Thursday, November 14, 2013

Diamond Watch Bezels at Avianne & Co.

Did you ever have a watch you wished you could bedazzle a bit? The perfect watch, but mayhap a tad boring? You love the dial, the hands, the fact that your trusty watch never misses a beat - always on time, always reliable.  You could purchase a new watch, but your watch has become part of you, part of your success, part of your image.  Placing you watch in your dresser drawer like some article of clothing just won't do.  You reach for your watch as soon as you wake up - checking the time to make sure you have not overslept.  No you and your watch cannot be separated.  However, you are in need of some change.  Times are good.  Why not a bit of brilliance to show for it.
Avianne & CO has solved your dilemma.  You and your trusty timepiece need not part ways.  You can add sparkle to your watch with a brilliant diamond bezel.

Depicted above is an exquisite Men's Breitling Diamond Bezel  amounting to 9.50 Ctw.  Brilliant white round cut diamonds are channel set to create an image of absolute elegance. The bezel is currently on special reduced from its retail price of $33,500 to $11,737.00.

An intriguing bezel, which is actually one of my favorites, is punctuated with black diamonds amid brilliant white ones.  The sparkling contrast accentuates the clarity of the brilliant princess and trilliant cut black diamonds and spectacular emerald cut diamonds channel set  in 18k white gold. The white diamonds are at the very top of the near colorless range baring the symbol G. The bezel holds 5.50 Ctw or Diamond Carat Weight. Of course this selection is also available in yellow gold, rose gold, and rhodium plated to best suit your watch hands, case and buckle material.  
Rolex Daytona 18k Mens Custom Diamond Watch with Rubies.

Of course if you would like to do away with your old watch entirely, or let it retire in your bureau drawer, Avianne & Co. sells watches too. Excellent watches in fact.  Available in a large selection of styles for both men and women and name brands like Rolex, Breitling Omega, Hublot, Chopard and of course Avianne & Co.  If you wish a watch simply smothered in diamonds, look no further than Avianne & CO. 

Why Did This Watch Fetch Almost $4 Million Dollars in an Auction?

Although the total monies collected for the 5th  Only Watch Auction 2013, held by Antiquorim Auctioneers in Monaco to raise funds for medical research into Duchenne Muscular Dystrophy, was lower than expected, it did break quite an astounding record.  A single watch fetched  €2,950,000,  more than half the total  €5,066,000 collected for all 33 watches at the auction.  This one watch saved the day.

What watch? Why is it worth so much?

The Watch in question is the  Patek Philippe Ref. 5004T from the Grand Complications collection. The only timepiece Patek Philippe has ever made in titanium.  The watch was estimated at a mere €400,000 to €600,000 and sold for 5 times that amount.

Aside from the Patek Philippe Ref. 5004T's  impeccable perfection, its perfectly precise Caliber CHR 27-70 Q based on a “Nouvelle Lémania” movement crafted exclusively for Patek Phillipe and reworked in the companies workshop and the fact that it has a split second mechanism as well as a perpetual calender (the most intricate and complicated of all complications), this watch brings so much more to the auction block than its physical presence. First and foremost, the watch is manufactured by Patek Phillipe, no doubt one of the highest regarded watch companies in the world.  Patek Phillipe is an old reputable company formed in 1851.  Patek Phillipe has never wavered on quality or commitment to perfection. Thus  no matter the decade, a Patek Phillipe watch fetches exceedingly high prices at auction. 

 For example in 2008, a Patek Philippe Ref. 1526 circa 1949 sold a perpetual calendar stainless steel watch for € 2,598,455 at a Christies Auction.  The highest price received at auction for a stainless steel watch. In 2011 The Sotheby's Geneva Sale of Important Watches  an extremely rare ,circa 1960, Patek Phillipe Chronograph sold for $815,637. At the Only Watch Auction 2011, the highest bid went to the Patek Phillipe Reference 3939A, which sold for 1.4 Million euro.   In 2004, a Patek Phillipe Calibre 89 sold at a Sotheby's Geneva Auction for over 6.6 million Swiss francs. A 1957  pink-gold Patek Philippe with a perpetual calender, only 6 of these known to exist, just sold for $2.2 million at a Christie's International auction in Geneva.(see inset) I could go on and on, but I am sure, dear reader, you get the picture.
There is no doubt that this watch has an unbelievable resale value, and being only one of its kind ,could fetch astounding prices in the years to come.
As I mentioned before, the  Patek Philippe Ref. 5004T has a highly unique split second mechanism as well as a perpetual calender.  Now the more complications incorporated in a single timepiece will have exponential effects on the resale value of the timepiece.  Read my blog on The rarest complications integrated in a single timepiece.

A Perpetual Calander is one of the most difficult complications to master; requires the most components and is the most time consuming to craft. This complication is not as eye catching as a tourbillon or as playful as a sonnerie or as insistent as a minute repeater, but it is a master of mechanical manipulation. And the master of mechanical manipulation is undoubtedly Patek Phillipe.
The  Patek Philippe Ref. 5004T has a subtle sense of relaxed playfulness underscored by a core of undisputed power of perfection.
The astronomical price of the watch, of course, was aided  by a furious bidding war between collectors. After all this is a unique Patek Phillipe timepiece available for  public auction.   Like the watch, the opportunity is quite rare indeed.

Tuesday, November 5, 2013

10 Outrageously Original Diamond Pendants by Avianne & Co.

I bet your favorite Hip Hop artist is sporting a mighty fine diamond pendant - the likes of which you have never seen before. Chances are the bling bling glinting in the spotlights and camera flashes are the work of custom jeweler to the stars - Avianne & Co, but I'm not just going to write about it - I'm going to let you see for yourself.  You can do it to - Click this link to start the process of your own iced out original.
There is no limit to what Avianne & Co. can do for you.  See for yourself.  Check out 10 of the most Outrageously Original Diamond Pendants by Avianne & Co.(My personal favorite is No. 10)

1. Whose hungry?  Imagine wearing your favorite din din around your neck,  but you won't find this box of Mac n' Cheese at your local supermarket.  Crafted for French Montana, American rapper and singer, this box of Mac and Cheese will buy you more than a quick supper.  Painstakingly handcrafted in 18k white gold and decorated in perfectly placed blue, white, red and yellow brilliant cut diamonds and weighing 180 carats, this item rings in at $34,200.

