what the relaunched Ingenieurs are all about.  Even so, the watch is just one of the nine superb timepieces that IWS Schaffhausen has released, and more—Ingenieur or otherwise—are sure to come.

Omega Makes Waves with World’s First Anti-Magnetic Watch Movement

Written by Laura Rensing

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It’s soon to be a proven fact: if you’re magnetized by Omega’s designs, you’ll no longer be able to blame their movement.  It’s a new year, but Omega has already revealed a groundbreaking new first: the first watch in history that resists magnetic fields.

 

It sounds like a simple enough task, but the construction took the collaborative efforts ASULAB, ETA, scientists, metallurgists, and of course, the expert Swiss watchmakers at Omega to design a watch that would resist magnetic fields greater than 1.5 tesla– more than two times that of their closest competitor.

 

Revealed on January 17th in a Seamaster Aqua Terra, the movement is constructed out of non-ferrous materials.  Non-ferrous metals don’t have iron in their chemical makeup (or at least extremely limited amounts), which makes for lighter, more corrosion-resistant materials.  More importantly in this case, non-ferrous metals are non-magnetic.

 

Rather than crafting a cage around the watch to resist magnetic pull, thus weakening the accuracy of higher level movements, Omega’s straightforward approach has set them far ahead of their competitors.  However, the idea is perhaps the only straightforward element in the design of the watch.

Because watches are traditionally made with ferrous materials, Omega and their team (including cutting-edge horological techies ASULAB and ETA who develop and improve horological technology on an international level) had to experiment with the classic ideas of watch making in order to craft an accurate nonmagnetic watch.

 

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Though the antimagnetic watches are not available on the market yet, they are expected be available for the public perhaps as early as April 2013.

 

If Omega lives up to its promise, it will have broken the 50 year-long frustration for watch makers.  Research into antimagnetic movements started in the 1950s, but it has been an issue that has plagued watchmakers for centuries.

 

Why the new push for antimagnetic movement?  While most of us don’t sit around tapping u-magnets against our watches, designers at Omega have noted the increasing use of magnets in technology.  The slight pull can gradually affect a timepiece’s accuracy.

 

As permanent magnets become more prevalent, watch accuracy will become more compromised.  That’s not to say that your standard magnetic watch will come screeching to a halt any time soon, but it’s nice that Omega’s keeping an eye towards the future.

Wempe Chronometerwerke Glashutte I/SA Manual Watches

by Chaz Nash

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Wempe Chronometerwerke introduced several presentations of its Glashutte I/SA manual watches of which include a limited edition winding tourbillon watch. Included are stainless steel, 18 karat gold, and platinum iterations:

 

Wempe Chronometerwerke Glashutte I/SA 18 ct.karat gold watch features a silver plated dial on which 11 Arabic numerals are displayed. It features an anti-reflective, toric shaped sapphire crystal and screw down sapphire crystal case back. It is has a hand-wound manufactured movement with stop-seconds function and subsidiary seconds dial. It also features twin spring barrels with an impressive 80 hour power reserve. It is housed under an anti-reflective, toric shaped sapphire crystal with a screw-down sapphire crystal case-back. It has a full-cut hand sewn brown Louisana crocodile skin strap with pin clasp in 18 ct. gold. The chronometer has been officially tested according to German DIN 8319 standard. (Reference no. WG04 0006); A black strap version is also available (Reference no. WG04 0008)

 

Wempe Chronometerwerke Glashutte I/SA 18 karat gold features a grey dial with three Arabic numerals at 12, 3 and 9 o’clock. It also features a hand-wound manufactured movement with stop-seconds function and subsidiary seconds dial. It also features twin spring barrels with an impressive 80 hour power reserve. It is housed under an anti-reflective, toric shaped sapphire crystal with a screw-down sapphire crystal case-back. It has a full-cut hand sewn dark brown Louisana crocodile skin strap with pin clasp in 18 ct. gold. The chronometer has been officially tested according to German DIN 8319 standard. (Reference no. WG04 0007)

