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Perpetual calendar movement assembly at Ulysse Nardin

Ulysse Nardin’s CEO Patrik Hoffmann Comments The Kering Takeover

After the markets closed yesterday, luxury group Kering (previously known as PPR and the Gucci Group) sent out the announcement that it had acquired 100 percent of Ulysse Nardin as part of its quarterly report. I reported on this on Forbes at Kering (Previously PPR, Gucci Group) Acquires Ulysse Nardin

Naturally, it is hard to understand the background behind such a takeover without talking to someone from the company. Takeovers are a common occurrence in today’s watch world, a seemingly necessary way of doing big business. In my long experience there are times this can work out well, and times it doesn’t work out so well. This has a lot to do with how similar the visions of the two companies merging are.

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Greubel Forsey Double Tourbillon Technique

Objects Of Desire: Greubel Forsey

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July 30, 2014
In the “Objects of Desire” series, I’ll be looking at pieces that fall into the latter two categories – a mix of unobtanium and timenotrightium, as my Quill & Pad colleague Joshua Munchow might say. And, where better to start on the topic of desire than with the watches of Robert Greubel and Stephen Forsey?
Your author with Walter Lange at the 2014 SIHH

Happy 90th Birthday To Walter Lange With A Look Back At The Modern A. Lange & Söhne

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July 29, 2014
Ninety years is a ripe old age to reach for anyone, and few actually reach it. But it doesn’t surprise me that Walter Lange has reached this age so gracefully. He was, after all, 66 – retirement age for most people – in 1990 when he embarked upon the new business venture with Günter Blümlein to refound his family’s birthright.
Linde Werdelin Spidolite II Tech with electric green dial elements and matching strap stitching

Form Follows Function: Linde Werdelin SpidoLite II Tech

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July 28, 2014
To make a carbon fiber watch case, chopped carbon and resin material is lightly packed into a mold and then heated to the temperature at which the resin melts. For the SpidoLite II Tech outer case frame, this process enables Linde Werdelin to have a solid carbon fiber frame without any miniature layup. It also makes the material nearly indestructible under even the most challenging of circumstances.
Richard Mille ambassador Cristie Kerr

Monthly News Roundup: Richard Mille, Jaeger-LeCoultre, Ulysse Nardin, Hermès, Moser, F.P. Journe, Omega, Louis Moinet, HYT And More

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July 25, 2014
This month's horological news features new launches that include the Jazz Minute Repeater by Ulysse Nardin, hand-painted Persian horses from La Montre Hermès, F.P. Journe's titanium Octa Sport, the new, commemorative Speedmaster Apollo 11 from Omega, the chilly Iceberg by HYT, a new ambassador for Richard Mille and much, much more.
The yellow/green Super-LumiNova of the Urwerk UR-110 TTH glows an electric cool blue in the dark

Heartbeat: The High-Lume-Glow-In-The-Dark Urwerk UR-110 TTH

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July 24, 2014
Having had the opportunity to wear Urwerk’s UR-110 TTH for a month, I came to seriously appreciate not only the unique craftsmanship and gorgeous styling of this particular model, but also its cool, yellow-green lume display at night. The blackened titanium case and tantalum bezel is absolutely rock and roll: heavy in color, aesthetic in hue and unusual in this shape.
Your author's dial receives its first brushstrokes

Jaeger-LeCoultre’s Art Of In-House Enameling

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July 23, 2014
During Quill & Pad’s on location visit to Jaeger-LeCoultre in Le Sentier, Ian and I had the unique chance to take a lesson in enameling from the brand’s self-taught master Miklos Merczel. Merczel’s story is an interesting one, and jibes with Jaeger-LeCoultre’s common history with this art form: historically and uniquely on request, Jaeger-LeCoultre has famously placed enameled miniature paintings on the flip side of the Reverso case.
Marussia F1 driver Max Chilton at the 2014 Hockenheim Grand Prix

Formula 1 At Hockenheim With Armin Strom, Max Chilton And The Marussia Team

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July 22, 2014
It was the Friday morning training session before the 2014 Hockenheim Formula 1 Grand Prix race and we were on our way to watch from a most privileged position: the box. Or, as it's called by the Anglo-Italo Marussia F1 team, “the garage.” Armin Strom has been sponsoring the Marussia team for three years and had invited me for a look behind the scenes.
Finished watch, shot recently before any modifications are made

