The Women’s Section

According to Jean-Claude Biver, President of the LVMH Group’s Watch Division, “Women are the future of Breitling replica watchmaking.”

A few years ago, it was still unimaginable. Display cases turned mothers into seven-year-old girls—back when owning a pink Flik Flak gave life meaning. At Baselworld 2015, women have (at last) been given their own collections. And they cover the full spectrum, from precious to sporty, with complications and mechanical or automatic movements. “I think that women are definitively an important part of the future of mechanical watchmaking,” confirms Aldo Magada, CEO of Zenith. “Yet again this year, we’ve come to Baselworld with new models that meet the needs and desires of our female clientele.”

Zenith, who produced more women’s models than men’s models at one point in its history, is celebrating its 150th anniversary with a Panerai replica watches that combines glamour and fine workmanship: the Star 33 mm. Crafted from 18-karat white gold, its case houses the automatic Elite 681 movement. The dial, meanwhile, features a flower surrounded by blue leaves, whose center is not the customary axis of the hours and minutes hands, but that of the small seconds at 9 o’Clock.

At Chopard, where women’s watch sales account for more than 65% of turnover, the new Happy Sport 30 mm Automatic leads Caroline Scheufele to explain: “We mustn’t forget that men are often the ones buying watches for their wives, and they prefer good mechanics.” It’s clear that Chopard’s Co-President and Artistic Director strongly supports the decision—which dates back to the 2013 36 mm model—to introduce the automatic movement into this iconic collection.

The mechanics of desire

She’s not the only one putting her money on women. With its annual calendar, Patek Philippe’s Reference 4948 is meeting “the demand with the highest potential,” according to CEO Thierry Stern. Rolex has also hit the bullseye with its Oyster Perpetual Lady-Datejust 28 model, which features a mechanical movement (caliber 2236) and a diamond-set bezel. As for Blancpain, its Day Night model offers the originality of two retrograde systems (hours and seconds) that distinctively accompany the minutes hand. As the brand’s CEO Marc A. Hayek explains: “Certain complications don’t exist in any men’s model. So they should satisfy all our female customers, who are increasingly interested in mechanical watchmaking.”

Art and substance

Another equally popular opportunity is the artistic crafts. “While it’s often easier to design women’s watches like pieces of jewelry, we’re looking to attract female customers through our choice of materials, colors and the lightness of our products in particular,” admits Jean-Claude Biver, President of the LVMH Group’s Watch Division. “This is why Hublot launched its jeans Breitling fake watches uk last year and an embroidered watch this year.” Hublot reinterprets the artistic crafts with its Big Bang Broderie model, a tribute to the memory of needlework featuring fine Saint Gall embroidery—a 100% Swiss-made ancestral art—carried out by Bischoff, the most noteworthy Swiss name in the field.

Its technical production required several months and resulted in a highly original timepiece characterized by a rebellious spirit with a skull and crossbones motif, a dial enhanced with eleven diamonds, and arabesques on the bezel and strap. Harry Winston, meanwhile, has succeeded in bringing together lace and mother-of-pearl—two age-old crafts embodying femininity in their own way—in its Premier Lace 31 mm model. As the list of demands grows, wrist sizes are getting smaller, it would seem.

De Bethune DB25 Quetzalcoatl

Quetzalcoatl is a composite name in the Nahuatl* language derived from quetzalli and used to describe the Breitling replica watches uk large, precious green feathers of the sacred quetzal bird; and coatl, meaning snake. It is one of the main divinities of the Mesoamerican civilisations and the feathered serpent, its most iconic incarnation, reigned for many long centuries over pre-Columbian America.

This powerful symbol of Mesoamerican culture was the core of worship and sacred rituals. The related myths and legends appear in the writings of the colonial period. In conjunction with the evening star, it was considered to govern the cycle of time from dawn to dusk. This deity of the summer winds was naturally closely associated with agriculture and in particular with corn farming, as well as being the sovereign protector of goldsmiths and Artisans, and the inventor of the calendar.

Stemming from an age-old tradition of artistic crafts and engraving, the solid gold dial of the DB25 Quetzalcoatl, exquisitely fashioned by the gifted engraver Michelle Rothen – based on drawings by David Zanetta – is a natural continuation of the brand founders’ research and exploration. Above and beyond fine craftsmanship and the Swiss Breitling replica watches exercise in style, the ultimate aim is to enable owners to wear on their wrist a portion of the history of humankind, steeped in legends, emotions and universal culture.

The symbolic unity around Quetzalcoatl, formed by the sculpted solid gold hands, takes on an almost mystical aura and enlivens the heart of the dial that constantly evolves in tune with the passing of time. The latter is read off by the tip of the serpent’s head, while its tail indicates the minutes. Quetzalcoatl appears coiled in the centre of the model in varying positions in step with the ever-changing times of day. This fascinating vision, magnified by the microlight finishing on the dial centre, endows this creation with exceptional depth and mystery.

