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OMEGA reintroduces the iconic Calibre 321

MD Staff

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If you ask most watch fans to name a famous movement they’d like to see reborn, you’re bound to hear them mention the OMEGA Calibre 321. This robust and elegant chronograph movement has been a favourite since the 1940s and is still highly sought-after by watch collectors around the world. Now, more than 50 years after the last Calibre 321 was produced, OMEGA is bringing the iconic movement back.

Known for its beautifully intricate design, the original Calibre 321 earned a notable place in history. It was used in a variety of models including the Speedmaster ST 105.003 (the model first tested and qualified by NASA and worn by astronaut Ed White during the first American spacewalk) and the Speedmaster ST 105.012 (the first watch worn on the moon).

Reintroducing a movement with such an important reputation must therefore be done with the utmost exactness. For the Calibre 321 project, OMEGA utilised a dedicated team of experts who worked efficiently over two years and in total secrecy to bring the movement to life. The small group was composed of researchers, developers and historians, as well as the finest craftsmen and experienced watchmakers.

Using the 2nd generation Calibre 321 as a reference, the OMEGA team compiled extensive historical research and original plans to reconstruct the movement as accurately as possible. Going even further, they also used digital scanning technology to see inside the true Speedmaster ST 105.003 timepiece that astronaut Eugene “Gene” Cernan wore on the moon during the Apollo 17 mission in 1972.

As a result, even the most unique and iconic parts of the Calibre 321 have been reborn in respect to their authentic specifications. The new movements will now go into production at OMEGA’s HQ site in Bienne. Uniquely, all aspects of creation will be undertaken within a dedicated Calibre 321 workshop. For each movement, the assembly, as well as the watch head and bracelet assembly will be performed by the same watchmaker. Watch fans can expect more developments and news in the coming months.

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Breitling Launches Wheels and Waves Limited Edition in Biarritz

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Breitling took to the Wheels and Waves festival in Biarritz for the launch of its Premier Wheels and Waves Limited Edition watch, which comes in two versions: 18 k red gold and stainless steel. The brand also celebrated its powerful links to two thrilling sports – motorcycling and surfing. Since 2012, Wheels and Waves, the world’s leading motorcycle, surfing, and skateboarding festival, has attracted visitors from all over the world – who are drawn to the festival’s dynamic yet cool atmosphere – to the popular resort town.

Wheels and Waves is a festival like no other. Each June, thousands of visitors find their way to Biarritz, where they are treated to displays of world-class surfing, motorcycle racing, and skateboarding. This year, as Official Timekeeper, Breitling was on hand throughout the festival, which proved once again to be a platform that authentically embodies the Swiss watch manufacture’s Land and Sea brand worlds. The third world, Air, was well represented on Friday night as the Breitling Jet Team dazzled festivalgoers, flying through the skies above Biarritz. 

The Wheels and Waves organizers are very excited about Breitling’s active role at the festival. Jérôme Allé said, “We’ve completely enjoyed working with Breitling and are thrilled by the support we’ve had from Georges Kern and his Squads. They share our passions and our commitment to engaging with our community. Breitling lives up to its reputation as a cool, inclusive brand, and the Squad brought those values to this year’s Wheels and Waves.”

Breitling CEO Georges Kern said, “At Wheels and Waves, we highlighted the passions we share with the festival: a cool, laid-back surfing lifestyle and sporty, elegant motorbikes. It also gave us a chance to introduce ourselves to people who, like us, are driven by action, purpose, and style – and we launched a watch that celebrates the festival that expresses those values.”

The Breitling Premier B01 Chronograph 42 Wheels and Waves Limited Edition

One of the festival’s highlights was the launch of the Breitling Premier Wheels and Waves Limited Edition on Thursday, June 13. It has been produced in both an 18 k red gold version, limited to 100 pieces, and a stainless-steel version issued in a series of 500 pieces. The cases in both metals feature an engraved plate with a Breitling SPECIAL inscription on the left side. 

These watches are set apart by their unique anthracite dial with golden hour markers, hour and minute hands, and a red central seconds hand. The dial features a black tachymeter scale on a white inner bezel, with a red tachymeter inscription. These COSC-certified chronometers have contrasting black subdials (a chronograph minute counter at 3 o’clock and a small seconds subdial at 9 o’clock) – a mark that they are powered by Breitling’s flagship Manufacture Caliber 01. 

