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2010 May 21
Being invited to visit Frédérique Constant and Alpina' headquarters in Geneva, I packed my G11 and HD camcorder and made my way to Plan-les-Ouates. This neighbourhood, as I found out, is home to some of the most prestigious watch companies in the world. Since I had never visited this area before, I opted for the roughly thirty minute walk from the train station to discover it. On the way I encountered manufacturing facilities for Rolex, Patek Philippe, and several other watchmaking giants.
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.
2008 June 20
An RCMP search of a Windsor residence uncovered a luxury counterfeit watch operation police say pulled in more than $1 million US in sales.
2010 October 11
2009 July 16
July 16th 2009 marks the 40th anniversary of the launch of Apollo 11 set to land on the moon. The trip from Earth to the Moon and back took a total of eight days, and the crew of Apollo 11 only walked on our cheesy-faced satellite for only two and a half hours, but as Edwin E. "Buzz" Aldrin stated: "In (that) one moment, the world came together in peace for all mankind."
2009 July 20
My First visit to Geneva Geneva is not a a very big city, but is packed with things to see. If you are a watch enthusiast, then the points of interest are endless. Since I am neither a good organizer nor an early riser, I did not plan any specific route. We parked the car and walked around for the entire day stopping in a few places for lunch, coffee, and drinks.
2013 September 11
We here at Matt Baily like to think we have a knack for finding cool and up and coming brands. We like to stay ahead of the curve and seek out interesting marques before they hit it big, so that we can be on the ground floor to help them develop. We also pride ourselves on exclusivity. So when we were tipped off about an interesting Hong-Kong based brand called Ancon producing cool and affordable bronze watches, we thought we’d check them out and see what was up.
2010 May 27
Originally launched in the 1950s as a pilot's chronograph for the French air force, the Breguet Type 20 Transatlantique faded into obscurity for many years, overshadowed by flashier and more complicated pilots chronographs. That was, until Breguet decided to re-issue the Transatlantique as the Type XX / XXI flyback chronograph.
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.
2011 June 20
Not too long ago I wrote an FAQ on watches and watch technology for the benefit of our readers and clients... In the spirit of my original FAQ I have decided to begin a series of in-depth blogs on specific subjects – different complications and their variations, the engineering and mechanical work involved in a movement, how a watch is serviced, and other topics for people who wish to learn more about luxury watches.
2010 May 19
Having written recently about the U-Boat U-1001/1, I took a brief plunge into the world of diving watches and what they offer. There are very specific requirements for a watch to be considered a diving watch. While these features are outlined in detail by international standards, the most important ones can be summarized by considering what is essential to underwater timepieces. They must function when submerged and under great pressure and allow the wearer to easily and quickly measure the elapsed time at different crucial instances during the dive.
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.
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.
2010 October 19
This week, it's part two of our three part bout between the horological heavyweights - the IWC Big Pilot 5002 vs the Panerai PAM 233.
2011 August 22
Frederique Constant (and sister company Alpina) have a history of interesting sports sponsorships. Alpina sponsors the 12 Hours of Sebring endurance race, while Frederique Constant has been a part of the Lake Geneva Regatta for classic boats (commemorated by the Runabout series), and has also worked with the Austin Healey owners club for the Healey line. The latest limited edition from Frederique follows that same idea of a classic watch for a classic event – the Peking to Paris chronograph commemorates the legendary automobile rally between China and France.
2012 January 23
Alpina has been on a roll lately, after introducing several cool new models (including the Startimer and Extreme Sailing, and the upcoming Heritage Pilot) that have really put the spotlight back onto the brand. The new theme seems to be better design, better quality, and lowered retail prices overall. The new Extreme Sailing Automatic in particular offers exceptional value; it’s a clean, functional and good-looking watch that appears far more expensive than it is.
2010 June 28
In the world of watchmaking, there are a select few movements that become legendary in themselves. These movements can become examples of the heights of the watchmaking tradition, or perhaps simply an example of good rugged engineering. The Zenith El Primero has become one of those movements - for its quality, innovation, and its rugged design - a rare example of when a movement becomes more famous than the watch it came in. Here at Matt Baily we have two excellent examples of the El Primero's versatility - a diamond-adorned ladies open-heart model with power reserve indicator, and an elegant but delightfully complicated men's model with triple-date, moonphase, and chronograph functions.
2010 July 09
From 2005 to 2010, Matt Baily has been a proud authorized retailer of U-Boat watches. During that time the we witnessed the company re-invent itself and their products get better and better. Whether you are a fans of large, luxury watches or not, there is no escaping the intrigue of Italo Fontana's designs. This Baily Blog entry recapitulates U-Boat's past five years as seen from within the Matt Baily boutique.
2013 February 11
Sometimes you have odd moments of serendipity, even working in this weird industry that is watches. We deal with a lot of preowned and vintage timepieces, but can have lulls of long periods where we may not have any leads or offers to trade in new pieces. Then, suddenly, you will have a rush of items come in within a span of several weeks. Such was the case where we ended up with two exceptional vintage Breitlings. Both came from completely different sources, but ended up in our store in the same week. Both are exceptional, hard to find, and well preserved – and both have interesting histories behind them.
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.
2013 September 25
Today on the Baily Blog we are welcoming the first contribution from guest columnist Dr. Jeff Buchanan-Dorrance. Always on the prowl for interesting and significant timepieces, Matt Baily brought in a Bremont ALT-1C two-register chronograph early in the Summer and it was suggested to me as an unusual alternative to the "usual (Swiss) suspects". They were considering taking the brand on so--liking what I'd heard about Bremont--I had them order a couple of watches for me. "Tested Beyond Endurance" is the working motto for Bremont, an English watch company with its' roots in aviation. The company was formed by two brothers who shared a passion with their father for timepieces and piloting vintage planes. Their father died in a plane crash and both brothers have also been seriously injured pursuing their aviation passions.