Ca'd'oro Blog

Ca'd'oro Blog
2017-04-25

We hear about all sorts of items being made via three-dimensional printing… but watches? Absolutely. In fact, over the past few years, more and more watch brands have been using 3D printing in creating prototypes of watches that are in the research and development stages. It considerably helps to speed up the process.

By three-dimensionally printing cases and bracelets, designers and watchmakers can study the ergonomics of the pieces, the sizes, the curves and the fit. In the past, a watch brand would create a mold and then have samples made for them to see, touch and feel. This process would easily take a few weeks each time something would be altered in the prototype. However, three-dimensional printing takes almost no time in comparison.

In a recent survey, more than 60 percent of watch executives said they already use 3D printing for prototypes of cases, dials, bracelets, buckles and crowns. The benefits of moving more quickly also equal a labor and time reduction, which may help influence eventual prices. Additionally, because objects are designed on a computer for 3D printing, it is very precise, giving watch brands an excellent representation of how the piece will turn out when finally made for real.

Thus far, none of the top luxury watch brands are actually making 3D-printed watches, however, several of the finest haute horlogerie companies are secretly investigating new production methods in laboratories and universities. We can’t wait to find out more, and when we do, we will keep you posted.

2017-04-13

Well, auction season is in full swing, with the top watch auction houses putting some of their most recent finds up on the block. More now than ever before, the concept of buying vintage watches at auction has taken off. For young first-time collectors as well as seasoned veteran collectors, the vintage watch market, in general, and auctions, in particular, are a great way to find that one rare piece. The best auction houses include Christie's, Sotheby's, Antiquorum and Phillips by Bacs and Russo. There are also smaller auction houses to keep an eye on, as well.

We believe in investing in vintage timepieces, as typically many of these watches hold their value. Vintage watches also often make a great sentimental gift. However, before you dive in, here are three important things to know...

1 — Read up. Sometimes if you see something going up for auction that you really want it is difficult to resist. However, investigate the watch, its provenance and its rarity before you bid. Recently, the head of one top watch auction house said that most buyers of vintage pieces at auction make their biggest mistakes in the first year of auction buying. It’s important to know the authenticity of the watch, as well, to ensure the dial, hands or markers haven't been changed, as this significantly affects the value of the watch. You can read books and blogs, such as www.ATimelyPerspective.com and Hodinkee.com to learn more about hot watches.

2 — Ask for help. In addition to reading books, blogs and doing your homework, you shouldn't hesitate to ask the experts — ourselves included. Don’t be afraid to take some pictures of the watch you are considering buying at auction or in a store where pre-owned is a category. While most of the info you are seeking will be readily available if the watch is being sold by a top auction house, that may not be the case if you are buying vintage at retail stores. The one thing you will quickly learn about the watch community is that people are eager to talk about this passion and to give advice, so go to the watch forums, ask the experts and talk up the watch. Also, as an aside, if you are buying from a retailer, ask about your options for returns and refunds right up front.

3 — Have a budget and stick to it. It is easy to break the bank, but if you are not in a position to do so, don't. Other good deals will come along. If you've done your homework, you know what that value is based on sales of similar watches of that genre, make, model, dial color, etc. Happy hunting, and stop in any time to talk about pre-owned and vintage watches.

2017-04-11

If you love watches and art, you may be interested in making a trip to the National Watch & Clock Museum. Beginning on April 30 and running through the end of the year, the museum will host an exhibit featuring the work of watch photographer Atom Moore, whose creative take on time portrays watches in new and unusual ways.

Just about a year ago, Moore's photography was on display in New York and, subsequently, he published a book: Watch Portraits, with dozens of color photos of his work. The exhibit at the NAWCC in Columbia, Pa., is also called "Watch Portraits," and is open to the public.

Photo by Atom Moore.

From May 20-22, the NAWCC will be offering a three-day course on how to evaluate watches and recognizing genuine pieces vs. fakes. More information is available on the NAWCC website at this link...

2017-04-06

TAG Heuer officially unveiled its newest smart watch at Baselworld. It's called the Connected Modular 45 and it is Made in Switzerland (thanks to a clever move to assemble parts of the electronic module in that country). The new watch is offered in a modular format so customers can select various aspects of the watch to suit their needs — with thousands of different combinations of straps, dials, bezels and more.