2. Avianne & Co. unleashes a powerful monster crafted and expertly set with hundreds of gems.  Wear this baby around your neck and may the force be with you!
3. The Hip Hop Artist Lil Wayne's Skateboard Pendant is a testament to his skateboarding passion and an excellent symbol of his new skateboard Clothing line "Trukfit" which debuted in 2012. The Lil Wayne Skateboard was the brainchild of Young Money Camp in collaboration with Avianne & Co.  The skateboard pendant
proved  quite a challenge in creation which Avianne & Co. beat with flying colors.

4. The skateboard is not the only diamond encrusted pendant which represents a skateboard clothing line, this royal looking chick is the signature of 5Boro skateboard clothing line and accessories - the result of a successful 2012 collaboration between Avianne & Co. and 5Boro.
5. This has go to be my favorite.  Whoever thought of a diamond encrusted Sponge Bob... and if you have a soft spot for the best crabby patty flipping sponge in the entire city of Bikini Bottom - then he can be yours for a seriously special price of $3,300. 

6. Pinky: "Gee, Brain, what do you want to do tonight?"
The Brain: "The same thing we do every night, Pinky—try to take over the world!"
Avianne & Co. has turned this lab mouse with serious delusions of grandeur into something quite grand.  The brain is crafted from 14k white gold smothered in brilliant round cut diamonds (G in color and VS in clarity).  Sapphires add a hint of pink to his ears, cheeks and feet.  At 3 and a half inches long and 2 and a half inches wide, the Brain weighing in at appx 125 grams is dressed to take over the world. The Brain can be yours for a much reduced price of $13,400.  

7. Avianne & CO. has surely outdone itself on this one.  This 14k Solid Rose Gold pendant set with 17.50 carats worth of brilliant blue, yellow, black and white brilliant diamonds features breathtaking high rise buildings just waiting for the "Key to the City".  Beneath the lock is a blank name plate ready the one who holds the key.   Avianne & Co's signature is engraved at the back of the pendant. Price reduced to: $22,762.00

8. These boxing gloves are something of incredible beauty.  Brilliant round cut diamonds are micro set to enhance the brilliance. Micro set requires highly skilled gem setters.  With this technique, extremely tiny diamonds are precisely set into tiny prongs.  A microscope is used to ensure maximum precision and perfect placement.  Using this technique the diamonds are perceived as being in an invisible setting. Micro pave setting is an intense process requiring superior hand eye coordination and optimal skill.

9. Want to show appreciation to you favorite DJ - give him these babies crafted in 18k white gold and adorned with black and white diamonds
10. And for the most outrageously original diamond pendant this has got to be it!! After all the commuting I do, I can really appreciate a diamond encrusted traffic light. So lifelike in its appearance, I would have no difficulty envisioning this 18k white gold black and white diamond encrusted pendant hanging above streets paved in gold. The lights are red, orange and green large round cut gemstones bezel set to enhance a realistic appearance. 

Monday, October 28, 2013

The Best Halloween Watch of All Time by Artya (of course)

Son of A Gun Collection (circa 2012)

Somethings amiss across the abyss within a castles turret. Strange grunting and mewling coldly caress the night as a chasm widens to a dreadful depth. Feathery figures float ,unhindered by earths force, across the only object set upon a charred desk within the room - a time teller of immeasurable precision. Beneath a brilliant moon and beyond a violet field of blooming wolfsbane, a rifle shot splinters the night. Rising in terrible crescendo, an unearthly howl fills hearts and minds of poor valley dwellers with frozen dread.  It is the teller of time that tells of  inconceivable atrocity as pools of blood coagulate beneath a sapphire crystal. 

The blood is Werewolf blood for:  

Even a man who is pure in heart
and says his prayers by night,
may become a wolf when the wolfbane blooms
and the autumn moon is bright.
(The Wolf Man 1941)

Upon the dial are two handmade sterling silver bullets required to kill the creature once it turned.  Kill it before it kills.   Forged and engraved beneath a full moon ,one night in Geneva, and rubbed in garlic for enhanced potency, the silver bullets still bare traces of werewolf blood smitten by Arta himself and encapsulated for eternity beneath the hands of time.   The unique piece is part of Artya's Son of a Gun Collection.  This Collection features timepieces baring bullets upon dial.

The Blood and Bullet Watch sends shivers down ones spine and an icy grip around ones heart. 

If one wonders how a watch could evoke such an emotional reaction , one must remember Artya watches are sculptures - works of art, and art is meant to create heightened emotional reactions.  However Artya watches are not only art, but highly competent timekeepers fueled by automatic mechanical movements.

It takes an enormous amount of creativity and confidence to create edgy watches with slashed bezels and toad skin bands; dials sporting the wings of dragonflies or the casings of bullets. Although  Artya watches display frightful and horrifying depictions, they exude an overriding sense of good taste.  The good taste stems from the obvious exceptional craftsmanship, confidence, creativity and experience. Yvan Arpa, the founder of Artya, gleaned his watchmaking knowledge and experience  from Sector No Limit, Hublot and Romaine Jerome.  However, experience is just time on the job. What Yvan Arpa is presenting to the watch world is so much more than mere experience, it is the sense of creative freedom, untethered from the bonds of convention.

Tuesday, October 22, 2013

Avianne & Co. Draws Celebrities to Its Doors

How does a company attract a vast amount of celebrities?  By offering products of unparallelled uniqueness to those that have everything. Avianne & Co. creates one of a kind iced out jewelry and watches for high end clients.  Avianne & Co. creates pieces limited to but ONE.  While most jewerly companies deliver dazzle by the dozen, Avianne & Co. distinguishes itself by creating unique  pieces of diamond jewelry and watches specifically catering to the recommendations and requirements of the client. The service Avianne & Co. provides is quite rare in this day and age where quantity undermines quality.
Avianne & Co. Lil Wayne Diamond Encrusted Skateboard
 Of course this is by far not a new concept. In 1910 Cartier fashioned the Hope Diamond into a new setting  for its prosperous client, Evalyn Walsh McLean.  In the 1940's famous Mexican actress, Maria Felix strode into a Cartiers Boutique and ordered a necklace in the likeness of a crocodile (she loved crocodiles).  She ensured a realistic portrayal of her desire by withdrawing a genuine baby croc from her bag -  much to every ones utmost amazement. Companies also produce unique pieces for events such as the  "Only Watch Auction"  by Antiquorum Auctioneers held every year in Monaco to raise funds for  Duchenne muscular dystrophy.

