วันอังคารที่ 14 กุมภาพันธ์ พ.ศ. 2555

Watches of Switzerland

Watches of Switzerland
The official dealer for more Swiss brands than any other UK retailer
  • Audemars Piguet
    Audemars Piguet

    Audemars Piguet is one of the undisputed leviathans of the watchmaking world. The brand started producing mechanical watches in 1875, and has become a master of high-end complications. Today, it’s perhaps most famous for its Royal Oak sports watches. The original was the first recognised luxury watch in stainless steel – an unthinkable proposition in 1972, but now commonplace. That’s the influence of Audemars Piguet – it leads, others follow.
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  • Baume & Mercier
    Baume & Mercier

    Baume & Mercier is one of the brands pioneering ‘affordable luxury’, creating quality Swiss timepieces that don’t cost the earth at its base in the Jura region, one of watchmaking’s historical epicentres. The brand’s collection focuses around four elegant lines: Capeland, Classima, Hampton and Linea. The latter is an innovative range of pieces designed exclusively for ladies that features an ingenious interchangeable strap system.
  • Bell & Ross
    Bell & Ross

    When Bell & Ross recently completed what it calls ‘the evolution of the military watch’. This process began in reverse with the ultra-modern BR 01 collection of square-cased watches over a decade ago, and finished in 2011 with the PW1 pocket watch. Bell & Ross’s military-inspired collections typically feature clear dials and rugged cases, conforming to a practical aesthetic that has become hugely desirable.
  • Blancpain

    Blancpain is the world’s oldest watch brand. It was founded in 1735 and over nearly three centuries has proved one of the most prolific movement manufacturers, not least of high-end complications. Still a traditional company, Blancpain makes its minute repeaters, carrousels and perpetual calendars on two sites, one of which is a converted farmhouse in the village of Le Brassus, right in the heart of the Swiss watchmaking community.
  • Breitling

    Breitling is one of the original pioneers of the wristwatch chronograph, a complication that has come to define the brand’s collection. Breitling enjoys close links with the world of aviation, both through its collection of aeronautically themed timepieces and through associations with events such as the Reno Air Races. In 2009, Breitling unveiled its own chronograph movement, the Calibre 01, which was followed in 2011 by the Calibre 04.
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  • Cartier

    Ever since it first began crafting fine watches and jewellery back in 1847, Cartier has been a byword for luxury. The Parisian house is also universally revered as the brand that popularised the wristwatch at the turn of the 20th century, with the introduction of the original Santos. Ultimately, the brand stands for desirability – nothing says you’ve made it quite like Cartier.
  • Chanel

    Chanel’s high-end watch collection revolves around the many incarnations of the J12, a watch designed by the brand’s late artistic director Jacques Helleu. Launched in 2000 as a small collection of black and white ceramic mechanicals, it achieved what many watches before it failed to do – fuse the worlds of high fashion and specialist watchmaking in a package that had both broad appeal and horological credibility.
  • Chopard

    It’s been observed that you can gauge glamour and luxury by the celebrity it attracts. If that’s true, there’s no stronger claim to the title of world’s most glamorous watch brand than Chopard’s. Consider the little-known Chopard Oscar Winner’s Club – for the last nine years, every star wearing Chopard at the Academy Awards has walked off with a golden statue.
  • Edox

    Edox is an independent watch house based in the Swiss Jura, where its been producing a collection of men’s and ladies’ watches since 1884. Notable achievements include the world’s thinnest calendar movement, which, at 1.4mm thick, has been a record since 1999. Today, the brand’s profile is maintained by sponsorship of the World Rally Championship and backed up by a collection of very reasonably priced watches.
  • IWC

    If there’s one thing you can’t fake in the watch industry, it’s heritage. The International Watch Company has been with us since 1868 when Boston watchmaker Florentine Ariosto Jones planted his watch business in Schaffhausen, starting a business that has brought us some of the most iconic watches in history.
  • Jaeger-LeCoultre

    In its long and illustrious history, Jaeger-LeCoultre has produced over 1,000 different in-house calibres, an astonishing record the brand is rightly proud of. Sixty of those calibres (many of them among the most complicated in the world) feature across the contemporary collection, making Jaeger-LeCoultre one of the most prolific of today’s in-house movement manufacturers.
  • Longines