 

Wempe Chronometerwerke Glashutte I/SA stainless steel features a black dial on which three Roman numerals are displayed at 12, 3 and 9 o’clock. It is has a hand-wound manufactured movement with stop-seconds function and subsidiary seconds dial. It also features twin spring barrels with an impressive 80 hour power reserve. It is housed under an anti-reflective, toric shaped sapphire crystal with a screw-down sapphire crystal case-back. It has a full-cut hand sewn black Louisana crocodile skin strap with pin clasp in stainless steel. The chronometer has been officially tested according to German DIN 8319 standard. (Reference no. WG04 0005)

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Wempe Chronometerwerke Glashutte I/SA Platinum watch is a limited edition of 25 watches available worldwide. It features a silver-plated dial three Arabic numerals at 12, 3 and 9 o’clock and an elaborate tourbillon at 6 o’clock. It also features a hand-wound manufactured movement with stop-seconds function and subsidiary seconds dial. It also features twin spring barrels with 40 hours of power reserve. It is housed under an anti-reflective, toric shaped sapphire crystal with a screw-down sapphire crystal case-back. It has a full-cut hand sewn black Louisana crocodile skin strap with pin clasp in platinum. The chronometer has been officially tested according to German DIN 8319 standard. (Reference no. WG74 0001)

 

These are beautiful watches. Select the timepiece that best suits your lifestyle, however, keep in mind that there are only 25 pieces of the Wempe Chronometerwerke Glashutte I/SA Platinum watch available worldwide.

2013 Aquaracer 500m Ceramic Calibre 16

by Chaz Nash

 

TAG Heuer has gone back to the design drawing board and come back with a final piece of its 2013 Aquaracer range with its 2013 Aquaracer 500m Ceramic Calibre 16 watch.

 

TAG Heuer enhanced the design concept it established for the 2013 Aquaracer range. Aquaracer 500m Ceramic Calibre 16 presentation has been scaled to that of a more elegant and classical diver watch, but one that is closer to the Aquaracer 300m models than was previously.

 

Ceramic Calibre 16 features a redesigned case, which bears a striking resemblance to the Calibre 72 Chronograph, a helium escape valve, as well as a redesigned dial which features a ceramic bezel. The contours of the 43mm diameter case features highly polished stainless steel which contrasts exceptional well against its polished ceramic bezel.

 

The dial now has a horizontal ridged effect which works well with the positioning of the pronounced chronograph sub-dials at 12 and 6 o’clock. The date aperture window is now transitioned into the dial versus the magnified date window.

 

Unchanged in design is the hour/minute and seconds hands as well and the luminescent hour indication markers. Ribbed rubber material surrounds the crown and is present on top of the Chronograph pushers. The TAG Heuer logo is smaller and is located adjacent left of the date aperture window. Displayed above the logo is “Aquaracer” and displayed below is the 500M/1660ft indicative of the watch’s water resistance level.

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As the name of the watch implies Aquaracer Ceramic Calibre 16 watch houses a TAG Heuer’s Calibre 16 Chronograph automatic movement. It is available with a bracelet or Isofrane-inspired rubber strap. It is one of three models that makes up the 2013 TAG Heuer Aquaracer 500m ceramic range which includes a Calibre 5, Calibre 16 and Calibre 72 watches.

 

2013 Aquaracer 500m Ceramic Calibre 16 is sure to attract watch connossieurs with it subtle yet exceptional design changes. The horizontal dial really heightens the watch’s display of time as does ceramic bezel which contrasts well against the polished contours of the watch’s stainless steel case. This redesigned timepiece is sure to attract divers and watch collectors in general with its elegant style and classical diver watch appeal.

George Daniels Space Travellers’ Pocket Watch is Out of the This World

Written by Laura Rensing

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You’ll be over the moon for the George Daniels Space Travellers’ Pocket Watch, which he described as contain “everything you’d need on a watch if you were traveling through space.”