On the other hand Avianne & Co. is ALWAYS committed to creating unique pieces for unique clients.  

Avianne & Co. is a relatively young jewelry company in the grand scheme of things.  The company originated in Brooklyn, NY in 2000 where the company's founders, Izzy Aranbaev , Joseph Aranbaev and Gabriel Jacobs grew up.  Starting out as a jewelry wholesale business, the young founders committed themselves to hard work and extreme focus in the business. No corners were cut when it came to precision, quality and individual customer care.  Very soon the team was recognized in celeb circles as the jewelry experts to consult when uniqueness must be met.  In just over a decade Avianne & Co. has become the most highly recognized source of singular high-end  diamond encrusted jewelry including playful pendants like Lil Wayne's $17,500 Custom Diamond Skateboard Pendant crafted in 18k white gold and micro-set with round cut diamonds.

Celebrities wanting to own a remarkable piece of Avianne & Co.  diamond encrusted jewelry include: Tom Cruise, Oprah Winfrey, Scarlett Johanson, Lindsay Lohan.  

Of course, Avianne & Co. does not limit its expertise to celebrities.  Avianne & Co. creates spectacular womans and mens diamond jewelry including diamond encrusted watches, diamond rings, diamond bracelets, diamond  necklaces, diamond pendants, bridal jewelry  and more.

CEO Boris Aranbaev ensures the vision of  Avianne & Co. does not waver, but exceeds expectation one individual masterpiece at a time.  

Thursday, October 17, 2013

Luxury Watch Companies That Scored Big with Winning Ambassadors

Companies score when chosen ambassadors rise victorious over competitors.  In the world of sports the champion is glorified by millions of fans in a spotlight of concentrated media attention and plunged into that spotlight is the champions clothing, accessories, toiletries, food and WATCHES.  

The first company to utilize this publicity was Rolex back in 1926 - when the first "waterproof" wristwatch  ,Rolex Oyster, was placed around the neck of Mercedes Gleitze as she attempted to swim, for the second time, across the English Channel. The fanfare and publicity surrounding this swim hurled Mercedes Gleitze  into the limelight with the "first Waterproof Rolex Watch" around her neck.  

 The choice of sports ambassadors have become common practice.  Listed are some of the most decorated sports ambassadors and the luxury watch companies who chose them.

1.  LeBron James - Audemars Piguet

 LeBron James nicknamed "King James", undoubtedly the best American pro basketball player, is an ambassador for Audemars Piguet since 2011.  Latest achievement -  LeBron James brought his team, Miami Heat, to victory in the 2013 NBA Playoff for the second year in a row earning the Bill Russell NBA Finals Most Valuable Player Award for 2012 and 2013.  

 On September 27th, 2013 Audemars Piguet celebrated the outstanding achievements of LeBron James with a  Limited Edition LeBron James Royal Oak Offshore Chronograph.  LeBron James actually helped design the $51,500 timepiece.
The automatic watch caters to LeBron James more formal attire rather than strapped around his arm during a basketball match.  A titanium bezel adds a sense of rugged strength against a backdrop of an 18k rose gold case and  18k gold numerals and indices soften the look of a gray “Méga Tapisserie”dial. A gray crocodile strap definitely adds a unique touch to watch.  Limited to 600 timepieces, this watch is a collectors or basketball fans dream.

RM 027-01
2.Rafael Nadel - Richard Mille

 Rafael Nadel , considered one of the greatest tennis players of all times is an ambassador for Richard Mille since 2010.  His greatest achievements include winning an Olympic gold in the Beijing Olympics; Most consecutive titles at a particular tournament inclusive of smashing 5 tennis world records - Grand Slam, Monte Carlo Masters, French Open, Barcelona Open with 8 men's singles titles and the Rome Masters with 7 men's single.  He has risen to World No. 1 in the latest ATP tennis ratings winning ten titles including two majors.

The highlight of the union between Richard Mille and Rafael Nadel occurred at Wimbledon 2010, when Richard Milles ultra light 20g RM 027 Tourbillon accompanied Rafael Nadel on court.  The shock absorbency of the $525,000 watch was put to the test in a high impact environment and past with flying colors. This year Rafael Nadel has sported a Richard Mille watch at every tournament including a new an improved model to the RM027 -  the even lighter  19g $690,000 Richard Mille RM027-01 tourbillon comprised of complex carbon composites and titanium, which he wore at the US OPEN.

Michael Phelps wearing an Omega Seamaster Planet Ocean
3.Michael Phelps-Omega

The swimmer Michael Phelps  is the most decorated Olympian of all time, winning a total of 22 medals, of which 18 are gold.  Michael Phelps is an Olympic icon and he is on Omega's team.  Omega and Micheal Phelps are intrinsically intertwined in the Olympics breaking barriers and creating legends. Both display Olympic Triumphs - Michael Phelps in competing and Omega in Timing. Omega entered the Olympic games in Los Angeles 1932 assigned to the entire task of timing the games.  Michael Phelps joined Omega in 2004, the  year he won 8 medals at the  Athens 2004 Olympics.

Tiger Woods & Lindsey Vonn
4. Tiger Woods - Rolex (Not Tag Heuer)

Tiger Woods is the No. 1 Golf Player in the world.  His latest victory is winning the Presidents Cup this past Sunday in Dublin Ohio.  Strapped to his wrist was a Rolex Deepsea.  Rolex commissioned Tiger Woods as an ambassador  in 2011 -   Not long after Tag Heuer dropped Tiger Woods from its watch endorsement. Tag Heuer was still quite mortified by a certain Tiger Woods incident that occurred in 2009, and felt the golfer could not shake his less than perfect image.  Rolex felt otherwise, and today Rolex proves the wiser with a Top Golfer and plenty of winning Rolex imagery. The Rolex Deepsea, unveiled in 2008, is an extraordinary timepiece with a water resistancy of up to 12,800 feet.  Tested in a stainless steel hyperbaric chamber, the Rolex Deepsea is the same watch that accompanied James Cameron 6.9 miles on the 2012 deepest record-breaking Mariana Trench Solo Sub Dive.

