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2009 September 21
In the October Issue of O Magazine, Oprah Winfrey sports a Hamilton Khaky Navy GMT. The model that she wears is The gold-tone version with the white dial and white rubber strap. According to Hamilton, the talk-show legend chose the watch to wear during the cover shoot, but loved it so much that she decided to buy it after the shoot. She is seen wearing it throughout the issue along side (amongst others) Jay-Z, who is as always wearing an Audemars Piguet.
2012 January 16
When it comes to big, bold, haute-horlogerie sport watches Audemars Piguet is the brand to beat. Since 1972 their signature Royal Oak series has become a legendary model that has aged gracefully and received numerous evolutionary updates over the decades to keep it fresh. The Royal Oak Offshore, in particular, has become a huge hit for the brand since it was introduced in 1993, and it remains their signature model. This week I will be profiling one of the most popular Offshores, the so-called “Safari” edition.
2010 January 28
Although none of the companies that Matt Baily Watches carries are represented at the private Salon International de la Haute Horlogerie in Geneva, our passion for fine watches runs deep. Furthermore, chances are good that some of the models I will be mentioning in this post will eventually end up in our outstanding collection of certified pre-owned watches, which includes desirable pieces by Panerai, Audemars Piguet, Cartier, and more.
2009 February 01
This year at the 2009 SIHH show in Geneva, the new releases reflected the slowing down economy and humble state of the international luxury market. Although a few very expensive watches and movements were released, most models showcased a subdued, classic style and most of the new super-complicated models came from the old established brands such as Cartier and Vacheron Constantin.
2008 June 12
We show cased a plethora of heavy high end pieces in our window. The Bell & Ross BR01 Tourbillon was the main attraction as well as the all rose gold Bell & Ross BR01 97 Power reserve, Corum Golden Bridge, all gold Corum Admirals Cup Challenge 44 with brown dial. Other pieces that showed great interest was the Bell & Ross BR01 92 Blue, the all gold Bell & Ross BR02 with Carbon dial.
2010 January 12
Ever since the seventies, when Gerald Genta gave the world the Audemars Piguet Royal Oak and the Patek Philippe Nautilus, less elegant watches made of non-precious metals have become accepted as luxury items. Never before as in the past decade, however, has traditional high-end horology been so intertwined with casual style. Manufacturers such as Bell & Ross, Roger Dubuis, Jaeger Lecoultre, and Corum have delighted watch enthusiasts with fantastic creations that blur the line that separates traditional elegant luxury and rugged functionality and style. Perfectly balanced between these two aspects of watchmaking is the runner up 2009 Watch of the Year, the limited edition Corum Ti-Bridge.
2011 September 12
Ceramic is the latest trend in watch technology, having been dormant for many years (ceramic watches first emerged in the 1960s). The recent popularity of ceramic watches like the Chanel J12, not to mention the ceramic accents on high-tech watches from Hublot and Audemars Piguet, has created a demand for more and more ceramic designs from a variety of manufacturers. Entering the fray is Bell & Ross with a variety of new ceramic models, including the BR03-92 Military Ceramic (green, as we have here, and blue due later this year) and the upcoming BR01-92 Ceramic.
2011 December 12
Last year U-Boat came out with the U-42 limited edition series, a 53mm titanium monster based on a diver’s watch designed in 1942 by Ilvo Fontana, grandfather of company president Italo Fontana. The U-42 was a very distinctive watch that offered a totally unique look in the U-Boat line, one that competed more with the likes of Panerai and Audemars Piguet (but for much less money). This year U-Boat has expanded the U-42 lineup to include an automatic chronograph, as well as a midsize 47mm model to suit more average wrist sizes.
2012 January 30
When perusing watch reviews and blogs, you’ll often read about ETA and Valjoux movements, or perhaps “manufacture” calibres. Perhaps you have heard of module complications or modified calibres in various brands. To the uninitiated this sort of under-the-hood jargon can be a bit confusing, and it warrants some clarification. Even seasoned watch lovers might not be aware of what is involved in the creation of a watch movement, and how many brands share common parts and calibres. So in the spirit of watch nut education, I present the latest instalment of Watches in Depth – Movement Calibres.
2012 June 15
Bell & Ross is best known for it’s Instrument series of watches, but they produce a number of interesting designs. It’s the price of their fame – the massive popularity of the Instrument has overshadowed a lot of their other offerings, which is a shame as Bell & Ross produces some very interesting watches - that aren’t square. One of my favourites outside of the Instrument collection is the BR02 Diver, a massive 44mm tonneau-shaped tool watch that stands out in a sea of ho-hum dive watch designs.