 

I’m not sure how many of us are about to make a lunar landing any time soon, but I’m certain that watch collectors would die to land one of these original pocket watches.  Inspired by history and propelled by a modern day technical achievement is meant to be out of this universe, never mind out of this world.

 

So what’s all the hullaballoo about?  To truly appreciate the watch, you’ll need to know something of watch history.  When man first landed on the moon in 1969, British watchmaker was so inspired that he decided to take things to lengths that even Omega (the watches used during the lunar expedition) didn’t even achieve.

 

The timepiece not only includes both 12 and 24 hour dials, but solar measurements as well, a calendar, and keeps track of Sidereal Time.  For the uninitiated, Sidereal Time is slightly shorter; each day is roughly three minutes and fifty-six seconds shorter than your average Earth hour, and is often used to track planetary movements, making it an excellent tool for an astronaut.

 

The watch also displays the phases and days of the lunar cycle, allowing astronomers an extra reference point to work off of.  The timepiece is exceedingly accurate thanks to the aid of a Cambridge professor—whose last name also happened to be Daniels.  The work of Professor Daniels in conjunction with the watch designer George Daniels prompted collectors to refer to the timepiece as the “Daniels Squared”.

 

The timepiece was auctioned off at Sotheby’s—along with several other horological devices, including some of Daniels’ own inventions—and caused quite the stir.  The English watchmaker was one of the greatest mechanical minds in the horological world at the time and served as the launching point for the mechanical renaissance in timepieces.

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Each of his watches was a unique piece because he constructed each timepiece almost entirely by himself, often inventing new tidbits along the way.   The Space Travellers’ pocket watch sold for a whopping £1.32 million, which will go towards the George Daniels’ Education Trust.   The Trust guides and educates future watchmakers and works to inspire the same innovation and dedication that so pervades George Daniels watches.

Bell & Ross Aviation BR 01 Tourbillon Soars to the Top

Written by Laura Rensing

 

Whoever said that squares are out of style clearly hasn’t seen the Bell & Ross Aviation BR 01 Tourbillon.  With a fantastic sporty look and a durability that could grind even diamonds down to pieces, the Bell & Ross tourbillon is an incredibly achievement by the company.

 

The mechanics of the timepiece are stunning.  The watch is powered by a manual movement and features a 120 hour power reserve in addition to the tourbillon movement.

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The design of the watch is eye-catching, and can appeal to so many types of potential wearers.  Whether you’re an adventuring risk taker or keep your risks to the boardroom, this watch can easily transition between locations and look just as singular in each one.

 

The circular dial set into the square bezel is a nice touch to the watch, and blends especially well with the rounded dial and chronograph sections of the watch.  The squareness of the case acts as a frame for the timepiece and helps to draw the timepiece into one cohesive element.

 

The simple black color scheme does well in this case, and color is used well.  The design allows the tourbillon to speak for itself, and adds the extra benefit of making the timepiece easy to read.  The readability is also helped by the photo-luminescent coating on the indices for extra visibility and the anti-reflective sapphire glass dial window.

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The case of the watch itself is made from DLC titanium (Diamond-like Carbon), meaning that this watch is incredibly tough and durable.  The rubber strap mirrors the squareness of the case and also provides comfort and durability to the piece.  Waterproof up to 100 meters, this watch can take a lot of abuse and still look fabulous in the process.  The entire piece is made to be aerodynamic, and the side views of the watch will reveal the trim design of the piece.

 

A part of the Aviation series from Bell & Ross, the watches from this collection are designed to create “unparalleled legibility, sleek style, and water resistance,” which the Tourbillon version does with grace and style.  It is a powerful display of the strength of the vision of Bell & Ross that the entire collection achieves these goals.

 

As appealing as this watch is, you’ll have to fight to grab one.  A limited edition model, only 60 of these beauties will be available, so you had better act fast!

Breguet Opens New Location in Las Vegas

by Chaz Nash

 

Breguet opened its premier store inside iconic Wynn & Company Watches luxury store in Las Vegas on October 18th.