The 45mm watch is powered by Intel and utilizes the Google Android Wear 2 operating system.The watch is offered with a digital head, but customers can also choose to buy a mechanical watch head so they can switch between having a smart watch or a mechanical watch, or to keep the timepiece intact as a watch once the OS becomes outdated.

The electronic watch head is powered by the Intel Atom processor Z34XX series (smaller and more energy efficient) and offers Android Pay, as well as a host of other features. The watch has in improved screen, which features a bright, colorful AMOLED display. Additionally, the watch uses a rotating command crown to scroll through menus and messages. It houses a new generation lithium battery for 24 hours of active power.

2017-04-04

Well, the Baselworld 2017 watch and jewelry exhibition has come to a close and we can sit back and reflect on the trends we believe will make their way to wrists around the world this year.

Top among the trends was a revival of mixed metals. In fact, two-tone watches — with stainless steel and 18-karat rose gold coming together in one timepiece — were all the rage. In some instances two-tone watches made their appearance in an effort to usher in less expensive prices than all-gold, but in other instances, it was all about the look. A sleek rose gold bezel against a steel case has impressive appeal. However, gold isn't stepping aside to let the two-tone looks dominate — gold is still going strong. We saw a little yellow gold emerging, but rose gold is still in vogue.

Color also gains attention this year, with beautiful dials in pale shades of pink, blue and green. Chocolate and slate gray also reign as top dial choices for both men and women. Straps emerge strongly in all hues, including bright white, orange, red, yellow and rich fall colors.

As predicted, we saw a lot of sport watches, especially chronographs, making their appearance, as well. Many of those sport watches follow a theme, such as dive watches, pilot or aviation-inspired watches and auto-inspired pieces — all with rugged, yet refined, appeal.

Finally, women's watches are stealing the limelight as more and more brands unveiled pieces dedicated to ladies. Crafted in steel, gold and other materials, the newest women's watches are either highly classic in look, sporty chic or over-the-top with diamonds.

All of these trends will be flowing our way with new product in our cases throughout the year, so we invite you in any time to see the latest and greatest timepieces.

2017-03-23

Every year since we can remember, the world's largest and, perhaps, most important watch exhibition, BaselWorld, has taken place in Basel, Switzerland, in March. This year, the exhibition runs from March 23 until March 30. This is a huge affair, with hundreds of watch brands unveiling their newest timepieces — watches that are sure to set wrist trends for another year.

BaselWorld is a meeting of minds, of technology and craftsmanship. Here, in five separate buildings, as well as off-site, some of the best brands in the world unveil the watches that they have been secretly working on for years.

While we will bring you specific watch brand information after the show, here are five trends we expect to be prevalent this year:

Affordability. As global economics have a huge effect on watch lineups, we expect this year to see some more affordable timepieces with quality movements and great design. These will appeal more to the younger audiences and those being a bit more frugal this year.

Over the Top.  We also still expect to see some truly over-the-top watches: timepieces with astronomical complications, musical features, and top-of-the-line complexities. Along with that, we expect that diamond- and gemstone-set watches will be strong.

Color. This is the year for brands to make a color statement. From blue to red and from pale pink to white, color should abound this year. Along with colorful dials and straps, we may find some interesting new interchangeable straps.

Sporty Appeal. Chronograph watches, pilot watches, dive watches and watches inspired by the world of automotive racing will continue to steal the spotlight. We look forward to seeing the newest affiliations and iterations from the brands we carry.

Connectivity. Smart watches in the "traditional" watch world continue. Let's see what is unveiled this week.

2017-03-16

If you love clocks and their history, you may well be interested in the upcoming webinar being offered by the National Association of Watch and Clock Collectors (NAWCC). The webinar is entitled "Hidden History: Clock and Watch Records in the Riggs Archive at Winterthur."

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Taking place on Sunday, March 19, at 7 p.m. EST, the presentation will be made by Bob Frishman, a full-time restorer of antique clocks since 1992. He regularly lectures on the history, science and culture of timekeeping. The webinar is free. You can register for it at NAWCC.org. If you are interested but not available on March 19, you can view a recording of the session as long as you have registered.

Winterthur's clocks number more than 100 and include chiming shelf clocks made in America more than a century ago. The Riggs Archives at Winterthur are part of the Winterthur Garden and Museum in Delaware. Winterthur was opened to the public almost 60 years ago by collector Henry Francis du Pont. It is considered one of the premier museums of decorative arts with nearly 90,000 objects on display. Winterthur is set amidst a 1,000-acre preserve of rolling meadows and woodlands in the town of the same name, about 7 miles northwest of Wilmington.

