When luxury becomes ludicrous

The boundary between extravagance and indecency, or even audacity and vulgarity, isn’t always clear-cut. Jacob Arabo (Jacob & Co) and Flavio Briatore recently proved this once again at Baselworld by unveiling a ridiculous watch priced at 18 million Swiss francs. For as daring as it may be, this uber-flashy Billionaire luxury Rolex replica watches is also indisputably indecent. Let’s be serious: nothing can justify such a sum, not even the 260 carats of diamonds—a “world record” claim its designers—adorning the excessive timepiece.

Make no mistake: this creation is the work of two successful and perfectly competent businessmen who, throughout their respective careers, have demonstrated their ability to surprise and take risks—as well as the occasional back road, resulting in brushes with the law—and who have willingly used scandal as a springboard for their business ventures. It is undoubtedly in the same vein that this project was co-developed by Jacob & Co and Briatore’s brand, Billionaire.

However, when the (extravagant) price tag becomes the key sales argument or talking point, this obviously raises a number of questions. Of course, the watchmaking industry is no stranger to the matter. Last year, the jewelers Graff set the indecency bar pretty high by launching its multicolored jewelry replica watches uk, “Hallucination”, at a cool 55 million dollars. Its name was clearly more than appropriate. Admittedly, the Billionaire is far less expensive than Graff’s offering, but the idea is much the same. It’s a mindset on which Molière would have pounced with savage relish, given his penchant for exploring the ridiculousness of vanity and staging the sad spectacle of those who measure self-worth on social courtesy and pretention. For above and beyond the successful publicity stunt, the Billionaire watch also reflects the world of the ultra-rich who, engulfed by wealth and ennui, buy luxury cars, yachts, villas and Russian girls in one fell swoop. Jacob & Co’s watch—a one-of-a-kind piece—will definitely be joining their wish lists.

The Billionaire aside, unfortunately extravagance and bad taste often invite themselves to the watchmaking table in various guises. From unwearable watches—always ridiculous but not necessarily precious—to unworkably complicated timepieces, some “watchmakers” have done considerable damage to the industry. Admittedly, they are generally no longer around to discuss it, but new usurpers emerge every year ready to get themselves noticed at any cost, with means and ridiculousness that know no bounds in the hunt for publicity.

Another highly fashionable trend is the gadget fashion replica watches, for which no sensible human being would pay more than a few hundred francs and yet for which fresh new brands are demanding a price that is a hundred times higher. Of course, it goes without saying that the ridiculous ones soon become those who are prepared to pay such completely unjustified sums.

Fortunately, to negate the popular French saying, ridiculousness does sometimes kill, particularly companies who push it beyond the limits of the reasonable. But there are also exceptions to the rule, as journalist Pierre Véron suspected over a century ago: “Ridiculousness, instead of killing some people, only makes them richer”.

Rolex, Omega… Pulsar? New James Bond Watch Exhibit Focuses on the Quartz Era

To readers of Ian Fleming’s original James Bond novels and those who fondly recall the early Sean Connery films, Agent 007 will always be a Rolex man. To younger fans, who’ve known no cinematic Bond other than Pierce Brosnan and Daniel Craig, Bond is inseparable from Omega. But a new exhibit at the National Swiss Replica Watch and Clock Museum (NAWCC) in Columbia, PA, reveals that the British superspy has also strapped on a number of other brands throughout the years, including Seiko, Hamilton, and TAG Heuer, all outfitted with – gasp! – quartz movements.

“James Bond Wore the Quartz Revolution,” which opens on June 3 at NAWCC, is curated by James Bond expert, founder of JamesBondWatches.com, and occasional WatchTime contributor Dell Deaton. The exhibit marks the first time that “screen-correct” models of all 12 quartz wristwatches worn in the James Bond films — from the period spanning 1973 through 1995 — will be assembled side by side and in running condition. Through the pop culture icon of James Bond, Deaton hopes to use the exhibit to “correct myths arguing that the Quartz Revolution was nothing more than about making watches cheaper.”

“This exhibit seeks to explain why this revolution happened when it happened and shows how it continues to remain invaluable to contemporary society—at the very least, to reopen the discussion and move beyond cliché,” Deaton states in the NAWCC’s press release. “The most important outcome of the Quartz Revolution was that it delivered a vast leap in one’s personal, mobile ability to control his own timekeeping. It was the culmination of a centuries-old pursuit, and it was delivered at exactly the period in history when consumers were ready for it and demanding it. None of this was simple or obvious as it was happening. The Quartz Revolution is essentially a consumer-driven story… By focusing on the fictional ‘James Bond’ character, we create a proxy for the consumer that can stand as a brand on equal footing with those of watchmakers. Thus, we can tell this story from its necessary, original perspective. I also think that makes it more globally objective as well.”

