Saturday, December 26, 2009

Villemont -The first casualty of the financial crisis

by Deidre Woollard (RSS feed) Sep 25th 2007 at 4:02PM
Recently the news was abuzz with pictures of Lewis Gordon Pugh swimming at the North Pole in temperatures of - 1.8°C. To celebrate this unique accomplishment, Villemont, which acted as timekeeper for the challenge, has produced a limited edition of watches to mark the occasion. The company will be donating a proportion of the proceeds from the sale of watches to support WWF's fight against global warming, and in particular, their mission to save these polar regions. The "Arctic Explorer Limited Edition Lewis Pugh is an automatic chronograph and was the model that accompanied Lewis Gordon Pugh throughout his voyage to the North Pole. Th watch is limited to only 50 pieces and has the Solar Navigator®navigation system that allows easy orientation based on the position of the sun and shade. All 50 watches traveled to the North Pole and function well after withstanding the extreme temperatures. The watch has British racing green straps and around the dial and cost $9,900.

Les Heures du Monde® is the latest model of this collection. Limited to 88 pieces, this timepiece renovates the concept of the world timer by allowing its owner to read the time simultaneously in 24 different time zones. For Les Heures du Monde® VILLEMONT has developed its first in-house movement. The hour is read on a 12-hour scale and a day/night indication placed both next to each city and on the main bridge allows the watch wearer to know what time it is back home whilst travelling abroad.

This self-winding mechanical movement is decorated with the utmost care by the best artisans. Through their meticulous work, they embellished the movement with a modern touch, unique to VILLEMONT. The movement was developed and conceived in-house with the aim of combining the technical majesty of a complication with the aesthetical beauty of its decoration. As we all know, the movement decoration has to respect the functionality of each component in order to guarantee its performance. The VILLEMONT bridges, designed and decorated in full creative freedom, are an example of the perfect alliance between a traditional technique and an innovative design. Each component benefits from the greatest care so that the movement is not just the result of technical expertise but also a work of art visible from both sides through a sapphire dial and case-back. On the dial, we can see the plate guillochée with the « Clou de VILLEMONT®» motif. The 24-hour bridge is sand-blasted and features a local day/night indication in the shape of a V, a reminder of the brand name. The central date hand is blued so that it is easily distinguished from the hour and minute hands. On the back, the watch wearer will be fascinated by the refinement of its decoration. The bottom plate is circular-grained, the barrel-bar, the automatic-bar and the balance-cock are sand-blasted and meridians have been engraved; nothing is left to chance. The final touch is given by the personalized rotor, sand-blasted with a « globe » applique, a reminder of the travel theme of this exceptional timepiece.

VILLEMONT's case is in 18 carats red gold (5N), a sophisticated and masculine material which confers a strong and noble character to the piece. It is presented on a brown or olive green alligator strap with an 18 carat red gold triple deployant buckle.

This new model of the Esprit des Artisans® collection presents a world-timer whose readability has been improved thanks to numerous technical innovations. VILLEMONT is proud to unveil its first in-house movement, designed and conceived by our technical department to improve the readability of the world-timer. As a matter of fact, VILLEMONT went beyond the mere introduction of yet another world-timer but sought to bring its contribution and personal touch to the comfort of the contemporary traveller. First, this timepiece is equipped with a bi-directional city disc, a premiere in the domain of world-timers. This device also allows a fast and simple correction of the time zone. Second, the movement is fitted with a date that changes automatically when moving from a time zone to another on a different date line. Thirdly, this timepiece is equipped with a main day/night indication which acts as local reference for the traveller as well as an individual day/night indication for each time zone on the city disc. This allows the watch owner to read the time in each time zone and know if it is am or pm. Indeed, it is sometimes confusing to know if it is morning or evening on the other side of the planet. Lastly, this timepiece shows the extent to which VILLEMONT has pushed precision as well as its desire to conceive useful complications for everyday life. The symbol "_s", which follows the cities observing Daylight Saving Time indicates precisely what time it is, even in the cities that do not observe this change. The fact that when it is winter in the Northern hemisphere, it is summer in the Southern hemisphere and that some countries do not use Daylight Saving Time, has been causing some confusion on most world-timers; hence VILLEMONT decided to add this feature to its Heures du Monde®.