5. Lionel Messi - Audemars Piguet 

Lionel Messi and AP Royal Oak Chronograph Lionel Messi Limited Editiom
Lionel Messi holds the title in soccer of "World Player of the Year " four years in a row.  Lionel Messi is  a soccer legend with all eyes riveted on an Argentian Victory at the World Cup 2014. Lionel Messi joined Audemars Piguet back in 2010.
As Phillipe Merk, CEO of Audemars Piguet said, “ Lionel Messi is an exceptional man, the greatest player of his generation. This young and talented athlete not only embodies pure sporting genius, but also the courage and determination of a man who fights against all odds to pursue his dreams. Above and beyond his intrinsic value, we are welcoming a big-hearted man with valuable human qualities into the Audemars Piguet family.”
In 2012, Audemars Piguet  unveiled the Audemars Piguet Royal Oak Chronograph Lionel Messi Limited Edition to 1000 pieces. (500 in steel, 400 in gold and 100 in platinum).

6. Usain Bolt - Hublot

Jamaican sprinter, Usain Bolt, is the undisputed fastest runner in the world. His nickname "Lightning Bolt" is almost a given as he runs past the naked eye in a frenzied blur. He broke his own 2008 world record at the 2012 summer Olympics winning the 100m dash in a mere 9.63 seconds. He joined Hublot in 2010.

 Chairman of Hublot - Jean Claude Biver - could not have said it any better "For a watchmaker it is a fantastic symbol to see his watch worn by the fastest man in the world. The concept of time is as sacred for him as it is for us. We measure it; Usain always manages to win it!”

For Usain Bolt, Hublot created a Hublot King Power Bolt Watch Limited Edition.  A striking feature of the watch is its unique strap.  The strap is actually crafted from identical gold colored synthetic leather as the shoes Usain Bolt wore when he sprinted to victory in Beijing 2008 and broke the world record.

7. Lewis Hamilton and Nico Rosberg- IWC 

The MERCEDES AMG PETRONAS Formula One™ Team, Lewis Hamilton and Nico Rosberg teamed up with IWC in May of 2013.  This partnership ,or should I say foursome, (Lewis Hamilton, Nico Rosberg, IWC and Mercedes AMG) is a testament to precision in performance.  Lewis Hamilton (former  Tag Heuer ambassador) won the 2008 Formula One World Championship becoming the youngest winner ever to achieve this victory.   In 2013, Lewis Hamilton left McLaren and joined the Mercedes-Benz work team.  German Racing Driver Nico Rosberg joined Mercedes in 2010 and is currently holding at 6th in Formula One World Championships.  Nico Rosberg holds the title for youngest driver to set the fastest lap in the 2006 Bahrain Grand Prix at the age of 20 and 258 days.  Both drivers are 28 years old and although they have accrued an outstanding record, they still have record-setting years ahead of them.  Question is will Michal Schumacher - the greatest F1 driver of all times winning  Formula One 7 times and recently appointed Mercedes Ambassador - join the IWC team as well. 

8. Steven Stamkos - Tissot

Canadian, 23 year old Steven Stamkos is a professional ice hockey center and alternate captain for the Tampa Bay Lightning of the NHL.  His speed and wit on the ice ensures a tough job for an opposing goalie. In 2008, after 2 highly successful season in Canada , Tissot commissioned Steven Stamkos.  It was early in his career and full of promise.  That same year he was selected in the draft for the NHL; playing for the Tampa bay Lightning.  In 2010 he was the winner of the Rocket Richard Trophy - for the most goals scored in an NHL season. On March 13th, 2012, he broke a record by becoming the 6th player to score his 50th goal before his 23rd birthday. In March 2013, he scored his 200th goal.  His latest win was on October 10th, 2013 when the Tampa Bay Lightning beat the Florida Panthers 7-2.  

Tissot honors Steven Stamkos outstanding career with the Tissot PRS 200 Steven Stamkos 2013. 

 The white watch face etched with gray lines resembles skate marks on an ice rink. A 0-20 gradient on the bezel is another ice hockey touch and indicates the momentum build-up for every period in a hockey game. The decisive goal is indicated on the bezel atop the 12 'o'clock with an image of a puck. The watch is limited to 1091 pieces - "91" being his team number.  Steven Stamkos is young and a forging ahead at lightning speeds, no doubt his future victories will be plentiful.  

Footnote: Tom Brady - Movado (Former Ambassador) Movado no longer lists Tom Brady as an ambassador, but as Tom Brady with the New England Patriots name is echoed across football fields this NFL season, anything with Tom Brady's name is a highly coveted possession like the Tom Brady Limited Edition 800 Series Chronograph Collection (crica 2008). No longer a Movado ambassador, but victories still effect sales. 

Friday, May 17, 2013

The Watch Everyone is Talking About. The Opus XIII. A Harry Winston with Ludovic Ballouard

Peering at the Harry Winston Opus XIII, I feel as if I am being drawn into an horological vortex.  Staring into the depths of its geometric design, I feel a sense of hypnotic unreality washing over me.
"Wow!", I exude with an exhilaration in the face of excellence.  "Wow!" Emotions give way to a curiosity of mechanical function.  "How does this timepiece work?  In what way is time displayed? What is the manner of the movement? With what materials is this masterpiece made?  The questions whirl in my head like tumbleweed in a Texan dust storm. 

Of the maker of this timepiece, Harry Winston commissioned a master: Ludovic Ballouard.  You may be familiar with his brilliant "Upside Down' Complication - whereby all hours are upside down except for the current hour - read more about it here

Time display does seem a tad complicated, as hands and indices look like the makings of a complicated psychological test.  However time display as complicated as it may seem, is powered by a movement of extreme complication and  complexity. The time display utilizes 59 pivoting minute hands and 11 rotating  triangular  hour indices. A trapdoor where hours and minutes are as fleeting as time itself add to the hypnotic dimension of the Opus XIII.

An 18k white gold case of 44.25mm in diameter and 13.6 mm in diameter house the manual winding mechanical movement of 364 parts. 242 jewels ensure smooth transitions of motion.  Each pivoting minute hand is secured by a steel shaft and two ruby bearings. The balance wheel swings at 21,600 vph - an excellent frequency for a mechanical movement.  35 hours of power reserve enables one to forgo a day of winding.  As this watch is not an automatic, winding is required manually at the crown and their is no rotor inhibiting the view of the complex mechanics revealed by a sapphire crystal case back.