Below are some notable highlight pieces from “James Bond Wore the Quartz Revolution.” (All watch photos © 2015 JamesBondWatches.com and Dell Deaton, All Rights Reserved.)

James Bond first wore a quartz replica watches for sale — a Hamilton Pulsar P2 model 2900, “nicknamed “The Time Computer” — in 1973’s “Live and Let Die,” starring Roger Moore. The product placement was a fitting choice for the time, as the so-called Quartz Revolution (referred to widely by mechanical-watch enthusiasts as the “Quartz Crisis” — was just starting to gain steam, with key makers from Japan, Switzerland, and the United States all offering competitively priced quartz timekeepers to consumers.

James Bond Hamilton Pulsar

Live And Let Die movie poster

Longtime Bond film producer Albert R. Broccoli chose another digital timepiece, the Seiko Quartz LC model DK001, 0674-5009 as James Bond’s watch in 1977’s “The Spy Who Loved Me,” also with Moore in the lead. Broccoli’s first movie as sole head of EON Productions. The watch’s maker used “field effect modulation” for its liquid-crystal diode (LCD) screen output, which aided in its ability to constantly display to-the-second time and maximize its power consumption efficiency. Interestingly enough, this Seiko was also the first onscreen James Bond watch that displayed the date.

James Bond Seiko

The Spy Who Loved Me movie poster

Bond went back to an analog timepiece for 1987’s “The Living Daylights,”which introduced Timothy Dalton to the Bond role and returned the character to Ian Fleming’s original vision as a “stealth commando.” Bond’s watch in the movie was the TAG Heuer Night Diver reference 980.031, outfitted with a quartz movement, as were most TAG Heuers replica watches online at the time. Jack Heuer later wrote in his autobiography that the 980 series was what had returned his company to profitability following the tough years of the Quartz Revolution. The same watch was also worn by four other characters in “The Living Daylights” — a record for a Bond film.

James Bond TAG Heuer

The Living Daylights movie poster

Omega’s association with the James Bond franchise began with 1995’s “GoldenEye,” which was the first to star Pierce Brosnan as Agent 007 and the last Bond movie produced before the death of Albert R. Broccoli. (In total, 11 out of Broccoli’s 12 Bond-watch choices as head of EON Productions had been quartz.) Whereas Brosnan’s Bond wore a mechanical Omega watch in the film (the Seamaster Ref. 2531.80), he also sported a quartz model, Seamaster reference 2541.80. This is the last confirmed James Bond movie watch with a quartz movement; all the choices since then have been Omegas with mechanical movements.

James Bond quartz Omega

Goldeneye movie poster

NAWCC Museum Director Noel Poirier says of the exhibit, “We’re excited once again to explore an important aspect of wrist fake watches sale development through the story of James Bond. The Bond story is universally understood and relatable for our visitors and allows us to explore the significant influence of the quartz revolution in an engaging way.”

Tough Timers: 5 Watches for Extreme Conditions

Mechanical Patek Philippe replica watches are delicate pieces of machinery that can be thrown off kilter if the proper precautions aren’t taken. Magnetic fields, extreme temperatures, and shocks are among the risks watches face. Below, in this list we take a look at some watches designed to withstand these outside factors.

The Jaeger-LeCoultre Master Compressor Extreme LAB 2 has a safety band around its hairspring, limiting the motion of the spring when the watch receives a shock. The watch also has two screws to hold the hairspring stud. The hairspring itself is made of silicon and weighs only one-third as much as a conventional metal hairspring. It is therefore less vulnerable to shocks. Jolts are also buffered by the case, which combines an inner container and exterior housing, both made of the titanium alloy TiVan15.

Jaeger-LeCoultre Master Compressor Extreme LAB 2

he Omega Seamaster Aqua Terra >15,000 Gauss became the world’s most magnetism-resistant watch, exceeding the level of magnetic field resistance of other pioneering antimagnetic fake watches sale such as the Rolex Milgauss, when it was introduced in 2013. The key to this milestone is its innovative movement, Omega Co-axial Caliber 8508, which is made up largely of non-ferrous components such as silicon balance springs and nickel phosphorous escape wheels.

Omega Seamaster Aqua Terra >15.000 Gauss

For its Monaco Twenty-Four Calibre 36, TAG Heuer developed what it calls an Advanced Dynamic Absorber System. The movement is suspended at all four corners inside the square case. Four plastic buffers protect the movement against shocks and especially against vibrations in the frequency range of one to 10 Hz.

TAG Heuer Monaco Twenty-Four Calibre 36

The IWC Pilot’s Watch Double Chronograph protects its movement from the effects of magnetic fields with a “Faraday cage,” and inner case of soft iron around the movement.

