Posts Tagged ‘ watchmaker ’

Charlie Sheen: Adonis DNA and Patek Philippe Devotion

A Looney Love Story

Image Courtesy of: http://www.watchmatchmaker.com/

Charlie Sheen not only harnessed Tiger Blood and Adonis DNA, but also a potentially dangerous devotion to watchmaker, Patek Philippe. The high-profile fan, and expert of sorts in regard to the various wristwatch models of Patek Philippe, is arguably a bit too attached to these spectacular creations.  Not too long ago, you may remember, Sheen completely dismantled his hotel room at the Plaza. Charlie was a man on a mission, and hunted for his ‘Patek 5970’ even after the hotel room destruction. 

Some may consider his “Crazy Torpedo of Truth” a symbol of a man who’s gone mad. However, Sheen’s high quality taste in regard to timepieces seems to have remained fully intact.  In the picture above, we see Charlie wearing one of his beloved Patek Philippe watches, a 5131, as he carefully balances a cigarette and stuffed tiger in the other hand. 

What a classic capture this image is.  Sporting one of the most exquisite watchmakers in history on one wrist, and two of his classic bad-boy fixations in the other. In a way, it adds to my jovial adoration of Charlie Sheen.  Sure, he may believe that he is ‘above a normal human’, with elements of tiger blood, Adonis DNA and a Warlock status, but the man still knows great watches!  

Charliee Sheen: A Twitpic of his beloved 'Patek Philippe'

This was one of the first ‘tweets’ made by Mr. Charlie Sheen. He titled the infamous ‘twitpic‘, ‘The only watch that keeps Warlock time‘.

There still remains a controversy over exactly what vintage model Patek it is that ‘keeps Warlock time’

Research leaves two possible suspects as to exactly which rare vintage model Patek Philippe is being worn by Sheen in the photograph.

#1: Patek Philippe Reference 2497

patekwatch.blogspot.com

#2: Patek Philippe Reference 2438/1

Patek Philippe 2438/1

The extremely uncommon, 37mm broad wristwatch was produced in small amounts, from 1952 into the early ’60s. Not just may be the fairly watch very uncommon, but it’s really useful. During a Christie’s public sale last year, this model was offered in close range to $707,612. This model possesses the Patek Philippe yearly diary “triple date” design motion, with 30 day indications. The indications have both a moon phase, in addition to the day, beneath them.

The variations between the 2497 model Patek and the 2438/1 are incredibly minor, leaving both as strong possible matches. 

If anyone can tell me precisely which model Sheen is wearing in his ‘twitpic’…

I’ll give you 10% off any Patek Philippe timepiece purchase!

—> Browse Patek Philippe models at RaymondLeeWatches.com <—

Have a Good One!

Alexandra

Raymond Lee Jewelers

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Hey, There’s a Ruby in that Watch! The Intelligence of Natural Gemstones

Prim clockwork of a wristwatch, watchmaking ex...

inner mechanics of timepieces

The Intelligence of Natural Gemstones

Jewel bearings were introduced in 1702 by Nicolas Fatio (or Facio) de Duillier  to reduce the friction in watches. The two-part mechanism breakthrough in timepiece engineering includes a bearing, in which a metal spindle turns in a jewel lined pivot hole. The advantages of jewel bearings include high accuracy, small size and weight,low static friction and highly consistent dynamic friction.

When the use of jewel bearings was first patented in 1702, only the most elite quality watchmakers used sapphire, ruby, or diamond jewel pivots. The majority of watchmakers would use  garnet, quartz, or even glass jewels to create their jewel bearings, due to the high cost of natural ruby and sapphire gemstones.

Jewel bearings for watches were ground from tiny pieces of natural gemstones from their introduction in 1702 until the early 20th Century. In the early 1900’s, a process to create synthetic rubies was discovered by Parisian Professor, Abraham-Louis Breguet . This process was invented in order to eliminate the high cost of natural gemstones by creating synthetic sapphires to be utilized in watch crystals. Nearly all modern-day watches use this synthetic ruby (or sapphire) in their watch jewel bearings.

Read on to discover the precise and persistent role in which the Ruby has played throughout the evolution of  timepiece mechanics, and the inherently possessed intelligence and engineering abilities of natural gemstones…

18K Yellow Gold, Diamond and Ruby ring in a crested wave design

Size 6.5, can be sized

Diamonds are approximately 1.20ctw
Diamonds are VS/SI in clarity H/I in color
Rubies 27 Cabochons Graduating in Size from 1.5mm-3mm

There is one constant element that you will find in each and every mechanical timepiece, from the earliest models to today’s modern designs. A complex integration of finely balanced moving parts are the fundamental foreground for all mechanical watches. This complex composition of mechanics involves the vital presence of a plain bearing. A watch bearing is a relationship, if you will, between pivot pieces and the torus shaped holes in which they are turned into.