The dial is displayed beneath a faceted sapphire crystal dome creating a magical effect.  Polished, rhodium plated minute and five-minute hands are differentiated by black and white transfer for the minutes and black and red for the five minutes. The 59 pivoting minute hands rotate at 40-degrees. Hours are represented by 11 polished, rhodium plated triangular shapes which rotate at 180-degrees to point to the correct hour.  At the end of every hour, an outer hour ring moves forward simultaneously drawing in the "old" hour beneath the faceted dome at the dial center.    Only 11 hour hands and 59 minute hands are required , as at noon and midnight the time display is only represented by  an“HW” logo revealed at the center of the watch.

The 18k white gold bezel is emblazoned with Harry Winston at the 12 'o'clock and Opus XIII at the 6 'o'clock.

Fastened securely between 18k white gold lugs, a supple hand sown black alligator strap is secured by an 18k white gold folding buckle.  The Opus XIII is water resistant to 30 meters. 

If your heart desires an attractive and magically charming display of time, take heed, the Opus XIII is limited to 130 pieces world wide. The price remains under wraps, but I have a hunch it will be well into the five figure range.


Thursday, May 9, 2013

Checkout Jacob & Co's Grand Baguette Simply Smothered in Diamonds

Jacob the Jeweler smothers his G5 design in a myriad of  baguette diamonds aptly named the "Grand Baguette" .  The effect is dazzling display of overall perfection achieved by precisely matched stones for clarity, color and carat. The gem setting is practically invisible accentuating the intriguing shape of the case rather than smothering it. 

The original design of five sided case signature of the G5 Collection is the brain child of Jacques Fournier CEO of Horology Design Limited.  Jacques Fournier worked closely with the brand owner collaborating on every aspect of the design process. Jacques Fournier brings vague ideas to solid realization of form. With the aid of 3D visuals and animation; precise technical drawings, Jacques Fournier turns the guess work of new designs into educated calculations.  The five sided case was also incorporated in Jacob & Co. "The Ghost" - a multi-timezone GPS digital timepiece, which made its debut back in 2012.

As to how many diamonds make up the "Grand Baguette?  360 baguette diamonds on the case, 120 on the dial and a brilliant cut diamond at its center.  The five crowns are non forgotten and glitter with 3.5 baguette carat diamonds. All in all ,except for the crowns, one can count 761 diamonds. 

As to the price - well its up there no doubt and only revealed to the earnest of buyers.  A mere 6 pieces will be available throughout the globe and no doubt will become a heirloom for generations.

Monday, April 29, 2013

Casio G-Shock Celebrates Turning 30 With a Limited Edition Timepiece

G-Shock, the popular hip hop sensation watch, has turned 30.  To commemorate this event G-shock has unveiled its highly resilient and shock absorbent  DW-6900 model in metallic.
Often Commemorative timepieces celebrating the highly popular collections are unveiled in platinum like Audemars Piguet timepiece celebrating the 40th Anniversary of the Royal Oak Collection.

So I think it is quite relevant for the G-shock, which is not a high end watch, to issue commemorative timepieces in Lustrous Metallic Silver - not platinum in worth, but celebratory non-the-less. The watch will be in limited edition of a mere 5000 pieces.  This may sound like quite a large amount for an anniversary limited edition - but due to Casio G-Shock immense popularity, 5000 pieces is a drop in the ocean.  Of course if you are in attendance at BaselWorld, you will come upon its 23 foot likeness entrenched in the rugged metallic wall of Casio's booth.

The Casio G-Shock has been spotted on quite a few celebs such as Eminem, Chris Martin from Coldplay, Justin Bieber and Lil Wayne.  

Casio G-Shock's are everywhere.  With proven resilience and shock absorbance, Casio G-Shock has provided the look of the modern hip-hop generation. 

This collection has been subjected to all kinds of mutations like this iced out pink thing.  Not my cup of tea - but then again with a certain outfit - it could work.

Let us toast to Casio G-Shock's prolific accomplishments over the past 30 thirty years.

Thursday, April 25, 2013

Squale Professional Diving Watches

Squale 1000m Black - Orange Professional Swiss Automatic Divers Watch

Mark,  CEO of ZULUTIMEZONE - your one stop shop for excellent watches - informed me of a highly popular brand of watches which were selling like hot cakes. So I decided to do a bit of research on my own - trying to determine the mark of popularity.  I discovered Vintage Squale Diving Watches are so coveted, they barely skim the list before being snatched up. "Squale watch forums" boasting newly purchased Squale Watches are spreading around the net like wildfire.

After looking into Squale Watches I could see what all the fuss is about.  Squale are Professional Diving Watches which have proved their reliability, accuracy and resilience beneath the ocean. There heyday began  back in the sixties and seventies when world champion divers and spear fishers donned the watches at the 1967 Cuban Spearfishing Championships using the watches to keep track of time beneath the ocean.
Squales foundation began in the early 1950's.  Charles and Hélène Von Büren established the watchmaking company, von Buren SA in Neuchâtel, Switzerland. Charles Von Bürenhad loves diving and the sea.  He realized there were no watches companies exclusively dedicated to professional diving.  He produced the watches under the Squale Brand - The name means "Shark"  His daughter ,Monique, was one of his most valued watch testers and she became an excellent diver and a marine biologist. Van Buren registers Squale as its company trademark and receives its first patent for the construction of a diving watch case. In the 1960's the Squale logo appeared on more and more of the watches he produced.  In 1967 Squale Watches became synonymous  with Von Buren.  ( The "VON" logo is still emblazoned on the screw down crown of the current models of the Saquale watches).

  Squale and Von Buren sponsored many sporting events.  They were the main sponsoring partner for Maria Giuliana 'Jolly' Treleani (triple record holder and apnea world champion in 1965/1966/1967).

As a further  testament to their reliability in adverse conditions they were  purveyors in the 80s/90s for the paratroopers of the Folgore Italian Sub as well as the Italian Navy.

At the end of the 1960's, Squale introduced the first 1000 meter divers watch which did not require a Helium Valve.  This new innovation was released just a few years after Rolex introduced the Helium Valve to the market.

Squale 1000 M Blue Professional Swiss Automatic Divers Watch
The helium valve enables divers who operate at great depths and spend prolonged hours under extreme pressure breathing a mix like trimix containing gases such as helium (tiny molecules) or hydrogen (smallest molecules found in nature) to release the helium molecules that have worked their way through the o-rings or other seals. The helium and hydrogen molecules cause no damage when the watch is at great depths under pressure but as soon as the diver resurfaces, a pressure difference occurs between the trapped gas(es) inside the watch case and the surrounding air. This can cause the crystal to pop off damaging the watch thus the helium valve is a crucial edition to diving watches enabling the diver to release the gas build up and restore equilibrium. However the Helium valve requires the construction of a extra hole in the case which may, if damaged, can significantly decrease water resistance.