IWC Pilot’s Watch Double Chronograph

The first replica Swiss watches with a complication geared toward high-speed road-racing safety, the Richard Mille RM 036 Tourbillon G-Sensor Jean Todt was conceived by brand namesake and racing enthusiast Richard Mille with the aid of French motorsports executive Jean Todt. In addition to its tourbillon movement, free-sprung balance with variable inertia, and gearbox-inspired “function selector,” the watch features a patented, mechanical G-Sensor system that is designed to visually display the “Gs” accumulated by the watch’s wearer during rapid deceleration, thus making a driver aware when he is approaching dangerous road speeds.

Richard Mille RM 036 Tourbillon G-Sensor Jean Todt

“Sound” Investments: 6 Notable Minute Repeaters and Chiming Watches

One of the most difficult watch complications to produce, a minute repeater transforms a discount Cartier replica watches from mere timekeeping device to miniature music box. Below we take a look at 6 minute repeaters — and other, even more sophisticated chiming watches — that are more than just bells and whistles.

The newest version of the A. Lange & Söhne Zeitwerk Striking Time has a rose-gold case and hands and a silver dial. Unlike most repeaters and other chiming watches, it has its chiming mechanism integrated into the dial design. The black-polished steel hammers are located on either side of the large small-seconds subdial at 6 o’clock. The hammer on the right strikes the quarter hours and the one on the left, the full hours. The two gongs, embedded in a recess between the dial and the bezel, are also visible from the dial side. Every 15 minutes, the mechanism triggers the striking of one of the gongs — three high-pitched chimes for each quarter hour and one low-pitched chime for the top of every full hour. The watch has a device that can deactivate the chiming mechanism whenever the owner wishes to not be disturbed by it: Simply press the push-piece at 4 o’clock and the hammers raise away from the gongs and hold in place, thus silencing the watch.

A. Lange & Sohne Zeitwerk Striking Time rose gold

The Audemars Piguet Tradition Tourbillon Minute Repeater Chronograph is available in a very limited edition of 10 pieces each for both versions, a rose gold and a titanium model. The titanium version, the company says, is ideally suited for the watch’s highest complication, the minute repeater, which strikes on two gongs. As many may not be aware, the quality of the sound emitted by a repeater fake watches for men is largely dependent on both the case material and the case’s dimensions. Larger cases (the Tradition Tourbillon Minute Repeater Chronograph’s is 47 mm in diameter) and lighter, harder materials (such as titanium) are best suited to maximize the sound volume of the chimes by allowing the acoustic waves to expand inside the case.

Audemars Piguet Tradition Tourbillon Minute Repeater Chronograph

At the push of a button (located at 10 o’clock), or when it strikes a pre-set time, the Breguet Ref. 7800 Classique “La Musicale” plays Bach’s “Badinerie.” Its musical mechanism resembles a music box, utilizing a disk with pegs that strike the 15 blades of the “keyboard.” A membrane made of Swatch’s LiquidMetal fitted under the movement amplifies the sound while maintaining water resistance.

Breguet Classique La Musicale

The Bulgari Brighella, the first in its series of “Commedia del’ Arte” watches, is equipped with a cathedral-gong minute repeater (operated by a slide at 10 o’clock) with two hammers, along with a jumping hour and retrograde minutes display. When the watch’s chime sounds, the characters on the dial begin moving in choreographed, balletic motions. The case is made of 18k white gold and an alloy called Magsonic, developed to amplify the resonance of the repeater’s chimes.

Bulgari Commedia del’Arte Brighella

One of the highlight pieces of SIHH 2014, the Jaeger-LeCoultre Master Ultra Thin Minute Repeater Flying Tourbillon is the eleventh creation in the brand’s Hybris Mechanica collection and the first ultra-thin Grand Complication model. The watch is very slim for a minute repeater, at just 7.9 mm thin. It is also equipped with an original tourbillon, a high-performance new balance spring, a peripheral automatic winding system, a retractable single push-button, and a minute repeater equipped with a silent-timelapse reduction system. The replica watches for sale is equipped with two patented trebuchet hammers that ensure stronger, cleaner striking on the two crystal gongs fixed to the sapphire crystal, which helps to amplify the sound diffusion. Instead of a traditional slide, the minute repeater is activated by a retractable, single push-button, for which Jaeger-LeCoultre has filed a patent, with a discreet locking system at 8 o’clock.

Jaeger-LeCoultre Master Ultra Thin Minute Repeater Flying Tourbillon - Perspective

The Jaquet Droz Bird Repeater is inspired by the brand’s namesake, Pierre Jaquet-Droz, known for his automaton creations, which often featured birds. A push-button triggers the minute repeater, which strikes the hours, quarters, and minutes as the birds on the dial come to life. The system uses a cathedral gong whose resonant, mellow tones are generated by two turns around the mechanism.

Jaquet Droz Bird Repeater