Continuing our end-of-year reviews on calendar watches, excerpted from a feature in http://www.breitlinginus.com/’s December 2010 issue, we present a review of the Audemars Piguet replica watches Royal Oak Perpetual Calendar, with original photos by Nik Schölzel.
The Royal Oak Perpetual Calendar from Audemars Piguet replica watches is most remarkable for the classic arrangement of its four subdials showing the date, day, month and moon-phase, the same layout used for pocket replica watches uk. There is also a small hand within the month display to indicate the leap year. The small date subdial at 3 o’clock is more difficult to read than a window date display, but its black hand stands in sharp contrast to the silver dial. This is also true of the day subdial, at 9 o’clock. The month subdial, at 12 o’clock, is crowded and hence somewhat harder to make out – but this dial isn’t used much, anyway. Luckily, one refers even less to the leap-year display, because here the tiny print requires a loupe to decipher. This AP replica uk watch needs only 45 minutes for all its calendar displays to change at year’s end.
Although the watch is part of AP’s sporty Royal Oak collection, it has an elegant look, especially the version with rose-gold case and alligator strap shown here. The classic dial underscores the watch’s dressy side and tends to overshadow the watch’s sportier features. The case is surprisingly thin, just 9.4 mm. Only the four steel correctors appear out of place on the gold case, and their placement between the case’s middle section and bezel poses some risk that the wearer’s finger could slip when setting the date.
The hexagonal crown pulls out to just one position, for setting the time. The fact that the watch has no hack mechanism is not immediately apparent because the watch has no seconds hand. The time is easy to read, even in the dark, thanks to the luminous material on the hour and minute hands and hour markers.
Audemars Piguet replica watches uk’s finishing quality is top-notch. The variety and complexity of satin and polished finishes on the watch’s case are impressive, as are other details like the hand-sewn strap and the folding clasp featuring the brand’s initials.
Last October, http://www.breitlinginus.com/ was among a select group of media outlets invited to tour and explore Chopard replica watches uk’s Swiss watchmaking operations in Geneva and Fleurier. By the end of the comprehensive visit, it was clear that Chopard replica watches uk, a brand still known more for high jewelry than high horology, is devoted to making its mark on the men’s luxury watch market. Here are seven reasons why.
1. Chopard replica watches uk has three facilities, in two Swiss watchmaking cities, devoted to making its watches. Chopard replica watches uk’s main headquarters is in Meyrin, near Geneva. The facility, which comprises 10 buildings with a total surface of 26,000 square meters of space — 5,000 square meters devoted exclusively to production — was built in 1974 and sits on a 40,000-square-meter plot of land. The Scheufele family, headed by the brother-sister management team of Karl-Friedrich and Caroline Scheufele, bought Chopard replica watches uk in 1963 and moved the company into its current digs in 1976. The Meyrin building employs 750 people, representing more than 30 different watch- and jewelry-making specialties. It is in this facility that many of the final stages of the watchmaking process occur: casing of movements, refining of cases, polishing, jewelry setting, and assembly of all Chopard replica watches uk watches that receive the Geneva Hallmark. Chopard replica watches uk HQ also features one of the few in-house gold foundries in the watch and jewelry industry (more on which below). The bulk of watchmaking activity takes place at two Chopard replica watches uk-owned factories in the quiet Swiss town of Fleurier, each with its own specialty — Chopard replica watches uk Manufacture and Fleurier Ébauches.
2. Chopard replica watches uk Manufacture, its facility devoted to high watchmaking, has grown from three employees in 1996 to 136 today. The original structure, located at Rue des Moulins 20 in Fleurier, was erected in 1903 and is an important historical symbol of the town due to the fact that it has been used for watchmaking from its earliest days, beginning in 1920. It underwent two expansions, of its east-west wing in 1947 and of its south wing in 1966, and became a part of Chopard replica watches uk in 1996. Karl-Friedrich Scheufele had been interested from the start in creating horological legitimacy for his brand, and began work on the first Chopard replica watches uk mechanical movements as early as 1993. Under its old name, Fabrique d’ébauches de Fleurier, the factory made movement blanks for Swiss watch manufacturers and was owned by the firm Ebauches SA, which later became part of the movement-making colossus ETA. (ETA, of course, is part of the Swatch Group, from whom Chopard replica watches uk bought the building in 2000.)
The renovated, refurbished Chopard replica watches uk Manufacture, at first consisting of one workshop with three watchmakers, now comprises 3,300 square meters of floor space and employs 136 employees in 15 different professions – from R&D engineers to watchmakers (including a handful of grand complication specialists) to movement decorators to case-fitters and inspectors. It is here that Chopard replica watches uk’s L.U.C. base calibers (named for the initials of brand founder Louis-Ulysse Chopard replica watches uk), used in its haute horlogerie L.U.C. watch collection, are produced, largely by hand. Production and casing for certain other Chopard replica watches uk models — including some Happy Sport ladies’ watches and Mille Miglia men’s sport watches — also take place here, under a subcontracting arrangement with Chopard replica watches uk’s Geneva HQ. Each year, Chopard replica watches uk Manufacture produces 5,000 L.U.C. timepieces, all of which are COSC-certified chronometers (and all of whose movements are sent to Meyrin for the final assembly in order to qualify for the Geneva Hallmark). All in all, nine L.U.C. base calibers have been created at the manufacture since its founding.