Monday, 26 October 2009

The Royal Oak — How A Tree Became A Forest

The oak, with its majestic stature and widespreading branches, has long been considered an emblem of strength, resilience and security. The latter connotation was reinforced by the legendary role played by the hollow trunk of one such tree, which, according to legend, served as a refuge for King Charles II when fleeing from pursuers in the aftermath of the Battle of Worcester.

Further confirmation of its noble status was found in the tribute paid by the British Navy, which subsequently named three of its most important vessels "Royal Oak". Thus, from 1802 until the outbreak of World War I, these mighty battleships were to be symbolic of the power of the British Empire.

This rich historical theme represented an invaluable source of inspiration for Audemars Piguet designers in the creation of the Royal Oak in 1972. The Royal Oak was born of a direct challenge to express current lifestyle, anticipating the future, and to create a watch which defies all passing fashions.

The fundamental shape, derived from the nautical association, consisted of an octagonal, porthole-shaped bezel, secured to the case by eight hexagonal screws. As to how it is technically possible to place such screws into equally hexagonal holes, that is just one of the many secrets which this exceptional watch invites its admirers to ponder.

Featuring the first fully-integrated design of its kind, the Royal Oak, with its perfectly-fitted case, bracelet and bezel, constitutes a harmonious and unique whole. The firmly sporting appeal of the watch is accentuated by the clever interplay of matt-finish and brilliant-polished steel. The subtly graded links contribute to the firm, supple feel of a bracelet which adapts to the wearer's wrist as if it had always belonged there.

Nick Faldo, justly famed for golfing exploits such as his consecutive victories in the 1990 US Masters and British Open, is the Audemars Piguet ambassador on the world's most prestigious golfing greens and wears a Royal Oak on his wrist. In tribute to the dual triumph of 1990, Audemars Piguet launched a limited series Royal Championship Edition in tantalum and steel.

For the globetrotters among us, the automatic movement of the Royal Oak Dual Time makes it possible to read two time-zones simultaneously, and also displays the date and the power reserve.

The twentieth anniversary of such a classic naturally called for celebration. The Royal Oak Jubilee, with its ultra-thin automatic movement, is strongly reminiscent of the original 1982 model. In addition, its sapphire glass case-back offers a full view of the specially designed skeletonised rotor, which echoes the inimitable shape of the Royal Oak bezel.

Wrist-watches with chronographs have come to epitomise the performance-oriented sporting spirit of the times, and the Royal Oak is by nature the perfect match for this trend. The new Royal Oak Offshore, complete with an automatic movement capable of measuring time intervals independent of the time of day, is fully water-resistant to a depth of 100 metres.

Finally, the version on a leather strap gives the Royal Oak a chance to attend occasions when the metal bracelet might seem just a touch too sporty. It nonetheless retains the hallmark features, the distinctive bezel and water-resistant screwed-down case.

The economist Helmut Nahr has stated that the nature of time lies in the transformation of things. The Royal Oak, however, while broadening its appeal and adapting to fresh market developments, has succeeded in resisting fundamental change for over twenty years.

Now indubitably a firmly-established watch line in its own right, the Royal Oak, with its broad international renown, has become indissociable from the destiny of Audemars Piguet and has greatly contributed to further enhancing the reputation of the watchmakers of Le Brassus.

Thursday, 1 October 2009

If you haven't heard of Holborn, it's about time you do!

Made in Germany, Holborn features an excellent collection of timepieces crafted from steel, steel and gold, 18K solid gold, as well as a limited edition of jewellery/precious stones watches. Its distinctive dimpled bezel is inspired by the love for golf, but you don't have to love golf to appreciate its beauty and craftsmanship.

"Bearing in mind both elements of a golfer's desire — high prestige and immediate recognition through its design on the one hand, and excellent quality and a sound investment on the other — were vital considerations in developing the Holborn watch," explains Mr Jurgen Heinz, owner of Holborn. "And of course, another main criterion in the design was that although the main target was to develop a golf watch, its overall appearance also had to appeal to non-golfers and any exclusive taste for a beautiful watch."

This target has obviously been successfully achieved. The leading German-Swiss publication for watches and jewellery, Schmuck and Uhren, awarded Holborn's "Tournament Royal" the cover page in the July 93 issue which highlighted the most beautiful gold watches of 1993. Being in competition with all the major established brands, this was an outstanding achievement for a newcomer, although Mr Heinz actually comes from a reputed watch-manufacturing family with a tradition since 1936.

Crafted by expert craftsmen in a factory of long tradition, and in the jewellery and watch manufacturing township of Pforzheim (the Geneva of Germany, if you must), Holborn is a new brand with a rich past in watch-making. In fact, the Holborn factory also manufactures steel and gold casings for some very established Swiss brands.

With the ingenious blending of 18-carat gold with steel or solid gold, each Holborn watchcase is individually crafted out of a solid steel or gold block and each dimple drilled manually. The watchcase is then combined with high-value, handcrafted leather straps or handwoven Milanese gold bracelets. For the "Tournament Carat" models, flawless diamonds can be selected for the casing or the gold bracelets, and of course, both combined. The "Tournament Royal" comes with a Swiss precision quartz movement; the "Tournament Master" provides a Swiss Automatic Chronometer; and the top-of-the-line "Tournament Classic" which features the famous Piquet movement, comes in a limited edition.

Holborn is an excellent alternative to those who would appreciate exclusivity and particularly to those who would love a chance to go against the grain.

Popular Posts

Do you want the truth on 2012, the Antichrist and his identity based on recent discoveries on the covert plans of the illuminati who are master minding his coming? Check out the full 3-part series of "2012 - The Antichrist Identity".

But hurry! This report is purportedly under threat of being taken offline due to its content.