Pivot pieces turn into torus shaped holes, which are drilled into two brass plates that are separated by pillars. The lower situated brass plate of the two was once drilled with small holes in order to allow the opposite end of the pivot to turn. Small amounts of oil were used to lubricate the pivots within the torus shaped holes. Through the progression of time, an accumulation of debris and dust from daily use would slowly form within the small holes.

A mixture of oils and debris would form into an abrasive material, acting asa sandpaper of sorts, slowly wearing away the soft brass of the plates, and eventually even the hard steel pivots. The once torus shaped pivot holes would morph into oval shapes as a result of this material accruing, directly causing erratic watch function and eventual failure.

Frustrated with this difficult and seemingly unavoidable eventuality, Watchmakers began to search for a material that was harder than brass, and which could withstand the constant movement of the pivots. The winning material was found in the natural Ruby gemstone, the second hardest natural material on record in the world. Fatio de Duillier made his mark on the historical evolution of timepieces when he developed and patented a method of perforating jewels for use in clocks in the early 1700’s.

With the goal in mind to optimize the capture of solar energy, Fatio suggested using a tracking mechanism which was capable of pivoting around the Sun. A well-known Swiss mathematician,  Nicolas Fatio de Duillier was the first to discover the ruby’s potential as a jewel bearing. Fatio was previously known for his close friendship and collaborations with Isaac Newton, his extraordinary work on the zodiacal light problem, and for originating the “push” or “shadow” theory of gravitation.

Natural Ruby (naturally occurring ruby crystal)

In collaboration with Pierre and Jacob Debaufre, Fatio de Duillier patented the use of  jewels as wheel bearings in mechanical clocks in 1702. This would mark the beginning of many advancements in the development of timepiece precision that would utilize the knowledge of planetary alignment and universal positioning as a guide to advanced timepiece engineering.

In 1902, Parisian Professor Auguste Victor Louis Verneuil created the first synthetic gemstone. A synthetic ruby. Verneuil perfected a flame-fusion method of producing crystals of ruby and other corundums within a short time period. This method became more industrialized over time; the basic components of rubies, alumina, undergoes purification, heating, fusion and crystallization, which results in a pear-shaped piece of artificial ruby.

This pear-shaped ruby is then sliced into small pieces and these pieces are shipped off to watchmakers. The watchmakers then destroy 90% of the synthetic ruby to turn into a usable part for a watch.  The high cost of certain modern-day mechanical watches are not due to the high price of natural rubies, as the wristwatches of the 18th and 19th Century. However, the labor intensive process of putting the synthetic rubies into the watch bearings is costly due to the time and labor invested to their proper placement in the jewel bearing.

The use of jewels in timepieces remains strong and steadfast in the world of watches, as they serve two valuable purposes. The first is the reduced friction within the bearings. This directly increases the accuracy and precision of the timepiece. Jewel surfaces within watch bearings reduces variations in movement, increasing the life and maintained integrity of the bearings.

Chopard Your Hour H Watch 13/6965 with Rubies

Authentic Chopard Your Hour 13/6965 18K White Gold and Ruby Watch

Brand New with Papers

18K White Gold Case

Pave Set with 100 Rubies=1.00ct

So,today let’s give a silent thanks in recognition of the Ruby and Sapphire Gemstones… The intelligent natural gemstones you never knew were in your watch!

Jaeger-LeCoultre: Taken with Triple Tourbillon Titanium of Reverso à Triptyque Timepiece

A Very Happy Friday to Our Readers, Friends and Visitors!

The Feature Friday item is of particular significance today, as it may be one of the most exquisitely designed and brilliantly constructed timepieces I may ever be granted the opportunity to highlight.  A vortex of research was sparked by my absolute enchantment with the Feature Friday visual preview, which was provided by the great Richard Resnik (our Professional Custom Jewelry Designer, here at Raymond Lee Jewelers) yesterday.

I can say with absolute certainty that this is the first time I’ve experienced an unyielding fervency for researching timepiece mechanics, design and history. I drove home magnetically drawn to the virtual library of information that patiently waited for me, silently sitting inside my laptops’ wireless connection.

Jaeger-LeCoultre Triptyque


After brushing up on over a century of timepiece history, I believe it to be a fair and just proclamation that Jaeger-LeCoultre is among the most exceptional, clever and creative fine-watchmaking manufacturers.

A description of the immaculate creation of the Reverso à triptyque timpepiece, manufactured by Jaeger-LeCoultre is worded beautifully by an unlisted author here on  thewatchquote.com. This detailed overview  just so happens to describe this particular timepiece by Jaeger-LeCoultre with a level of precision and perfection comparable to the luxury watch itself.