The in-house mechanical movement, which offers a power reserve of about 70 hours, is visible through a transparent caseback. The caseback for the 18 k red gold version is engraved with a “ONE OF 100” inscription; the stainless-steel model is engraved “ONE OF 500”. 

The red gold and the stainless-steel versions are presented on a brown nubuck leather strap. 

Breitling CEO Georges Kern points out how the Premier Wheels and Waves Limited Edition watch brilliantly reflects his brand’s partnership with the festival: “With this chronograph, we have created a very special version of our Premier, which is Breitling’s most elegant watch family. At the same time, they reflect the things we love about Wheels and Waves: the energy, the lifestyle, and, as I’ve said before, the coolness.”

Breitling and the sports showcased at Wheels and Waves

Some special guests were on hand to help Breitling celebrate Wheels and Waves. The brand was joined by celebrated French actor, director, screenwriter, and motorcycle enthusiast Guillaume Canet, Swiss top model Ronja Furrer, and WSL surfer Jérémy Florès, who is a member of Breitling’s French Squad.

On Thursday evening, a graffiti wall, with a Wheels and Waves-themed painting by artist Tristan Barroso, was unveiled at the Artride event. Georges Kern welcomed his guests and introduced the Premier Wheels and Waves Limited Edition watch.

On Friday, there was a Breitling Surfers Squad lesson with Jérémy Florès, who generously shared tips with participants of all levels. Some of Breitling’s guests were involved not only with the surfing tutorial, but also in the Deus Swank Rally Enduro Race on Friday, along with Breitling CEO Georges Kern and Guillaume Canet. A dedicated Breitling ride was followed by the main race, whose winner was presented with a Breitling watch. 

The Wheels and Waves festival, with its unique focus on surfing and motorcycling, represents an ideal opportunity for Breitling to showcase its close links to both sports. Breitling already enjoys a partnership with Norton Motorcycles, the world’s oldest motorcycle brand, and it has a long and strong association with motor sports, including a link to Bentley. In fact, the partnership between Breitling and Bentley is the world’s longest-standing partnership between a watch brand and an automobile manufacturer. 

Meanwhile, the Breitling Surfers Squad, which consists of world stars Kelly Slater, Stephanie Gilmore, and Sally Fitzgibbons, has elevated Breitling’s profile on the surfing scene. Indeed, Breitling is also set to serve as Official Timekeeper at the 2019 World Surf League’s Freshwater Pro in Lemoore, California.

Wheels and Waves – a new Breitling tradition

Breitling has always been a luxury watch brand, but in terms of its attitude, style, and the sports it supports, it is truly inclusive. At Wheels and Waves, thousands of visitors had a chance to interact with the brand and they were able to identify with Breitling, its stories, and its Squads. In Biarritz, Breitling took its message directly to the people, engaging men and woman of action, purpose, and style. 

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Jaeger LeCoultre Presents Three New Rendez-Vous Sonatina Dedicated To Peaceful Nature

MD Staff

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Jaeger‑LeCoultre is delighted to present three exquisite variations of Rendez-Vous Sonatina celebrating “Peaceful Nature”, each offered in a limited edition of eight pieces. These supremely elegant timepieces embody three distinct expressions of refined and delicate femininity.

Testament to the rare talent of Jaeger‑LeCoultre’s craftsmen, they unite the codes of fine watchmaking and the delicacy of Métiers Rares™ (Rare Handcrafts), celebrating the Art of Precision in both technical execution and aesthetic expression.

Orchids: a symbol of beauty, grace and charm, cultivated and appreciated in China for more than 3,000 years. Butterflies: believed to represent metamorphosis, hope and life itself – their almost weightless fluttering evoking a sense of lightness and joy.

Elegant yet delicate, fragile yet strong, orchids and butterflies unite on the dials of this new edition of the Rendez-Vous Sonatina, expressing the most enchanting facets of the feminine character.