Squale Watches invented a double flexible gasket for the crystal  which eradicated the need for the Heluim Valve as the double flexible gasket evened out the pressure. This system ensured that there were no trapped Helium molecules trapped beneath the crystal and no danger of the glass popping off once the diver resurfaces. In addition the double gasket ensures excellent water resistance.  

One can still purchase a Squale Diving Watch with this technique at ZULUTIMEZONE.COM  in the current 101 Atm (2002 series) models. The incredibly successful double flexible gasket proves to be better than the Helium valve as there is no hole built into the case.
In addition the scratch resistant sapphire crystal at 3.5 mm is extra thick

Squale Professional Divers Watch was used by record setting 100 meter free diver, Jacques Mayol. He set many world records including a 105 meter free dive at 56 years old. He was an intriguing person who pushed the limits of human capabilities with intense physiological and mental training through utter relaxation and yoga. A French national born on April 1st, 1927 Shanghai China,  Jacques Mayol, developed a passion for the ocean and a fascination with dolphins. He became quite attached to Clown, a female dolphin, he met while working as a commercial diver at an aquarium in Miami Florida. He imitated her and learned how best to maneuver beneath the water.  He contributed immeasurably to the free-diving or apnea sport - diving on a single breath without the use of any sort of breathing equipment. His life is documented in a wonderful film, The Big Blue, directed by award winning French film director, writer and producer - Luc Besson. Squale watches are highly featured in this movie as they are known for their superior resilience in adverse environmental conditions.

Since timing is an issue of life and death in apnea sport, a reliable divers watch is a critical necessity.  Squale Diving Watches boast many features specifically designed to stand up to the pressure and adverse conditions of a sub aquatic environment. Most Squale Professional Diving Models sport the features below.  To verify if a particular model suits your needs, visit ZULUTIMEZONE.  ZULUTIMEZONE easy to read interface and exceptional watch feature detail enable you to precisely determine the which watch is for you.

The Squale 1000 M Blue Professional Swiss Automatic Divers Watch exhibits the following features for maximum resilience in  the murky and treacherous underwater environment.
  • Extra thick crystal ensures minimal breakage and enhanced dial protection.
  • Double gasket for increased water resistance and balance of Helium molecules.
  • Screw down crown for maximum water resistance.
  • 316L Steel - which is high grade steel used in medical instruments and  316L steel which has superior corrosion resistance to regular steel.  A necessity when subjected to constant contact with sea water. 
  • The watch is water resistant to 1000 meters, which is quite sufficient seeing that the  the deepest SCUBA dive on record is 330 meters performed by French Scuba Diver Pascal Bernabé, while the deepest dive by a Navy diver in Atmospheric Diving System (ADS) suit is 610 meters. 
  • SuperLuminova on hour markers and on bakelite bezel ensure readability in dim conditions.  (Read What is Lume
  • The bezel is treated and case is treated by a corrosion resistant varnish, which prevents any type of damage due to contact with sea water.
  • Squale Watches are powered by top notch high reliable Swiss ETA 2824-2 Automatic Self Winding movement produced by Swatch Group such as is used in Omega, Breitling, Edox and Rado timepieces. After all  ETA stands for Elegance, Technology and Accuracy.
  • The watch is affixed to the wrist via a rubber strap creating a comfortable, non-slip wear in underwater environments.
  • The Watch is presented with a 2 year Squale International  warranty.
Visit ZULUTIMEZONE for more Squale Models at unbeatable prices. 

Wednesday, April 3, 2013

Baselworld Gearing for 2013

The growth in the watch industry is unprecedented and no where is it as apparent as the largest World Watch and Jewelry Show.  Running from April 25th to May 2nd, 2013 1,800 companies converge on Basel, Switzerland to showcase their wares. In response over 100,000 visitors including buyers and specialists from the retail and wholesale trade, 3,300 journalists and the interested will pour into the halls to  survey the current in  trends, latest in  fashion  and avant-garde creations.
This expansive show covers no less than 106,000 square meters of exhibition. 

Omega Ladymatic Basilworld 2013 Hall 1.00
From well known watch brands like Breguet, Blancpain, Corum, Movado, Rolex, Tag Heuer and Omega showcasing in Hall 1.00 to less known, but nevertheless well regarded brands like Vulcain, Ritmo Mundo, Romain Jerome and Edox in hall 1.1 and more fashion brand oriented watches like Kenneth Cole, Juicy Couture, Guess, Anne Klein and Tommy Hilfiger watches as well as Invicta in Hall 1.2.  Hall 2.0 are predominantly brands I have never heard of or heard of in passing - many of which are located in non-European countries.  Here you will find Itay Noy (Israel); Momodesign (Italy); Obaku Denmark; Quantum (Turkey); Georgi Sabounjian (Lebanon); Longio (China); Danish Design (The Netherlands); ans a sprinkling of relatively unknown Swiss Companies as well as gem, packaging and promotional press stands.  In hall 2.1 houses the jewelry enthusiasts and in Hall 2.2 is a mixture of
everything.  For beautiful gems and antique jewelry  do not miss Hall 3.0 and 3.1. Hall 4.0 is filled to the brim with a variety of jewelry and watch companies.  Hall 4.1 will please you with a delightful collection of children's wristwatches - a growing trend and other delightful trinkets.
Arnold & Son Time Pyramid Baselworld Palace
Hall 4U is a watchmakers must with companies showcasing essential equipment required for watch and jewelry manufacturing. Those showcasing their products in the prior halls must make time to view the latest in testing technologies, production machinery,  computer software  and interesting alloys.
The Palace houses some of  my most favorite brands pushing the envelope of mechanical mastery. 
De Buthene so vibrant in my mind for its iridescent hues of blues; HYT -  the only hydro mechanical horologist I know; Konstantin Chaykin - A Russian watchmaker of incredible skill; MB & F - need I say more; Speake Marin - watches finished with immeasurable grace as well as Urwerk sporting an originality of movement .

