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The Manual Wind: Bespoke Timepieces by Vacher Private Label

the manual wind bespoke timepieces by vaucher private label
Vertical integration is a goal in any industry.  Branding is a key to success, but in an industry built on detail oriented enthusiasts, recognition may prove easier.

Vaucher is a movement house.  The Sandoz family acquired all the pieces to the puzzle completing the formation of this manufacturing powerhouse in 2003. Designing and manufacturing movements and parts for brands throughout the industry, they have certain recognition.  Located in Fleurier, Switzerland, Vaucher shares a home and all of its prowess with Parmigiani, its branding partner.  It seems the time has come for more than just watch nerds to know the Vaucher name.  It will now sit upon the dial of the new Vaucher brand and collection; Vaucher Private Label.

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Vaucher Private Label offers the consumer the totality of a watch manufacturing region for their own timepiece personalization.  They will offer the ability to create custom timepieces based off of a series of twenty-five pieces.  All extremely well made and high end down to the screws, Vaucher Private Label will offer consumers the highest end customizable timepiece in the market.  There are very few companies in the world that can offer such a service, and Vaucher Private Label will be the first to do so.

With the ability to create custom dials, case dimensions, and branding detail, a high end custom timepiece is within reach.  It is fortuitous for Vaucher to realize this void in the market place.  With the rising popularity of brands like Bamford Watch Dept, the demand for unique and custom timepieces is apparent.  I am sure pricing will reflect the quality and custom attributes of a bespoke designed timepiece by Vaucher Private Label, but this watch world is small and it can be pricy to have Fleurier at your disposal.

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The Manual Wind: Harry Winston Avenue Dual Time Automatic
the manual wind harry winston avenue dual time automatic feature

Once an avant avant-garde brand, always an avant-garde brand.  Once that original plunge into obscure design and complication is taken, free reign ensues.  Harry Winston might have started off as a jewelry brand, but years ago they took that plunge.  From the limited edition series of Opus watches, down to their most basic production watch, Harry Winston is certainly avant-garde.  Their latest design, the Harry Winston Avenue Dual Time, takes their rectangular Avenue case shape and makes it interesting.

This vertical rectangle, in either sedna rose gold or Zalium (Harry Winston’s own ultra light allow) measures a substantial 55mmx36mm.  Sandwiched between two sapphire crystals is Harry Winston’s in house calibre HW3502 movement.  This movement features day, date, time, day/night indicator,
retrograde hours, and a second timezone.  Above the movement lies an eccentric dial.  Layered and slightly skeletonized, its a good thing Harry Winston decided to label the dial in order to read the time.  The local and hometime are both labeled.  The depth and finish on this dial is very impressive.  For added comfort on the wrist, the crown has been placed at the 5 o’clock position as to not dig into your wrist.

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The Manual Wind: Bell & Ross WW1-97 Heritage Power Reserve
the manual wind bell ross ww1 97 heritage power reserve brhww1a

In the watch world, size matters.  Not five years ago,  monster timepieces ruled the landscape.  Consumers wanted clocks on their wrists and thats exactly what brands made.  It was common to see 48mm and 50mm timepieces being released on the regular; and barely fitting on wrists.  Some well designed pieces made the cut and brands are working on scale.  Brands like Hublot, Zenith, and Bell & Ross are now making these pieces smaller for the current market trend.  45mm has proved to be the realistic max for the market and brands are complying.

Bell & Ross, known for the large square BR-01, has rounded its corners and complied with a great design in the WW1-97 Heritage.  A steel case measuring 45mm holds a superbly detailed dial.  Gillette gold lettering and track contrast against a black glossy dial.  Untreated steel numbers in a classic pilot font make this piece.  It may resemble the Zenith 48mm Pilot but the difference is in the detail.  These textured steel numbers match the hour and minute hand standing out from the gloss dial.  Below this classic dial lies a 42 hour power reserve automatic movement with power reserve indicator.  Strap this on with a black crocodile strap and tang buckle.

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The Manual Wind: 50th Anniversary Corum Coin Watch
the manual wind 50th anniversary corum coin watch coin50a

Watches are a form of currency. They are traded worldwide like commodity with no ticker.  A classic design produced by custom jewelers and a number of watch brands makes the watch a literal commodity; the coin watch.  There are two main designs of the coin watch.  One version is a coin cut in half that open to reveal a movement and dial.  The design which I prefer makes the coin both the case and dial.  Corum is the brand that made the coin watch for the masses.  They have recently updated this modern classic for its’ 50th anniversary.

To commemorate the first Corum coin watch, this anniversary limited edition comes in two variations just like the original.  One variation is that of a silver 1$ coin measuring 43mm in diameter, minted in 2014.  Inside this detailed classic coin is a Corum automatic movement with a 42 hour power reserve.  A small diamond caps off the crown.  The second variation makes a timepiece of a 50$ gold coin.  This coin is 36mm and 18kt yellow gold,  also minted in 2014.  Inside lies the same 42 hour power reserve movement.  To be sure you know what brand you are wearing, the Courm name is lasered onto the crystal to preserve the coin.  Black baton hands make for a good contrast and match the black crocodile strap the pieces are strapped to.

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