The aesthetic construction gives pride of place to an element that is steadily becoming the unmistakable hallmark of the Manufacture: research on materials and the way light reflects off their finishes – at time radiantly glowing like the circular guilloché motif on the central part; and at others matt, such as the soft patina on the hour indicators formed by a cheap Cartier replica watches series of temples viewed from the sky. Nothing escapes the keen eye of David Zanetta; nothing is too slender, too subtle or too elaborate in this bold endeavour to reproduce several centuries of history within the modest few square centimetres available on the dial. This historical dimension is clearly perceptible thanks to an unusual perspective that provides an aerial view of the ruins of the Aztec temples from the city of Tenochtitlan. This highly personal vision of the archaeological site naturally leads one to step back and adopt a certain observation distance imposed by the higher vantage point.

The various finishes of the mirror-polished bridges adorned with De Bethune decorations highlight the silicon heart of the patented annual balance of Calibre DB2005, alongside a number of innovations and patents from the Manufacture. This mechanical hand-wound movement beating at a frequency of 4 Hertz is equipped with a self-regulating twin barrel ensuring a 6-day power reserve, the famous triple pare-chute shock-absorbing system protecting the regulating organ, a silicon escape-wheel and a balance-spring with flat terminal curve ensuring optimal concentric development.

While some will see it as a model bearing the effigy of a Mesoamerican culture in pre-Columbian America and others will be touched by the symbolism of Quetzalcoatl, all will admire the meticulous care and detail devoted to the engraving.

This benevolent deity that has given rise to countless legends and sacred myths is more relevant than ever in the present age. Symbolising the union of body and mind – by associating Earth represented by the best Breitling fake watches serpent and the Sky depicted by the feathers – it interprets an eminently contemporary theme that will take on its full meaning on the wrist of a few enlightened connoisseurs.

Ulysse Anchor Tourbillon

The quintessence of mechanical technology timelessly arrayed in gold and enamel, this new model incorporates the constant Ulysse Anchor Escapement, a constant force escapement with a design that breaks completely with the traditional best Breitling fake watches making approach. A break-away current, the kind of waters where Ulysse Nardin loves to sail.

Driven by the unending quest for innovation that makes it one of the most dynamic Manufactures, in 2015 Ulysse Nardin dropped a new marker buoy on the capricious ocean of fine watchmaking. An undisputed world first, the new Ulysse Anchor Tourbillon is the quintessence of avant-garde mechanical technology, timelessly arrayed in gold and enamel. The outcome of eight years of research and development, the constant Ulysse Anchor escapement, made entirely of silicium, displays hitherto unknown architecture based on the principle of flexible mechanisms exploiting the elasticity of flat springs. This device, the culmination of the development work on the prototype version presented in 2014, represents the height of timekeeping sophistication today: first, no longer constrained by a pivoting staff, the pallet fork moves entirely without friction; second, the geometrical improvements made to the pallet fork, the escape wheel and the flat springs have resulted in a constant-force escapement; and to crown all of this, this new coinage in watchmaking is brought aboard in a tourbillon cage, the peak of traditional expertise.

Ulysse Nardin has always been driven by a pioneering spirit: in 2001, the Manufacture was the first to develop an escapement made of silicium; it was the first to test a diamond balance spring in 2002; the first to use silicium for its Dual Ulysse escapement – a phenomenon in its own right – in 2005; the first to fit a replica Breitling watches uk with a diamond escapement, also in 2005; and lastly, the first to use silicium as a kernel for growing diamonds, DIAMonSIL.

In collaboration with Sigatec, a co-owned company specializing in the production of silicium micro-components, the Le Locle-based company spent no less than eight years perfecting this mechanism, which today appears to be a paradigm shift in the approach to mechanical watchmaking. Challenging the principle of the traditional Swiss anchor escapement, the new constant Ulysse Anchor escapement features a circular frame with a pallet fork fixed in the center, supported in space on two blade springs less than a tenth of the thickness of a hair in diameter. Mounted perpendicular to each other, these are subjected to a bending force that curves them and maintains them in a bi-stable state.

This complex structure, made entirely of silicium thanks to the DRIE deep etching technique, exploits the physical capacity of blade springs to become distorted along the left-right axis while remaining perfectly rigid along the up-down axis, thus reproducing the Breitling fake watches kinetic functions of a pivot. The impulse that issues from each alternation of the balance wheel thus transmits its energy to the blades, which snap from one stable state to the other, very much like a snap hair-clip. The pallet arms thus pivot backwards and forwards about a pallet staff that is purely virtual, without generating any frictional forces.

But the best is yet to come: the redesigned pallet fork now possesses an integral resetting face. As the tooth of the escape wheel slides along this surface as far as the banking face, it will bring the pallet fork back every time to within just 3° of the center line – that is, the imaginary straight line between the center of the balance wheel and the center of the escape wheel which defines the system’s equilibrium limit. Thus the effort that the balance wheel has to exert to push the pallet fork as far as its tipping point is less than the effort that is restored to it immediately afterwards by the bending of the blade springs. In this way, this positive energy balance is able to maintain the oscillations of the balance wheel at a constant rate. In fact, this interplay of forces is not influenced by the motor torque injected into the escape wheel, which only starts to move once the pallet fork has switched over.