Respect for watchmaking tradition is no empty phrase for Jaeger-LeCoultre. Rather, it’s an integral part of the Manufacture’s philosophy, which pays equal respect to avant-garde creativity and innovativeness.

Continue on to The Complete Review…

Jaeger-LeCoultre Reverso Triptyque

Thank You,

Alex at Raymond Lee Jewelers  

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Five Fake Rolex Red Flags: Don’t be Fooled by a Faux

Rolex Datejust II 116334

Image by hypo.physe via Flickr

Don’t be Fooled by a Faux: A Genuine Rolex Watch Reference

With the value of Rolex watches holding strong in the financial field, we have seen a corresponding spiked increase in the manufacturing of Rolex replica watches. Not only has the genuine Rolex timepiece held its financial integrity, the Rolex name itself has become synonymous with style, precision and status. Over a century’s worth of extraordinary efforts and successes in award-winning engineering, technical breakthroughs and research implementation have made the Rolex wristwatch one of the most desired timepieces world-wide.

There are no shortage of reasons as to why the production of Rolex replicas, knock-offs and fakes continue. Many of us have fawned over the incredible creations of genuine Rolex watches, admiring the exquisite design and unique attributes. The impressive nature of a genuine Rolex watch is undeniable. Even now, twenty years later, I can remember studying the Rolex Presidential Watch that my Grandfather was given when he retired from Grumman. As an Engineer, he cherished every groove and mechanism that composed the 18k gold gift.

There was a level of integrity in every aspect of that genuine Rolex watch he wore. Not only was it a symbol of a man who had been a dedicated and honorable engineer for over twenty years, but also representative in its exquisite precision and crafted glory of the high regard that Grumman had for his work. In retrospect, that watch was the embodiment that everything genuine Rolex watches represent. Quality. Integrity. Style.

With a plethora of fake Rolex watches being sold every day, it’s difficult to deny the extreme level of irony. With a genuine Rolex being known for its intelligent design and craftsmanship, what would a Rolex knock-off be representative of? Just a thought…

Now, About Those Five Red Flags…

The best armor we can offer you to ensure a victory, should you find yourself in a battle with these productions of timepiece trickery, are the following 5 signs. Guarded with this knowledge, hopefully we can help our visitors avoid being fooled by a faux Rolex watch. Keep in mind that every model Rolex has varying distinctions of design, and therefore each replica will have separate elements that will mark it’s lack of authenticity.

For example, the Rolex DateJust replica models often have a distinctively low-quality clasp of the bracelet. Many DateJust replica’s are also manufactured with a clear back casing, exposing the mechanical components of the watch. This is the marking of a fake.

1. Genuine Rolex Watches will not have clear case backings, or skeleton casing, on any production model watch.

*(There are only 2 “known” examples of Rolex watches with glass “exhibition backs”, and they are both vintage manual wind models from the 1930s, and they were not “production” models.)*

2. Genuine Rolex Watches will have a serial and case reference number that can be found between the lugs, engraved on the side of the case.

The thin, fine lines are almost diamond-cut in appearance with these engraved numbers on a Genuine Rolex Watch. A replica will appear sand-blasted and have much less space between the etched numbers.

*(Many replica’s will be sporting the same fake serial number: “R863698”)*

3. Genuine Rolex Watches second hands will have a smooth and continuous movement. This element cannot be mimicked, though fake’s definitely try. If there are any jerking movements of the second hand, you are probably holding a replica.

4. Genuine Rolex Watches (since 2002) do not leave the factory without a 3-dimensional hologram encoded sticker on the caseback. Some replica models have tried to re-create the hologram, but the display remains the same when viewed from various angles (a tell-tale sign of a fake).

5. Genuine Rolex Watches ( Submariner, Sea-Dweller and Daytona Models) feature a ‘Triplock crown.” This authentic mark is identified by 3 tiny dots located underneath the engraved trademark “crown” logo at the winding crown end, viewable only when the winding crown is fully unscrewed.

These 5 red flags should definitely help you out when faced with the possible presence of a phony Rolex watch. Keep in mind that most things seemingly too good to be true usually are. Additionally, if there is a specific Rolex model that you are interested in, do a bit of research on the known signs of replica attributes that have been associated with that model Rolex. Purchase your Genuine Rolex Watch from a trusted, reputable dealer (i.e. Raymond Lee Jewelers).

BONUS:

-Visit Bob, who takes it five flags further,  offering The Top Ten Ways to Spot a Fake Rolex-

Corum: A History- Watch Repair

Watch Repair

Corum Coin Watch

Like many of the luxury watch brands, Corum traces its roots to La Chaux-de-Fonds, Switzerland. It is no wonder Corum chose this small city to open their first store in 1955, as it has one of the richest history in regards to watch making. The two original founders, Simone Ries and Rene Bannwart decided to join with established watchmaker, Gaston Ries. These three great minds combined to create a company that relied on traditional craftsmanship but did not adhere to traditional watch design, which led to amazingly creative collections.