    Longines has been one of the pillars of the watch industry since 1832 and is renowned for its mechanical timepieces, not least those in the Master Collection, a stunning range of watches that casts light on the brand’s long and illustrious watchmaking past. Longines is also known for its devotion to all things elegant and offers a vast collection of charming ladies’ timepieces, with lines carrying evocative, sensual names like DolceVita and PrimaLuna.
  • NOMOS Glashütte
    NOMOS Glashütte

    The quiet town of Glashütte is Germany’s watchmaking capital and home to a growing number of luxury watch brands, including NOMOS, a quirky young company making minimal-looking timepieces powered by movements developed in-house at its own manufacture. Nomos, which is Greek for ‘law’, has a growing reputation for offering some of the best-value watches with in-house movements in the world.
  • Omega

    One of the giants of watchmaking, Omega enjoys brand recognition all over the world – and on the Moon. The famous Speedmaster Professional ‘Moonwatch’ accompanied the Apollo 11 crew to the Moon in 1969 and became the first and only watch to be worn on the lunar surface. In the process, it became one of the true iconic watch designs. Omega watches are known for their reliability, accuracy, performance and style.
  • Oris

    Independently owned Oris will be familiar to Formula 1 fans because of the long-standing relationship it has with Williams F1. The brand’s collection is powered exclusively by mechanical movements – and the automatics are all fired by Oris’s signature red rotor. Ardent Oris followers talk of the incredible value you get from the brand’s timepieces, hence the company strapline, ‘real watches for real people’.
  • Panerai

    Sometimes a watch design comes to life in response to a challenge. When the Royal Italian Navy turned to Panerai in 1936 for a reliable, water-resistant watch, the result was the Radiomir. It was followed by the equally iconic Luminor, which, like the Radiomir, takes its name from the luminescent material Panerai developed to make its watches legible in dark conditions. Today, the Italian styling remains, backed up by Swiss-made movements.
  • Patek Philippe
    Patek Philippe

    Patek Philippe holds the rare distinction of being a deeply horological watch house and also a household name. The independent family company keeps production levels deliberately low to maintain exclusivity and watchmaking standards unstintingly high, even going so far as to introduce its own quality standard – the Patek Philippe Seal – because no other recognised mark of excellence was sufficiently thorough.
  • Rolex

    The leading name in luxury wristwatches, Rolex has been the pre-eminent symbol of performance and prestige for over a century. Headquarted in Geneva, Switzerland, with 28 affiliates worldwide and relying on 4,000 watch-makers in over 100 countries, Rolex continues to expand its long history of achievement and innovation.

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  • TAG Heuer
    TAG Heuer

    Watch brands don’t come much bigger than TAG Heuer – it is one of the most recognised brand names in the world. Part of the reason for this is a long-standing relationship with sports timing – motorsport in particular – but the brand’s success lies in a collection of watches inspired by 150 years of watchmaking history. From the Monaco to the new Monza, TAG Heuer’s catalogue of iconic watch designs just seems to get better with age.
  • U-Boat

    The story behind U-Boat starts in 1942 with an Italian named Ilvo Fontana, who was asked by the Italian government to create a watch for the country’s navy. Fontana’s designs were overlooked (in favour of Panerai’s) and mothballed for over half a century until they were discovered by his grandson Italo in 1999. Today’s U-Boat watches are all powered by mechanical Swiss movements and are designed with unmistakable Italian flair.
  • Vacheron Constantin
    Vacheron Constantin

    There are older brands than Vacheron Constantin – only a few, mind – but none with a history that stretches back, uninterrupted, over 250 years to 1755. One of the great traditional brands, the Geneva-based company is a specialist movement maker. Many of its in-house calibres carry the prestigious Geneva Seal, one of the ultimate signs of watchmaking quality.
  • Zenith

    Under the leadership of founder Georges Favre-Jacot, Zenith became the first watch house in the world to undertake the many processes of watchmaking ‘under one roof’. That was in 1865. Today, the philosophy remains – current company president Jean-Frédéric Dufour has focussed the brand’s collection around Zenith’s two most celebrated in-house movements, the El Primero chronograph and the ultra-thin Elite.