Making My First Watch: Adventures Of A Beginner

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July 20, 2014
One night I was doing my typical browse-for-tools-and-equipment-while-making-excuses-and-putting-it-off thing and I happened to be talking to my best friend about how I wished I could have what I needed to make the watch I had designed. Having heard this story many times, she finally said, “Seriously, quit complaining and just do it." Two days later I had an order of parts and raw materials headed my way on a FedEx truck. And here’s how I made my first watch.
50 interesting things you should know about Earth

50 Unbelievable And Timely Facts About Earth

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July 19, 2014
How much time one could survive in space without a suit, whether there are truly 24 hours in a day, why dinosaurs cannot live in the present day (shock: 'Jurassic Park' is complete fiction), where most of the volcanos are, if there is a river beneath the Amazon, how long since it has rained on the driest place on earth, and what percent of the world’s species we have discovered (hint: not many), and much more more. Here are 50 things you should know about the planet we live on.
Lume shot of the Montblanc Homage to Nicolas Rieussec monopusher chronograph

Montblanc: A Winner In 2014

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July 18, 2014
Surprisingly, Montblanc has entered the 2014 edition of the Grand Prix d’Horlogerie de Genève (GPHG). I say surprisingly because I know that Jérôme Lambert is not fond of “beauty contests.” Montblanc’s SIHH 2014 offerings were thoroughly exciting and Lambert came across like a miracle worker to me. In the short year he has been in charge, the collection now boasts clear divisions into three main pillars, the top of the line obviously remaining Villeret.
Close of the the dial of the Ulysse Nardin Moonstruck

Moonstruck Again: How Ulysse Nardin Never Ceases To Amaze

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July 17, 2014
This past weekend I had the very good fortune to share an exceptional experience with good friends, a personal one, but it involved people I know through my work with watches. Over dinner we reminisced about a memorable trip back in 2009 to the Nice observatory for the introduction of the Ulysse Nardin Moonstruck wristwatch. Let me take you on a trip down memory lane with it.
The 2014 Tour de France riding past the Chronophage clock at Corpus Christi College Cambridge

Tour De France Races Against Both Time And The Time-Eating Chronophage Corpus Clock

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July 16, 2014
This year’s Tour de France started in Britain and the riders raced past one of Cambridge’s most interesting and unusual horological sights: the Corpus Christi Chronophage (“time-eater”) on display on the outside of a prominent building of the Corpus Christi College, one of the most prestigious at Cambridge University.
Central triple-axis tourbillon of the Vianney Halter Deep Space Tourbillon

Why I Bought It: Vianney Halter Deep Space Tourbillon

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July 15, 2014
This is the first in a planned series of “why I bought it” articles that will unfold here over time. Of course, there will be photos – and lots of them – but I hope you’ll find my commentary on a collector’s mindset and the motivations, delights, and possible misgivings behind each individual transaction interesting, too. Let’s start the series off with a bang: the Vianney Halter Deep Space Tourbillon.
Indication dome of the MB&F Starfleet Machine for L'Epée

Deep Space On Your Desk: MB&F Starfleet Machine

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July 14, 2014
Starfleet Machine by MB&F is a very functional piece of fantasy for your desk. Your desk? Well, yes, silly. You see, following Musicmachine, this is the second non-watch machine for MB&F, though this one actually does tell you the time. Beside being a fantasy machine, it is also a table clock built with the wonderful skills of historic Swiss clockmaker, L’Epée 1839. With Starfleet Machine MB&F shows us yet again why the brand is inspired by science fiction and the race to the stars, because it is simply fantastible! The shape of the Starfleet Machine alone is enough to inspire wonder in those who view it, but when you peer into the depths of the exposed works and start to notice the details; a whole new appreciation begins to form. So let’s take a look at it.
Leica III believed to be used by Yevgeny Khaldei.

Bonhams Auctions The Leica Camera That Took One Of The World's Most Iconic Photos

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July 12, 2014
A photo of soldiers hoisting the Soviet flag over the Reichstag at the end of WWII, became one of the most iconic images of the century. One of the subjects in the image was wearing two watches, one of which was removed in official reproductions of the photo. The camera used to take that iconic image, a Leica III, is to be auctioned by Bonhams, and it's expected to fetch more than £300,000 ($500,000).