All the above mentioned features improve the convenience of the frequent traveller who wishes to know exactly what time it is back home. This is also the ideal timepiece for all those who want to remain in touch with to the rest of the world and who find it useful to know instantly what time it is in Hong Kong, Rio, New York or Dubai. This user-friendly watch offers a number of possible operations. The push-buttons on each side of the crown move the time forwards or backwards according to the direction in which one travels. The UTC+ push-button (Universal Time Coordinated), placed over the crown is used when travelling eastward in that it moves the time forward. When travelling westward, the UTC-pushbutton underneath the crown should be used. This complex system is made user-friendly by the bidirectional city disc, developed by VILLEMONT and unique to this brand. This device also allows the automatic correction of the date. Actually, by using the UTC+ or the UTC-push-buttons, the date automatically follows the change of time zone. The co-axial crown allows setting the time when the watch has not been worn for a while and has stopped and its integrated push-button allows setting the date. With a power reserve of 100 hours, this mechanical movement shows once again VILLEMONT's desire to be within the circle of the distinguished Houses of Haute Horlogerie.

VILLEMONT offers the possibility to its clients to personalize their timepiece by allowing them to select the city of their choice for each time zone. These exclusive pieces will feature the indication "unique piece", hence transforming a work of art into a collector's piece.

Calibre: VM 100, self-winding mechanical movement with twin-barrel system. "Colimaçon"-decorated ratchets, circular graining bottom plate, on the bridge side. "Colimaçon"-decorated & sand blasted barrel-bar, balance cock with circular satin-finish (meridians). Personalized and sand blasted rotor with a polished and sand-blasted applied globe. 18K 5N red gold screws. Incabloc shock-protection device.
Functions: Hour, minute, second, date by hand, day/night indication of the local hour, city disc with the 24 cities/time zones with individual day/night indication.
Movement diameter: 17 lines, jewels: 44 rubies, frequency: 28'800 vibrations/hour, power reserve: 100 hours
Case: 18K 5N red gold, Ø 46 mm, glare proof sapphire, see-through sapphire caseback.
Dial: Central aperture in glare proof sapphire, allowing to see the bottom plate decorated with "Clou de VILLEMONT®" guilloché pattern. Satin-finished twenty-four hours bridge with day/night indication. Luminescent hours and minutes hands. Blued date hand in the centre.
Water resistance: Up to 30 m (approx. 99 feet)
Strap and buckle: Brown-toned or olive-green alligator leather strap with 18K 5N red gold triple deployant buckle.

Villemont Geneve Watches Sadly Goes Belly-Up

Watch maker Villemont Geneve recently filed for bankruptcy after the boutique brand declared it was insolvent. After closing its doors, the brand made no mention of being purchased or saved, though their website is still operational. This comes as sad news as the weakening economy is beginning to have a serious effect on watch makers, especially those with a low volume output. Villemont produced only 311 watches last year, with a volume around that amount on average each year. The company employed just over a dozen employees.

When a watch maker sells only a small amount of watches each, it relies on a good deal of profit from each watch. A large dip in sales from a company with already slim distribution can spell disaster. Larger companies with higher volume and wider distribution are not immune from the economic situation, but can hold on much better.

In stronger economic times, boutique brands with niche products offer wonderful variety to the watch industry. The current economic situation will likely spell disaster for many unique brands just like Villemont, and larger companies may be less likely to offer experimental or overly avant garde watch designs until the economy improves.

Ariel Adams publishes the watch review site

Villemont- write up from Europa Star

18 carat pink gold case (43 mm) equipped with a VM 105 Calibre self-winding movement, circular graining decoration, bidirectional oscillating weight decorated with Côtes de Genève pattern. Ebony-toned 18 carat gold dial with ‘Clou de Villemont®’ guilloché, hours, minutes, seconds functions, date calendar at 12 o’clock, GMT at 6 o’clock, central small seconds. 42-hour power reserve, sapphire crystal front and back, black alligator strap with gold buckle, water-resistant to 30 metres.