In a final touch of artistry, this astonishing construction is housed in a 60-seconds tourbillon, whose cage comprises 35 components but weighs no more than 0.4 grams. With its constant amplitude, irrespective of how much the two series-mounted spring barrels are wound, this exceptional Breitling replica uk oscillating mechanism is a major step forward in the field of chronometric accuracy. Visible through a large opening in the dial at 6 o’clock, it is encircled by the indication of its power reserve of at least 7 days on a 140° arc.

This caliber UN-178 is housed in a rose gold or white gold case in the Classico collection. A setting with traditional lines enhanced with a white Grand Feu enamel dial created by the unrivaled expertise of Donzé Cadrans, a dial-making specialist company owned by Ulysse Nardin. Available in two limited editions of 18 pieces each, the Ulysse Anchor Tourbillon will be in the retailers’ display windows from May.

Tudor hits the mark

Tudor came to Baselworld with its first two Breitlingrelica watches uk to be powered by an in-house, COSC-certified calibre. The product of a perfectly mastered industrial project, as one would expect of Rolex’s sister brand, these timepieces are hitting the market at extremely competitive prices.

At the end of the day, Swatch Group won on all counts, including ideological, and can phase out supplies of movements and parts to third parties until 2020, when it will pull the plug entirely. While a week is a long time in politics, in industrial terms five years is just around the corner, meaning companies in the watchmaking sector have had no choice than to wake up to reality and look for alternatives. Movement manufacturers can offer solutions but only within limits, hence the increase over recent years in the number of new calibres to be designed and produced by the brands themselves. Not just anyone, however, can take this road as two examples clearly show. The factory which TAG Heuer opened in Chevenez in 2013, initially geared to produce 50,000 movements a year, took a CHF 40 million investment. When setting up Fleurier Ebauches, which should produce in the region of 20,000 movements this year, Chopard had to put CHF 25 million on the table.

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A two-stage approach

Several companies are nonetheless convinced that the end justifies the (substantial) means. Tudor is one of them. “For some years now I have been considering the idea of making a watch that our agents could sell at a more modest price than our Rolex fake watches uk, and yet one that would attain the standards of dependability for which Rolex is famous,” wrote Hans Wilsdorf in 1926 when founding Montres Tudor SA, the company tasked with making and selling just such a timepiece. Large-series production began twenty years later, in 1946. As Swiss daily Le Temps notes in its watch supplement, Tudor equipped all its timepieces with third-party movements, more often than not Calibre 390, developed in 1952 by Fabrique d’Ebauches de Fleurier and personalised for Tudor. ETA, which in the early 1980s became part of Swatch Group, also supplied Tudor from 1962. Its ETA 2824-2 movement became a particular favourite as of 1987.

That, however, is history. A wind of change has been blowing at Tudor for some time now. This was first evidenced by a completely new approach to the product, with models inspired by vintage styles and clearly positioned as “tool watches” cut out for adventure. Models with names like Pelagos for diving, Fastrider for speed junkies, or Ranger and its image of dogs dragging sleds across frozen landscapes. This first stage was essentially based on the image of ruggedness and reliability which these vintages styles inspire. It now gives way to a second stage highlighting the “engines” inside, and which makes its debut at Baselworld with the first two Tudor watches to be driven by in-house movements. They are Pelagos (Calibre MT5612) and North Flag (Calibre MT5621). Most of the attention is being focused on the latter of the two, for the simple reason that it brings with it a new and still relatively virgin territory, where snow permanently encases rocky outcrops and glaciers form deep rifts. Its historical reference is the British North Greenland Expedition of 1952 to 1954, in which Commander James Simpson led a team of thirty scientists, all equipped with Tudor watches.

Solid and precise

These new Tudor movements, with their generously sized “old-school” construction, ooze solidity from the mat silver finish to the balance bridge, variable inertia balance and cut-out rotor. They deliver a 70-hour power reserve, beat at 28,800 vph and have a silicon balance spring. Precision is certified by the Contrôle Officiel Suisse des Chronomètres (COSC), another first for Tudor. This new calibre can be admired through the sapphire crystal back of the North Flag’s monobloc 40mm case in satin-brushed steel. The bezel is also in steel with a ceramic edge. An instantaneous date, power-reserve disc and stop-seconds complete the line-up.

Tudor has succeeded in positioning its new offering, the result of a major industrial project, at a highly competitive price point. Many of the brands showing at Baselworld are making distinct efforts to deliver products at prices likely to win new recruits to the mechanical watch. But at CHF 3,400 for the North Flag on a leather strap and CHF 4,200 for the Pelagos, featuring a ceramic unidirectional bezel, helium valve and water-resistance to 500 metres, Tudor is offering a lot of cheap Breitling replica watches uk for the money. The brand with the shield is out to (re)conquer fans.