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2017-03-14

The results are in from the latest Antiquorum auction of Important Watches & Jewelry, where nearly $4 million was generated from the sale of nearly 300 collectible timepieces and some top jewelry items, once again proving that the best of the best in watches can hold — and increase — their value over decades.

Top lots included a Patek Philippe rare perpetual calendar watch with baguette diamond bezel that sold for $227,000. Also at this auction, watches by Franck Muller and Vacheron Constantin performed well, as did Richard Mille and a host of others.

In fact, there was some fierce bidding for the  Franck Muller Calibre 97 Unique Grande et Petite Sonnerie Minute Repeater Perpetual Calendar in platinum with diamonds [lot 270]. Originally estimated to sell for $20,000, it went for a whopping $221,000.

Also achieving a spectacular result was the Richard Mille Ref. RM 011 Ivory Felipe Massa Annual Calendar Flyback Chronograph in pink gold [lot 123]. The extremely rare annual calendar wristwatch exceeded its estimate and sold for $143,000.

As usual, rare pieces from Rolex attracted interest from collectors. The Rolex Ref. 116599 Daytona Baguette Diamond Ruby watch in white gold [lot 267] sold for $75,000; while the Rolex Ref. 116759 GMT-Master II Diamond Sapphire and White Gold timepiece [lot 268] sold for $50,625.

A Vacheron Constantin Honeycomb dial yellow gold watch, circa 1950, that was in very fine condition was estimated to sell at $3,500, but it ended up fetching nearly 10 times that amount.

2017-03-10

This weekend you will lose an hour of your time... that is because Daylight Saving Time 2017 will start on Sunday, March 12, at 2 a.m. That's the bad.

The good is that we will finally gain a little more sunlight in our day. In fact, on Saturday, March 11, sunset is at 5:59 pm (EST) and on Sunday, March 12, it will set at 7 pm.

Thankfully, with many high-tech devices in our lives being automatically aligned, we don't need to worry about adjusting the time on our phones or computers, for example. But, we will need to do the manual reset on our traditional watches and clocks.

Germany was the first country to implement Daylight Saving Time in 1916. It was during World War I and the change was made to conserve electricity. In the United States, Daylight Saving Time was first established in 1918, although it is not currently observed in every state. Hawaii and parts of Arizona do not change times. Standard Time resumes on Sunday, Nov. 5.

Credit: Image by BigstockPhoto.com.

2017-03-07

Chronographs are watches that track intervals of time. For instance, they can monitor laps around a track, the time it takes to hike a mountain or how many minutes it took you to grill that burger. A basic chronograph has an independent sweep second hand and typically hour-counters and minute counters. Generally, a chronograph can be started, stopped and returned to zero by successive presses on a chronograph button on the case side.

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The amount of time a chronograph can track varies depending on the watch. Most offer up to 12 hours, 60 minutes and fractions of a second. There are also different types of chronographs, including some that can time multiple events at once. Also, chronographs often incorporate other useful functions, including tachymeters to measure speed or distance.

It was Louis Moinet in 1816 who invented the first chronograph. He wanted to track astronomical objects. In fact, Moinet’s device was called a “compteur de tierces” (three-thirds) and was started in 1815 and completed in 1816. It was one of the most accurate watches of its time. Because Moinet used two pushbuttons to start, stop and reset the central hands, the watch is considered a chronograph (though the term wasn’t coined until later).

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A few years later, French watchmaker Nicolas Rieussec unveiled his version of the chronograph, which he patented in 1821. It was then, as he presented his watch with seconds counter to the Academy of Sciences, that the watch was termed a chronograph (time writer). Rieussec’s chronograph was developed to measure laps of horse racing, and the early versions used ink dots to calculate the duration of events, and often were large clocks encased in table boxes.

Centuries later, we have come a long way in the development of the chronograph. Most today have small sundials on the main dial, wherein the hours and minutes are recorded. The seconds are usually tracked via a central seconds hand on the main dial. Of course, different brands use different methods of indication, but the concept is virtually the same. We invite you in any time to explore and discover our wonderful array of watches offering this historic function in modern time: the chronograph.

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