Artya - Son of Sound Baselworld 2013 0.F
In Baselworld 2013, musical treasures tracks time while tickling the ear,  Artya in hall 0.F unveils the Son of Sound - its case a guitar head shape,  while Ulysse Nardin in Hall I places a music box upon the wrist.
Of course I have failed to mention enumerable worthy companies in which  treasures will be exposed in  Baselworld. I can say no more about Baselworld in words - one must go and see for yourself. Feast your eyes and open your mind to a world beyond the product, but to the success of dreams, planning and indescribable abilities.

Wednesday, February 20, 2013

deLaCour Genève unveils CITY CADET II "SUN AND LOVE"

deLaCour unveils CITY CADET II "SUN AND LOVE", a vibrant watch fueled by love and sun.  The dial is flamboyant no doubt, the sun's glittering rays pouring over a gleaming almost pulsating heart.
I have a feeling this baby stole the show - among the ladies - at deLaCour's January 21st-25th launch of its new collections.  The watch was in great company though, sharing the stage with Bichrono Rafaga, City Leap and an exclusive preview of the Tourbillon reflect.

Our lady in question has slimmed down a bit from its contemporaries in the  CITY collections.  This new look provides the dazzling timepiece with a more slender appearance while still maintaining a curvaceous figure. Dimensions of 42 x 41 x 12 mm provide a bold placement on wrist.  However it is not merely dimensions that draw eyes to watch but a striking combination of rose gold emblazoned with diamonds extending from bezel to lugs surrounding a dial of the deepest black. The blackness of dial is a well chosen backdrop to the vibrant red gems outlining its heart and diamonds set as a shimmering sun. Sun and heart serve the function as a dual time zone powered by an in house automatic DC 251.  A day and date are located at the 3 'o'clock position.

deLaCour is a relatively new watchmaking company unveiling its first Bichrono collection at Baselworld 2003. deLaCour is the success of three highly skilled individuals: CEO Alfred Terzibachia, Designer,  Pierre Koukjian and Louai Kuzbari - Financier/CFO.
In the last ten years, the company has unveiled a remarkable number of limited edition timepieces catering to stylistic preferences of individuals.  They have adopted the slogan "since tomorrow" - a very clever phrase for a watch company with a bright future.

Monday, February 4, 2013

"The Last Laugh" Watches by Mr Jones

Mr Jones what do we have here? With a name like Jones one can get away with just about anything and then when things get a bit out of hand, one can hide beneath a swarm of Jonesses. Why would anything go wrong while wearing a Mr Jones watch?  Oh Nothing, Its just that the UK watches have a sort of macabre glee to them which may unsettle he unsettled.
Let me start by saying, I tried to embed a video of the workings of the watch and the clacking of its teeth, but my computer worked itself into a manic frenzy so much so that I had to shut it down and turn it off encase sparks may fly and devilish words appear on the screen in blood dripping red. I turned to my much older computer who has seen many many things, and it allowed the pleasure of posting the video.

What an appropriately frightful  introduction to your watches Mr Jones! 

The  Last Laugh by Mr Jones

As you can see the time is displayed in the evil grin of a skeleton. The hours are displayed on the upper row of menacing teeth while the minutes on the lower row. The 20 jewel automatic mechanical watch uses a jumping hour display and are quite affordable at $255.00.

If one wants to ramp up the  horror of it all - raise an eyebrow or two at this maggot invested video displaying the Last Laugh Tatoo Edition, see below.  The Last Laugh Tatoo Edition is decorated in the bright colors reminiscent of the Mexican "Day of the Dead Festival" of which I blogged  about here.This watch displays the artwork specially commissioned by British Tattoo Artist Adrian Willard

Mr Jones wants to make the point of "Carpe Diem" or Seize the Day".  Lighten up we are only around for a brief moment in time. Mr Jones has a large selection of very intriguing and unusual timepieces.

The Incredibly Thin Piaget Emperador Coussin Ultra-Thin Minute Repeater

At this year's SIHH, Piaget unveiled a minute repeater encased in an ultra-thin 48mm diameter case crafted in Piaget's location at Plan-Les-Ouates specifically working a mere  9.4mm thick case of which the movement is just 4.8 mm thick.  The open-worked dial exposes all elements of the in-house Caliber 1290P.
Piaget went all out to ensure extraordinary results.  Six engineers spent three years at Piaget's location in  La Côte-aux-Fées, working on the 1290P movement. At first I assumed this watch must be hand wound judging from the slimness of the watch, but nope this watch is all automatic - its movement is developed on the base of the Caliber 1200P, which is the worlds slimmest automatic watch.  This feat is enabled by a platinum micro rotor visible at the back of the watch.
The slimness of the watch is no measure to the amount of components, of which the 1290P has a astounding 407. Some of the pieces ,like certain wheels are a mere .12mm thick, and some components are even 0.07 mm thick. The precision required in crafting such diminutive pieces requires high level of expertise and competence. Once crafted, every piece must be placed with perfection for a precision movement. An error in reckoning of a single piece no matter how small can confound the timekeeping to no end. Thus an optimal skill required in compiling the movement is imperative.
 The components of the minute repeater comprise of rods encircling the movement and two steel hammers. The minute repeater is activated by a slider at the 9 'o'clock position whereby it chimes at an incredible intensity of 64 decibels striking in the 5th octave. Hours and minutes are distinguished in sound: Hours - G Sharp and Minutes - A Sharp . The resonance is amplified by increasing the space within the case by hollowing it out as much as possible without compromising the integrity of the structure.  In addition four braces attach the case to the movement ensuring optimal transmission of the gong vibration. A gong base is attached to the movement as well as four screws on the exterior of the case. All these aspects interact to provide a super efficient minute repeater as part of an ultra thin movement.   To regulate the rhythm an inertia flywheel is used as a regulation of rythum from the time the chiming starts until it subsides.

Piaget is at the horological pinnacle of watchmaking world especially in record setting ultra-thin watchmaking.  The Piaget Emperador Coussin Ultra-Thin Minute Repeater is Piaget's 4th ultra-thin high end complication and its 11th complication.  To date Piaget has manufactured no less than 35 completely in-house movements.

Only ten pieces will be available in rose gold raising its worth and appeal. 

Monday, January 28, 2013

Artya Exposes All with the First Ever Watch Themed Watch

Artya never ceases to delight me with an unconventional representations of the watch world.  I will never forget its jab at the extreme lightweightedness watch race with the Worlds heaviest watch or its dinosaur dung depiction.  This time watch components are quite artistically placed on the dial.

I asked Yvan Arpa, what prompted him to create a watch where gears and wheels are presented upon bezel and dial, and he said,"

"I wanted the gears to take over and make more than just making them work the movement,  so I let them invade the dial the bezel."

