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.
AN INGENIOUS MOVEMENT
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®.
A USER-FRIENDLY TIMEPIECE
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.