Giving full rein to the skill of the Maison’s artisans, these new timepieces call on three of the Métiers Rares™ (Rare Handcrafts) that Jaeger‑LeCoultre has so thoroughly mastered: guillochage, micro-painting on mother-of-pearl, and gem-setting.

The dials are engraved with a wavy guilloché motif that enhances the tonal variations of the mother-of-pearl, then a delicate tint of pink, green or purple is added. Onto this gleaming background the exquisite composition of orchids and butterflies is brought to life by the artisan, one tiny brushstroke at a time. Lifelike in their detail, with a remarkable sense of visual depth, each of these miniature works of art is subtly different, imbued with the artisan’s personality and passion. A fine oval-shaped ring of diamonds draws the eye to the painted image where, set among the blooms, in a free-form, flower-shaped aperture, the Night & Day indicator is visible.

Set on the edge of the dial, a delicate gold star marks the time of a special rendezvous, moved into position by a second crown. When the time comes, the watch releases a single, melodious chime to remind the owner of her appointment.

This poetic and whimsical expression of femininity is brought to life by the technical sophistication of Jaeger‑LeCoultre’s Manufacture Calibre 735, a self-winding movement developed specially for the Sonatina, which is displayed beneath the transparent sapphire case-back.

To complete these watchmaking treasures, an alligator leather strap, matched to the dial colour and given a glowing, shiny finish, is fastened to the wrist by a pink gold buckle.

Conceived as a joyful expression of femininity, these special editions of Rendez-Vous Sonatina are limited to eight examples of each variation, and are available exclusively from Jaeger‑LeCoultre boutiques.

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Jaeger LeCoultre Presents the New Dazzling Rendez-Vous Red

MD Staff

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Capturing the pure essence of femininity, the Rendez-Vous collection has been reimagined this year as part of The Art of Precision theme. With a prong setting brought to life with the most meticulous and striking jewellery techniques, the new Dazzling Rendez-Vous pay tribute to the highest form of precision, both in craftsmanship and creative passion.

In addition to the Dazzling Rendez-Vous Night & Day (available in white gold or in pink gold) and the Dazzling Rendez-Vous Moon (in white gold) launched at SIHH, Jaeger‑LeCoultre is delighted to present the new Dazzling Rendez-Vous Red at the occasion of the 22nd Shanghai International Film Festival.

Red: the colour of nobility, energy, passion, wisdom and good fortune. The colour of confident femininity – extroverted and undeniably glamorous.

With Dazzling Rendez-Vous Red, Jaeger‑LeCoultre presents its emblematic Night & Day function in a radiant new setting that combines pink gold, white mother-of-pearl, white diamonds and the rich glow of rubies – a natural

Created in the spirit of jewellery watches, Dazzling Rendez-Vous Red showcases La Grande Maison’s uncompromising attention to detail. To highlight the impressive rubies that encircle the watch case, its master jewellers have opted for a prong setting, one of the most demanding of jewellery techniques. Requiring extreme precision, each of the 36 rubies is held in place by tiny gold spikes. The master gem-setters spend hours meticulously positioning the stones one by one, mounting them high, to minimise the presence of the metal and allow light to pass through the stones from all angles. This creates an impression that the rubies could almost be floating, and intensifies their crimson-red glow.

A circle of brilliant-cut diamonds completes the bezel and within it, gleaming like moonlight, is the silvery-white mother-of-pearl dial – a perfect foil for the Night & Day display. Visible through an opening at 6 o’clock, a golden crescent moon alternates with a shining sun, as night turns to day in an endless dance of time.

The row of 72 diamonds on the bezel is echoed by a ring of 47 smaller diamonds on the inner dial. Set between these diamond circles, the pink gold Floral numerals stand out in warm contrast to the iridescent white dial. Adding a final flourish, 12 diamonds are set in the lugs and a further diamond in the crown.

As with the dial and case, Jaeger‑LeCoultre allows no compromise inside the watch. Visible through the transparent sapphire case-back, Calibre 898B/1 is a self-winding mechanical movement entirely developed and produced within the Jaeger‑LeCoultre Manufacture.

This sumptuous timepiece is completed by a strap in ruby-red alligator leather with a subtly shiny finish, fastened with a pink gold pin buckle.

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