2012 January 09
2012 October 31
Founded in 1735 by Jehan-Jacques Blancpain in the Swiss town of Villeret, Blancpain has become one of the top haute-horlogerie brands on the market today. They produce a number of styles ranging from restrained elegance to bold sport, and a limitless selection of complications. Unfortunately it is often overshadowed by the “better known” players in the high-end Swiss watch market – Blancpain often plays second fiddle to sister brand Breguet, and has less recognition than the powerhouse manufactures of Vacheron Constantin, Patek Philippe, and Jaeger le Coultre. Thus Blancpains are often under appreciated, which is a shame as some of their timepieces - like the Villeret Dual Time we have here - are quite stunning and can offer impressive value on the used market.
2013 September 30
The second installment of Jeff Buchanan-Dorrance's guest column for the Baily Blog, this week Jeff profiles the Bremont Supermarine S2000. Last week, I shared with you the extraordinary capabilities of the Bremont MB (Martin-Baker) series of timepieces and their committment to building aviation-themed watches capable beyond any challenges you could ever hope to throw at them. Bremont has also made significant inroads into the military aviator community, issuing squadron- and mission-specific timepieces prized by their owners and the military units they honour, as well as collectors of interesting and durable watches. Bremont is winning fans worldwide with their quality, innovation, and friendly (gasp) and responsive (double gasp) customer service. (Part of me wants to write, "an industry first!") Clearly, they want us all to have an enjoyable experience.
2013 October 30
![H78615335 thumbnail](http://dev.mattbaily.ca/site-media/img/item/thumbnail/H78615335_thumb.jpg "Hamilton H78615335 Available at Matt Baily") "Holy dive watches Batman!" After discussing the ultra-competent, ultra-deep diving Bremont Supermarine S2000 last week, I want to dial back those Batman job parameters and look at what Robin does for a living. When taken out of Batman's shadow, you have to admit that The Boy Wonder is a pretty competent operator. He is capable of covering the Dark Knight's flanks in an ambush, answering the phones, and injecting a little levity into the working life of an otherwise dour blunt-instrument-of-Justice. Having a diver for beating around is a given in the male watch repertoire. Even if you don't need its capabilities, a diver makes a statement about the ruggedness and adventurousness of the wearer. For many, it's the only type of watch worth considering for daily wear. All deep divers are not created equal but, for our purposes, let's just call anything rated 500 metres or more, "Batman". Apart from extreme pursuits or sheer love of engineering prowess, we don't need Batman. Enter Robin.
2013 January 16
The watch we have here today is one of the rarest modern Vacherons this side of a minute repeater – the very rare and seldom seen 247, which is a Patrimony retrograde model produced in platinum in 2002 to mark the (you guessed it) 247th anniversary of the company. As you would expect, 247 individually numbered watches were produced - and sold out within a short period. As a result finding information about the 247 is sometimes difficult, and examples for sale are extremely rare. Collectors speak of the 247 in reverent tones as a difficult-to-obtain holy grail that is seldom offered for sale outside of major auction houses (at a rate of about one per year by my research). It’s a rare bird and we are fortunate to have one of the only examples in Canada in stock at Matt Baily’s.
2011 July 28
For centuries the pursuit of accuracy and stable rate in clocks and watches has been the driving force behind innovation and quality. The pursuit of accuracy is a cause that has significant trickle-down effects to even the least expensive mechanical watches, much moreso than the pursuit of ever-more complicated pieces. Where a highly complex watch is a bold and visible display of watchmaking prowess, the pursuit of absolute precision is the application of immense skill that often goes unnoticed by the consumer. The chronometer is a finely crafted mechanical watch that exhibits the highest degree of accuracy possible, with official certification to declare it as such. Outside of high-complications, the building of chronometers is one of the top tiers of watchmaking.
2012 March 12
In recent years we in the watch industry have seen an explosion of popularity in one sector of the market – vintage watches. In the last 20 years vintage watches have been steadily rising in value, and demand is getting stronger each year. You can see the influence of this demand in the new watch market, with almost every major company making re-editions of classic designs or retro-themed timepieces that attempt to capture the stylistic essence of vintage models. Vintage, it seems, is the in thing – not just in watches, but also in cars, clothing, music, furniture… Every part of the market seems to be under the influence of old-world design.