 

Breguet has a new premier location for its store and it’s just inside the luxurious surrounding of Wynn & Company Watches store. Breguet watch aficionados can now enjoy shopping for their next luxury timepiece while indulging in the luxurious surroundings of the Breguet’s salon and the Wynn & Company Watches store inside the exclusive Wynn Esplanade. Wynn Esplanade is renowned for its international and exclusive premier boutiques which include Louis Vuitton, Ferrari, Oscar de la Renta, Chanel and Dior – to drop a few elite names.

 

Clients and distinguished community leaders were in attendance for Breguet’s privately held reception, where all encountered the aesthetic ambiance of the Breguet salon design concept of elegance – casting rich walnut browns and leather fittings amid a vibrant white back drop. The pearly glass walls meticulously reflected the brand’s signature hand guilloche arabesque decorations of the “Clous de Paris” dials. This amazing salon design concept invites customers to experience the vigor with which Breguet takes to create guilloche and the art of chamfering, polishing and chasing operations  that make each of the brand’s watches exquisitely unique.

 

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Breguet was founded by Abraham-Louis Breguet in 1775. Breguet first official watch workshop had a Paris address, which he was able to launch upon his marriage to the daughter of a wealthy French bourgeois. Breguet gained notoriety when Louis XVI and Queen Marie Antoinette became enthusiasts of his unique self-winding watches. He was said to have been later commissioned to design a watch for  Marie Antoinette that was to possess all the functionalities of their time period, known as Breguet’s masterpiece, the Marie Antoinette No. 160.

 

Breguet has nine watch collections: Tradition, Classique, Classique Complications, Marine, Héritage Type XX/Type XXI, Reine de Naples and a High Jewellery watch collection as well. These collections have evolved over the years reflecting the Breguet’s versatility and vitality as an innovative watch manufacturer.

 

At present Breguet has five boutiques in the US located in Bal Harbour, Beverly Hills, Las Vegas and New York.  Breguet’s elegant and stylish watches have definitely found a new destination, and it is Viva Las Vegas!

Luxury Watchmaker Zenith Renovates Its Manufacturing Facilities

By Lisa Washington

The Swiss luxury watch manufacturer Zenith has seen a lot of changes these past few years. In 1999, Zenith was bought out by LVMH, the French international luxury goods conglomerate and now their legendary manufacturing facility in Le Locle underwent renovations.

Zenith has long been known for and proud of the fact that they are one of the very few remaining watch companies that produces their own movements in-house. Back in 1905 when the company was started by Georges Favre-Jacot, there was one main building with three floors which housed all of the talent who contributed to the making of Zenith watches.

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This historical building which Zenith began its humble beginnings as a watch company started undergoing a renovation in August of 2011 and was recently completed. While Zenith sought to make modern improvements upon its facilities, they still made it a point to keep the iconic red bricks which were put in place back in 1905 when the building was first erected.

Additionally, the building is still filled with light as the 400 picture windows with multiple panes has been carefully restored to preserve the original look and design of the building. In between the red bricks and picture windows, you can find the company name as well as the founder’s initials placed on to the building as it was when the company first started in Le Locle.

Zenith founder Georges Favre-Jacot revolutionized the way watches were made. The quality control of watches was improved in addition to cutting down the time it took for watches and their parts to be made by bringing all of the different watch part manufacturers together in one place. This was all thought up and implemented by a 22-year old young man. Zenith later went on to create 1500 industry awards as well as introducing the now famous El Primero with its distinct chronograph movement. El Primero was the first of its kind with an integrated automatic winding and the fastest and most precise chronograph in the world moving at 36,000 rotations per hour which was 8,000 beats over the average chronograph.

 

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While Zenith has many accolades and accomplishments under their belt, perhaps one of the most notable steps they have taken is to preserve the sanctity and virtue of the company as Georges Favre-Jacot imagined it to be. We can continue to look forward to Zenith’s luxury watches and creations in their not quite new but improved facilities.