Landscape at Dawn and Dusk

Landscape at Dawn and Dusk
Flanerie Barcelona: Pathways at Dawn and Dusk © Maryhelen Jones-Raciti

Sunday, January 31, 2016

Walk No. 16 An Exciting Career Path -- The North American Institute of Swiss Watchmaking (1/30/2016)

Want to work first hand on luxury watches?  Consider applying to the North America Institute of Swiss Watchmaking (NAIOSW) in Fort Worth, Texas. The Institute is sponsored by the Richemont Group, a luxury brand holding company with ties to such outstanding firms as Cartier, Van Cleef & Arpels, Piaget, Vacheron Constantin, Jaeger-LeCoultre.  NAIOSW was founded for "the purpose of educating successful watchmakers for a career in luxury watch repair."

The 2017 Certified Watchmaking Course began in early January, 2016 and is an immersive 3000 hours of study and practice. The dates for the Classes of 2018 and 2019 have already been announced. Student selection is highly competitive. The good news --- there is a Prestigious Watch Brands scholarship that provides each student with the full amount of tuition, fees, tools, and supplies necessary to complete the program. Room and board are at the students' choice and expense.   

Thursday, January 14, 2016

Walk No. 15 Paul Gorman Shares More on Bowie and Boshier (1/14/2016)

Just a short follow-up on my last walk mourning David Bowie. A little off the watchscape path, but worth noting.

Paul Gorman writes a blog titled, Paul Gorman is ... On January 12th, he wrote a tenderly insightful post about David Bowie's relationship with Derek Boshier,  ”I love the book… your work cascades over the decades’: David Bowie was going to contribute to Rethink/Re-entry.  

Tenderly is a word rarely found in blogs, but in Gorman's case it is one that I think his Bowie tribute deserves.  

Monday, January 11, 2016

Walk No. 14 Stopping to Mourn David Bowie (1/11/2016)

David Bowie, rock star and so much more tragically passed away yesterday at age 69 from cancer.  Although many of his songs reflected the concept of time passing, did he have any specific connection to wristwatches?  The answer is only obliquely at best -- that being through the artifice of Bowie's friend, artist, Derek Boshier.

Bowie’s concept-album Lodger (1979) contains pictures of an Omega Speedmaster Professional and an Omega Flightmaster. The images can also be found in Boshier's stunning new monograph documenting his work, Rethink/Re-entry published this fall.

Did Bowie select these?

No, according to Boshier who designed the album's inside sleeve where the Omega images appear.  “I chose them from a lot of watch pictures because I liked the double watch image and it was a good, clear photograph. It could have been other watches, by any brand. I never even knew they were Omega’s”.

Read the entire story in Paul Dezentjé's  Speedy Tuesday Fratellowatches' post (February 17, 2015),  "How a Speedmaster and Flightmaster ended up in David Bowie’s album art."

In tribute to David Bowie, I am posting a recent photograph, Looking Skyward Major Tom in his memory.

© Maryhelen Raciti-Jones


Sunday, January 10, 2016

Walk No. 13 Visiting the National Watch & Clock Museum's YouTube Channel (1/10/2016)

Love to watch YouTube?  You and 1.3 billion others! So it's good to know that the The National Watch & Clock Museum, located in Columbia, Pennsylvania   maintains its own YouTube channel.

On it, the general public as well as National Association of Watch and Clock Collectors (NAWCC) members can access themed playlists, Museum objects, educational and publicity videos, and vintage horological films.

Among the picks are An Introduction to Antique Clocks (17 videos); a short, six minute tutorial on how to photograph a wristwatch; and a video examining President James Monroe's pocket watch during his time in office. 

(Thanks to Steve Humphrey, NAWCC Executive Director for bringing this to my attention in his Executive Director's Weekly Newsletter January 10, 2016.)

Saturday, January 9, 2016

Walk No. 12 And the Winner Is: GEM Awards Watch Design (1/9/2016)

Last night, the Jewelers of America hosted its 14th Annual GEM Awards in New York City. Considered the Academy Awards of the fine jewelry industry, the event "recognizes the outstanding achievements of individuals and companies whose work raises the visibility and status of fine jewelry and watches."

The nominees for Watch Design, an inaugural achievement category at this year's ceremony were Cartier, Piaget, and Roger Dubuis. All three are exhibitors at SIHH 2016 and are part of the Richemont group, a Switzerland-based luxury goods holding company.

For this category, "Innovation in Design" and "Technical Expertise" were two of the primary criteria for the nominees' initial selection.

And the the Award goes to Cartier. 

The firm's watchmaking was recognized for its longstanding history of capturing Parisian flair in its watch forms and movements.  Case in point is the new Clé de Cartier Collection -- its shape, new house movement, and new crown which is seamlessly integrated into the watch's case.

Strapped for time, watch the Watch Design Awards Presentation segment (1:18:42-1:26:50). 

Friday, January 8, 2016

Walk No. 11 SIHH's Magnetic 24 -- Saunter Three (1/8/2016)

For the context of this Saunter see Walk No. 9 (1/6/2016).

SIHH's Main 15 (Third/Last 5):  Piaget; Richard Mille; Roger Dubuis; Vacheron Constantin; Van Cleef & Arpels.

SIHH's Carré 9 (Third /Last 3): Laurent Ferrier; MB&F; Urwerk. 

Thursday, January 7, 2016

Walk No. 10 SIHH's Magnetic 24 -- Saunter Two (1/7/2016)

For the context of this Saunter see Walk No. 9 (1/6/2016).

SIHH's  Main 15 (Second 5): IWC Schaffausen; Jaeger-LeCoultre; Mont Blanc; Panerai; Parmigiani.

