Checking out the new and improved Watches of Switzerland

During our trip to Sydney last week we met up with James from The Versatile Gent (Instagram @theversatilegent) who took us to a boutique watch store on George Street called Watches of Switzerland (located in the Four Seasons Hotel). They have described themselves as ‘Sydney’s premier watch specialist’ and they definitely didn’t disappoint. We were greeted at the door with a glass of Bruichladdich 16 – just one of the fine whiskeys that they had on offer. After this the real fun began.

We were shown around their newly renovated store which had only been reopened for just over a month after being given a completely new fit out. The store hosts brands such as A. Lange and Söhne, Hublot, Tudor, Breitling, IWC, Ulysee Nardin plus many more. After having a quick look around we were sat down and shown a few amazing timepieces and a couple that completely blew my mind.

First off we were shown the Ulysse Nardin Freak Cruiser (2056-131) and its unusual way of winding the Cal. UN-205. 19 jewels. Manual-winding-7 day carrousel, Flying tourbillon,”Dual Ulysse” escapement movement as well as setting the time. The one we were shown comes with a 45mm 18ct rose gold case and an alligator strap. As you can see from the picture below it definitely lives up to its name.

Next we got to see a timepiece that is valued at just over AU$380,000. This was the A. Lange and Söhne Lange 1 Tourbillon Perpetual Calendar, which was piece 88/100. The features of this piece include an off-centre main dial with hours and minutes, subsidiary seconds dial, tourbillon with patented stop-seconds mechanism, month ring, perpetual calendar with outsize date, retrograde day-of-week and leap-year display, peripheral month ring, moon-phase display, day/night indicator and 50 hours power reserve.

For more details on Watches of Switzerland check out their website-http://www.watchswiss.com/boutiques/sydney

While you are at your computer check out @watchthisspace11 on Instagram. Written by Craig Anderson.

And as always, Watch This Space!

Meeting with the MB&F Horological Machine No.6 ‘Space Pirate’

“our craziest, most complex machine to date”

When I first saw the teaser pictures that were released to the public of the HM6 my initial thought was of ‘The Homer’. For you non-Simpson watchers, Homer designed a car for his brother back in the early seasons of the show. It had similar domes to what we could see in the pictures that were released by MB&F. I was worried I wasn’t going to like the piece and had mixed emotions in the lead up to its release date, but Homer Simpson must have been onto something because seeing this timepiece in real life really blew me away.

The concept of the watch came from Max Busser himself. Max used to watch a French cartoon called Capitaine Flam (Captain Future in English) who had a Spacecraft that consisted of two domes joined by a tube. Max had a thought of putting two of these crafts side by side and the initial seeds of the Space Pirate were planted. You may also notice that the watch has a lot of curved lines. MB&F states that “The curved lines of Horological Machine N°6 make it a softer, more organically shaped Machine than its predecessors. The inspiration for this came from the biomorphism art movement, which takes its cues from design elements based on the shapes of living organisms”.

I was able to meet with Charris Yadigaroglou from MB&F at The Hour Glass in Sydney to have a look at and talk all about their newly released creation. The thing that surprised me straight away with the timepiece was its weight. Just the look of it makes you think it would weigh a tonne but in fact it only weighs 75grams in total, including the strap and lugs. The size of the piece was another thing that I was taken aback by as pictures don’t do it justice. They seem to accentuate its curves and make it look oddly shaped and quite robust. I admit it is a peculiar design but when you have it on your wrist it doesn’t feel like it protrudes at all or that you have to worry about it sticking out or hitting it on things and scratching it.

Charris did mention that they knew this piece wasn’t to everyones taste and that going into it they were a bit worried about how the public were going to view it. However they have had mostly positive responses about the design and concept idea behind it. There are many different features to this piece that make it what it is. One really cool feature that I could not stop playing with was the shutter that covers the tourbillon. This was put in so that the wearer could open and close the shutter so that the sun didn’t oxidise the precious materials that make up the tourbillon. The crown for the shutter is on the left hand side and has three different settings as well as a clutch-like set up so that it cannot be over tightened and break. We also found out that it was one person’s job over the four to five year project to make and design these crowns. The strap is a hand-stitched calfskin strap with titanium custom designed folding buckle, but the thing that caught my eye with this was that the buckle was spring loaded and snapped into place.

The team at MB&F had a few challenges in the process of putting the HM6 together. One of these challenges was in getting the ten domed sapphire crystal pieces made, but due to their strong relationships with their ‘friends’ at various companies they were able to get this done. The case on this piece was a challenge in itself as it is so thin and made of two solid ingots of aerospace grade Ti-6Al- 4V (Grade 5) titanium. The section around the domes is polished a different way but is the same piece.

The finer details of the piece are below – from the MB&F website (www.mbandf.com) – so that nothing has been missed.

Case

  • Manufactured by Les Artisans Boitiers
  • Ti-6Al-4V (Grade 5) titanium
  • Dimensions: 49.5 mm x 52.3 mm x 20.4 mm
  • Number of components: 80
  • Water resistance: 30m / 90’ / 3atm

Engine

  • Three-dimensional horological engine developed exclusively for HM6 by MB&F with David Candaux Horlogerie Créative
  • Flying Tourbillon with retractable shield
  • Iridescent green platinum 950 battle-axe automatic winding rotor
  • Twin aluminium turbines driven by winding rotor
  • Power reserve: 72h
  • Balance frequency: 18,000bph/2.5Hz
  • Number of components: 475
  • Number of jewels: 68

Functions/Indications

  • Hour and minutes on separate semi-spherical aluminium indications
  • Crown to open/close tourbillon shield

Sapphire Crystals

  • 10 sapphire crystals: 9 domed (4 for the hour and minute indications, 4 for the turbines, 1 for the tourbillon) and one flat (display back)

Strap and Buckle

  • Hand-stitched calfskin strap with titanium custom designed folding buckle.

The MB&F Horological Machine No.6 is limited to 50 pieces being made of aerospace grade Ti-6Al- 4V (Grade 5) titanium. There will be another 50 pieces that will be made out of other different precious metals as they have done for previous models, giving us one hundred in total. The titanium “Space Pirate” retails at just over $270,000 Australian Dollars so like many of MB&F’s timepieces it is out of reach for the average joe. If I could, I would definitely be wearing one of these on my wrist as a statement piece.

For more information on the HM6 and their other timepieces head to http://www.mbandf.com.

While you are at your computer check out @watchthisspace11 on Instagram.

Written by Craig Anderson

And as always, Watch This Space!