One example of Corums wonderfully refreshing innovation is its unique Liberty Eagle Watch. This watch featured a real $20 United States gold coin that was cut in half, a luxury movement was inserted and all three were inserted into a watch case. These watches tended to have an open case back so one could see and feel the gold coin in the back. This watch became an international best seller and established Corum as a true contender in the luxury watch market. Watch Repair.

As the decades wore on, Corum did not sit idly by they instead started to create a legacy of great watches. The Golden Bridge, Limelight, Romulus and the very popular Admiral’s Cup collections were all released and afforded Curom the ability to grow. Corums owed much of its success to its open minded attitude which is rarely seen in the luxury watch making industry; many established brands would baulk at trying something drastically different. Corum also has the unique ability to be flexible, which allows it to better respond to market trends.

In 1998 a majority interest in the company was acquired by successful businessman Severin Wunderman. Mr. Wunderman has personally taken part in the business aspects of the company but has worked hard on continuing Corum’s progressive attitude. In the meantime, the master watchmakers at La-Chaux-de-Fonds continue to produce the magnificent timepieces – including such masterpieces as the Minute Repeater and Minute Repeater/Tourbillon – which has garnered world wide recognition. Some of their most sought after pieces are the Admiral’s Cup, Golden Bridge, Ti-Bridge Titanium and the Padlock watch.

-Carlos at Raymond Lee Jewelers

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Boca Raton, Home to Ulysse Nardin’s first US Store!- Florida Gold Store

Florida Gold Store

Astrolabium Galileo Galilei

Ulysse Nardin is a Swiss watch manufacture that has been producing high-end watches since the mid 1800s and is historically known for creating some of the highest quality marine chronometers (a device that allowed ships in the 1800s to determine longitude by means of celestial navigation). Ulysse Nardin did not truly enter the watch industry until 1983 when it was bought out by businessman Rolf Schnyder who reshaped the entire company’s structure and focus. The new owners decided that Ulysse Nardin would start to create complicated timepieces using modern materials and manufacturing techniques.

Some of their top watches have been the Astrolabium Galileo Galilei released in 1985. This watch had a great sophisticated style and displayed local and solar time, the orbits and eclipses of the sun and the moon and the positions of several major stars. Another amazing watch was released in 1992, the Tellurium Johannes Kepler, which enjoyed a significant amount of sales. Florida Gold Store.

Ulysse Nardin has enjoyed a high volume of sales in Europe and abroad. They have many stores in the old world but none in the new, that is until December of last year when Ulysse Nardin opened its first store in Boca Raton, Florida! This is the same city where you will find the equally impressive Raymond Lee Jewelers; Boca is known for its prosperous community and is a great fit for this luxury watch maker. Ulysse Nardin also opened their head office in Boca Raton as well which allows them to better meet the needs of their clients. This office will house ten Swiss trained watchmakers who can repair all watches in a timely manner.

-Carlos at Raymond Lee Jewelers

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Our CW21 Watchmaker in the News!- Watch Repair

Watch Repair

Watch Repair

I have written blogs in the past extolling the virtues of our amazing watchmaker, Igor Polotsky. A man who through his extraordinary skills and quality of work has greatly expanded Raymond Lee Jewelers’ reputation as one of the best watch repair sites in Florida. His skills as a fully certified CW21 watchmaker have become so well known that one of Florida’s largest newspaper has written an article detailing the career of our watchmaker, Igor Polotsky.

On Friday the 4th of February, The Orlando Sentinel wrote a terrific piece on Raymond Lee Jewelers’ own watchmaker entitled, Watchmaker Builds on Time-Honored Craft. The article tells of his rise from a 17 year old watch apprentice in Russia to the one of the most skilled and heavily certified watchmakers in the United States. Mr. Polotsky honed his skills in Moscow’s first watch factory and then in the late 80’s started to work for Tiffany & Co. Watch Repair.

Raymond Lee Jewelers’ was lucky enough to have Mr. Polotsky join our team in 2009. Since his arrival at our store he has amassed a dedicated following of customers who only choose him for their watch repairs. Raymond Lee Jewelers is proud to have a staff that is truly the best of the best; we have two exceptional full time jewelers, a very experienced gemologist, a sales staff with decades of combined experience, highly trusted jewelry buyers and even one of the top buyers of luxury hand bags. Come into Raymond Lee Jewelers to see what all of South Florida AND Orlando has been raving about!

-Carlos at Raymond Lee Jewelers

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