18 carat white gold case (43 mm) equipped with a VM 101 Calibre self-winding movement, circular graining decoration, bidirectional oscillating weight decorated with Côtes de Genève pattern. Ebony-toned 18 carat gold dial with ‘Clou de Villemont®’ guilloché, hours, minutes, seconds functions, date calendar at 3 o’clock, dual time at 6 o’clock, small seconds at 9 o’clock, 30-minutes sub-dial at 12 o’clock. 42-hour power reserve, sapphire crystal front and back, black alligator strap with gold buckle, water-resistant to 30 metres

May 31, 2005
By D. Malcolm Lakin

After much brainstorming, Oliver Müller, the founder and President of this very new and exciting brand decided that the Villemont name perfectly evoked what he was trying to do in watchmaking … classical looks with a contemporary interpretation, traditional craftsmanship with modern techniques and viable and functional complications that are also aesthetically pleasing. In short, Villemont is a stylish new brand that is totally coherent in both concept and appearance.

V for Villemont
The V of Villemont is a part of the brand’s logo, but it is also incorporated into design features on the crown of the watches and the buckle and shaping of the straps. However, the definitive innovation is to be found on the dial as a guilloché V-shaped pattern that has been specially created and also patented: it’s called the Clou de Villemont®.
Having worked with such leading names as Omega, Metalor and Chopard, Müller has an insider’s knowledge of the watch industry and from the outset his objective has been to create a stylish brand with its own identity that incorporates perfection in each and every component. For example, the various coloured gold cases are superbly crafted and although they have a classical feel about them, creative thought and workmanship has imbued them with contrasting finishes and refined crowns and pushbuttons. The dials, which are also in gold, have a galvanic colouring (silver, ebony, slate-grey or cognac), appliqué numerals and indices and the exquisite V-shaped Clou de Villemont guilloché – even the ladies’ watches with their mother-of-pearl dials bear an engraved version of the Clou de Villemont pattern.

The Collections
There are three basic collections: the Aston R - round watches, the Aston T - tonneau-shaped and the Lady V collection. Aston R comes in two sizes, 39 mm and 43 mm. The smaller sized watch indicates hours, minutes and seconds with a Big Date window at 3 o’clock. The standard-bearer in the larger size is the GMT Alarm that features a double time zone, a date indicator and an interesting strike mechanism. Other complications are a Dual Time with date and small seconds and a Split-Seconds Chronograph, activated by a coaxial crown, with a power reserve indicator.
Aston T is also in two sizes: 46 x 32 mm and 51 x 35.5 mm. With the exception of the GMT Alarm mechanism, the tonneau-shaped watches offer the same complications as the Aston R.
The watches in both these collections are equipped with a self-winding mechanical movement and have a sapphire crystal caseback with Côtes de Genève decoration on the oscillating weight and fine circular-graining on the bridges and bars.
The Lady V collection comes in two tonneau sizes – 33 x 25 mm and 42 x 33 mm – and are not simply scaled-down versions of the men’s models, but specially designed, refined feminine creations. Again, extensive design work was undertaken to ensure that Lady V was different from any other watch on the market. The dials are in white, pink or grey mother-of-pearl with a finely engraved V motif and the jewellery versions are set with diamonds or coloured sapphires in an original manner. The self-winding movement in this collection come with a diamond-set oscillating weight and a sapphire crystal caseback. A quartz movement is also available. Prices start at around 17,000 Swiss francs and increase to 45,000 for the gem-set watches.

Oliver Müller has no illusions about the development of his brand. He anticipates producing between 700 and 1,000 watches a year over the first three years and his distribution objective is to have 100 to 150 quality points-of-sale around the world. Initially, his priorities will be limited to just three outlets in Switzerland and the development of the Middle East and Russia, but sees difficulty for a small independent about opening up the Asian countries.
Given the fine workmanship and the attention to detail combined with the coherent concept of producing only practical complications, Villemont watches may well have developed its own high quality niche.

Source: April-May 2005 Issue

Saturday, December 5, 2009

Bell & Ross BR 01 Instrument

This Bell & Ross is going for Sing$3950. The last owner paid just under $5000 for it

Tag Heuer Monaco

Some more deals from Monster Time. This Tag Heuer going for Sing$2950 after the previous owner paid $3930 from Sincere watches in June 2008

Friday, December 4, 2009

Audemars Piguet Royal Oak Automatic Dual Time

This preowned beauty is going for Sing$8,850

Hublot Big Bang

Jw watch has turned out more surprises . This Hublot Big Bang going for Sing$8900. It goes for about Sing$14,000 after discount.It even comes with warranty dated July 2007