I like the idea that this is a sort of watch movement invasion, as if the gears and cogs are tired of being cooped up within a case and  invade the dial with unbridled enthusiasm.

Although the gears and cogs and wheels are not in motion, the artistic and calculated placement of every single component on bezel and dial creates an incredible suggestion of the mechanics of a timepiece and the passage of time.

The gears on the outside of the watch hints at a world's first in automatic movement beneath: A triple non- circular gear as the oscillating mass. This innovative feat in mechanical mastery can only be achieved by highly skilled watch makers like Yvan Arpa, the owner of Artya and newly appointed COO of Jacob & Co.

Friday, January 25, 2013

Michel Jordi Dramatic Return to the World of Horology

Russia Kremlin - Michel Jordi 2012

At every Geneva Time Exhibition, I always discover a brand that has ne'er crossed my path.  This years treasure trove was that which belonged to an intriguing Swiss watchmaker Micheal Jordi.  Once I discover the watchmaker or brand they become part of my horological horizon - always scanning for a new development. I find myself on a quiet evening thinking, I wonder whats up with that company or I have not heard much of this company lately, and then I peruse around the net and discover I have missed a milestone or two.
Well Michel Jordi has entered my radar so let us see what a Michel Jordi creation is all about! In an instant I notice a unique almost baroque feel to the watches, exuding vivid colors of extraordinary flamboyance, but then I notice a definite Eastern dimensions to the decor coupled with exquisite mechanical know how.  This is not some wannabee watch company which feigns shallow uniqueness.  This watch company is the real deal with definite undeniable horological prowess.

You may have heard of Michel Jordi in the past. Even owned or still own one of his "Swiss Ethno watches",  hot sellers back in the day.  Many of his watches had signature decorations of edelweiss flowers and Swiss cows often represented on Swiss Army products. You can still find them on ebay for around £100.  His work bared a true Swiss feel.  Born in 1948, Michel Jordi is the son of a watchmaker.  In 1988 he launched opened his own company and launched the "Swiss Ethno Watch" all quartz watches - which sold over half a million pieces between 1988 and 2003.  In 2003, he saw his company virtually collapse beneath his feet and he had no option but to declare bankruptcy. 

 "Heritage Twins" 2006 - Patented System

 Rather than falling into complete despair, Michel Jordi immediately set about reinventing his company -turning it in a new direction of Haute Horology. 
 In 2004, he unveiled a plan of creation a "Twins Watch" : an intriguing concept, which involves a two part watch case connected by a rotating lock.  The twins was initially available in two "Heritage models", Limited Edition of 99 pieces per model - 99 in pink gold and 99 in grey gold. The watches were listed at 53,000 € - ways above his previous mass market "Swiss Ethno Watches".  

 It would take years before Michel Jordi saw the fruit of his labor.  He launched his new and improved brand to the Swiss Market in October 2011 and then internationally after Basel World 2012. Even this soon back in the game, Michel Jordi has quite a selection of watches ranging from Men's Complication Watches launched at GTE 2012 called "Icons of the World"  There are 8 models to this collection:

India's Taj Mahal
1) Russia's Kremlin (Image at top of Blog)
2) India's Taj Mahal

 3) Great Wall of China
4) Mount Fuji in Japan
5) Mount Sugraloaf in Brazil
6) Swiss Interlaken with the mountains of the Eiger and the Jungfrau
7) Geneva depicting the  fountain Jet d'Eau
8) New York's Statue of Liberty. 

Each model is only available in a Limited Edition of three making this collection highly valued in its rarity.

Every component of the watch has been fashioned to depict the Icons of the World creating a masterpiece of design and function.

The Russia's Kremlin timepiece ,for example,  houses a movement created by Michel Jordi in collaboration  with Jean-Francois Mojon:  Owner of Chronode S.A from Le Locle - who is renowned for winning "Best Watchmaker of 2010" and inventor of Harry Winston's Opus X.   The hand wound movement is equipped with one of my favorite complications - the minute repeater.  To accommodate for  the additional power required by the minute repeater, the movement has a double barrel, reserving one barrel specifically for the gong-striking mechanism without effecting time keeping efficiency and enabling a 72 hour power reserve. The movement is visible via a transparent case back.
Great Wall of China

Michel Jordi also commissioned  Christophe Moines for the timepiece design. The actual Roman Numeral  time display featuring hour, minute and seconds hand is off center and accommodating a depiction of the Kremlin towers and the unique St. Basil's Cathedral on the skyline.  This dial design is used for all the timepieces in this collection displaying various images relating to that particular Icon.
A small blue disc is visible at the 2 'o'clock position which presents a written indication of the time of day for the repeater. The 3 o’clock position accommodates the control lever of the repeater

A lovely day/night indicator serves as the backdrop of the Icons of the Worlds Images.  The skeletonized hands are tipped with a type of phosphor compound enabling luminescence.    The aperture at the  4 'o'clock position houses the alarm and minute counters.The On/Off repeater switch is found at the 6'o'clock position where an innovative gong is visible at the 6 'o'clock position and chimes at a low frequency of 2Hz sounding like chapel bells ringing sounding across the Swiss mountains. The sound is produced by a hammer affixed and a monobloc bell fashioned from a single rectangular piece resulting in better sound amplification.

The crown situated between the 2 and 3 'o'clock resembles a deconstructed Swiss flag.

To house an extraordinary movement requires an extraordinary case fashioned from resilient material. The 46mm case of the Russian Kremlin timepiece is crafted from titanium with hints of red gold. A cambered  sapphire crystal protects the timepiece from scratches and 100 meter water resistance protects the timepiece from harmful moisture entering the case.

       This year's GTE 2013, the new face of his brand has made a marked impression. One of the latest  timepieces is the Club 100 Chronograph which is displayed in the video below.  The "Icons of the World" were on display again this year.  A gorgeous selection of  Lady Icon Automatic displaying whimsical depictions of wooded mountainous landscape were also on display - timepieces which deserves a detailed blog.   A Mega Icon White Passion sporting a dazzling diamond bezel is one of the finest timepieces I have seen in a while.  I think we will be seeing quite a bit of Michel Jordi in the horological future. 

 A signature stamp or entire Swiss scene stamped on the watch band and dial irrevocably links Michel Jordi to his homeland in the Swiss Jura Mountains.