Patek Phillippe- A critical time for watchmakers- Reblog from CBS Sunday Morning

It’s about time to look at the extremes of timekeeping, including the watch on my wrist. Small in every way, except for its $25,000 price tag. Martha Teichner examines the Patek Philippe mystique:

http://www.cbsnews.com/common/video/cbsnews_video.swf

Luxury Swiss watchmaker Patek Philippe is discrete about the famous owners of its timepieces. Ostentatious, they aren’t. Expensive, they are.”We generally start about $12,000, $13,000, and we go up,” said Larry Pettinelli, president of Patek Philippe USA. “There are some very complex pieces that are over several million dollars.” Continue reading

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Merry Christmas from How To Be Swell

Merry Christmas all you swell readers. My wish for you is to be surrounded by loved ones and enjoying your favorite holiday festivities. I love Christmas, and being a hopeless romantic I am always nostalgic for my favorite sights and sounds of the season. One of my favorite images this time of year is the big city shopping districts all decked out for Christmas, like those immortalized in movies like Miracle on 34th street, Christmas Story, and more recently, Elf.  You can imagine holiday shoppers bustling about carrying packages with large bows for that special someone, and Santa on the street corner ringing bells for the Salvation Army so those less fortunate can enjoy the Holiday as well.

Harry Winston Store in NYC

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The Baume et Mercier Clifton Complete Calendar

Clifton Complete Calendar  Blue DialWhat an absolutely beautiful watch from what is quickly becoming one of the best brands around. It is no secret that I am a huge Baume Mercier fan. They have been doing absolutely everything right lately, from design and craftsmanship to marketing and service. They really are growing into a powerful brand on the level with a number of the luxury makers out there, and at a better value than many. So, it will come as no surprise that I am going to rave about their new Clifton Complete Calendar.

Rolex Oyster Perpetual Explorer II

Explorer II and airking.jpgI am growing into a rather loyal Rolex fan. I do understand the stigma attached; the perceived pretentiousness by the uninitiated. I had felt this way at one time as well. That was until I owned one of my own, I now appreciate the brand for their longevity, history, technical feats, and overall quality and value. I do tend away from the instantly recognizable blingy “look at me” models in favor of the more understated pieces. After all I appreciate a Rolex for what it is, not what it means to everyone else who sees me wearing it. Continue reading

Rolex Deepsea Challenge

imageGreat and wonderous things happen when worlds of technology and exploration collide in pursuit of a common ambition. The catalyst of exploration has spurred technology many times in the past, and technological advances have paved the way for some fantastic voyages in history. This wonderous ballet has provided man glimpses of the most magnificent views on earth and in space, as well as some of the most complicated and ingenious gadgets you have ever laid eyes on. You will soon be able to see, on the National Geographic Channel, one such history making adventure. Continue reading

JFKs watches

Our 35th president was a man who exuded style and class. John Fitzgerald “Jack” Kennedy  became one of the most popular presidents and his administration was refered to affectionately as Camelot. He garnered respect from politicians on both sides of the aisle, but he also had a fair share of detractors. Some disliked him so vehemently that they were able to take his life on November 22 1963. Of course any discussion of JFK can go in so many directions; His politics are open for debate, his storied personal life, and many rumored trysts make for sordid conversation. He without a doubt left a huge legacy here in america and depending on your perspective will decide the degree of said legacy. I wont be addressing those topics here, I want to talk about Jack’s personal style, specifically his taste in watches. There are four specific watches related to JFK that tell stories of their own. Four distinguished pieces belonging to the president that he wore for various reasons in noteworthy situations. Continue reading

1964 Heuer Carrera Re-Edition Chronograph

Admittedly I have over looked Tag Heuer for some time, aside from a couple of models, not much has got me going from them. Of course I do love the Monaco (you may see that in a subsequent blog post). Recently I acquired a great watch from them, and it happens to be a watch they made twice. One of the only watches that they produced under both the Heuer name, and post acquisition by Techniques d’Avant Garde then again under the Tag name (I’ll explain in a bit). Heuer began as a watchmaker in St-Imier, Switzerland in 1860 with foundation of Uhrenmanufaktur Heuer AG by Edouard Heuer. The company was purchased by TAG Group (Holdings) S.A. in 1985 and Heuer became TAG Heuer. In 1999 TAG Heuer was sold to French luxury goods conglomerate LVMH -Moët Hennessy, Louis Vuitton. Continue reading