SIHH's Carré 9 (Second 3): Hautlence; HYT; Kari Voutilainen. 

Wednesday, January 6, 2016

Walk No. 9 SIHH's Magnetic 24 -- Saunter One (1/6/2016)

In 2016, magnetic is poised to be the perfect, emotion-rich adjective to describe luxury watch brands that have demonstrated uncontested allure. It's an appropriate choice for the Salon International de la Haute Horlogerie (SIHH) 2016 group of 24 exhibitors.  Nine of these exhibitors represent a new addition to SIHH's previous years' collective of 15.

The new nine are being referred to by the dedicated show space they occupy, "Carré des Horlogers."  They are "artisan-creators and independent workshops and representatives of watchmaking 'new guard.' "

In this walk and the next two that follow (Saunter One, Two, and Three), I'll simply list five exhibitors from the Main 15; and three from the Carré 9.  Take the next several months, before Baselworld 2016, March 14-24 to explore all of their magnetic time pieces.

SIHH's Main 15 (First 5):  Audemars Piguet; A. Lange & Sőhne; Baume & Mercier; Cartier; Greubel Forsey.

SIHH's Carré 9 (First 3):  Christophe Claret; De Bethume; H. Moser & Cie.


Tuesday, January 5, 2016

Walk No. 8 Jaeger-LeCoultre Reverso's 85th Anniversary Tribute (1/5/2016)

Salon International de la Haute Horlogerie (SIHH 2016) watch collection previews are hitting the industry blogs.  Among these is the celebration coverage for Jaeger-LeCoultre Reverso's 85th Anniversary models.  Hodinkee, A Blog to Watch and Watch Time are among the digital harbingers previewing the Reverso offerings.

Jaeger-LeCoultre's original Art Deco-inspired Reverso debuted in 1931, the same year Manhattan's Empire State Building, an Art Deco icon became the world's tallest building.

Jaeger-LeCoultre will launch three anniversary-related collections at SIHH, the Reverso Classic, the Reverso Tribute and the new Reverso One. SIHH begins on January 18, so consider that the official showcase date for the trio's debut.

(Note: I wrote about the original Reverso in my Wrist Watch Redux post on December 30, 2014.)


Monday, January 4, 2016

Walk No. 7 Brew Watch Company (1/4/2016)

One of my daily pleasures is drinking coffee.  My coffee breaks are special times when I can relax by myself or with company. So, I was thrilled to discover Brew Watch Company, a  2015 Kickstarter-funded initiative created by Jonathan Ferrer in New York City.  

Its current collection is intimate in size, only three models:  Silver Brew, Rose Gold Brew, and Black Brew.  Each has a dial case inspired by industrial espresso machines with "warm contrasting colors and a variety of special effects." Each face has 7 display elements: hour, minute, and second hands; hour, minute, and second counters; and a date window. I'm looking forward to Brew's Espresso pour Elle Collection. 

Saturday, January 2, 2016

Walk No. 6 Trendng for 2016: Ethically Sourced Gold (1/3/2016)

Among JCK News' 12 Jewelry Trends for 2016, Jennifer Heebner highlights the increasing choice of using of ethically sourced materials including gold and gemstones by industry designers and businesses.  Noted Swiss jewelry/watchmaker Chopard is a leader in using fairmined gold, i.e. gold coming from an artisanal mine that operates according to recognized safe practices and leaves minimal environmental impact. In 2013, Chopard launched an initiative, called The Journey to Sustainable Luxury. At Baselworld 2014, it introduced the L.U.C. Tourbillon QF Fairmined, the world's first watch to be encased in fairmined gold. My high praise for certified supply-chain ethical sustainability.

(Note: I wrote about fairmined gold in my July 2015 post on Isabel Marant.)

January 2016 Bench #1 -- Amy K. Glasmeier

Amazing in its research and historical stretch, Amy K. Glasmeier gives us Manufacturing Time: Global Competition in the Watch Industry, 1795-2000,
(Guilford Press, New York, 2000).  I first learned of this title in Peter Oakley's bibliography for his article, "Ticking Boxes: (Re)Constructing the Wristwatch as a Luxury Object" in the journal Luxury: History, Culture, Consumption, Volume 2, Issue 1, May 2015. 

Walk No. 5 Indulge in the Bulge: Tonneau Watch Cases (1/2/2016)

The holidays are ending. The season of dieting and calorie counting has begun. But one bulging shape is timeless.  It's the Tonneau watch case. In French, tonneau means  a "cask" of varying liquid capacities often associated with the aging of wine. As a watch case design, head-on it resembles a barrel -- rectangular with rounded sides. These sides are sometimes squat; sometime curvaceous. The shape allows for a variety of dial openings including round, elongated, and of course one that follows the same contours of the outer case.   Cartier introduced the design in 1906 and it is its second oldest model after the Santos Dumont in 1904. Six years later, the first Vacheron Constantin Tonneau appeared. 

Friday, January 1, 2016

Walk No. 4 Nathan G. Horwitt, Designer of the Museum Watch Dial (1/1/2016)

Nathan George Horwitt, industrial designer (1898-1990) received United States Patent and Trademark Office Design Patent No. D183 488 on September 9, 1958 for what we now know as the Movado Museum Watch. Incorporating a Bauhaus sensibility of functional purity and design simplicity, the dial design  demonstrated that an almost emptiness of a space without discernible elements except for a dot and watch hands could be justifiably patented.  The Smithsonian Institution Libraries, Cooper-Hewitt Design Archive in New York and the Museum of Modern Art, both have archival material relating to Horwitt and his career.