Newcomer Alexandre Meerson Introduces the D15 MK-1 GMT

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A recent arrival to watchmaking, Alexandre Meerson debuts the D15 MK-1 GMT, a twin time zone wristwatch powered by a movement from Vaucher Manufacture.

The son of a watch designer active in the 1970s, Alexandre Meerson recently took up his father’s mantle. Based in England, Meerson’s latest creation is the D15 MK-1 GMT, a dual time zone wristwatch with a movement from Vaucher, the specialist that’s the sister company of Parmigiani. The D15 MK-1 GMT is available with three dial colours – blue, white and black – while the 44mm case is offered in titanium, diamond-like carbon coated titanium or white gold. A second, central hour hand indicates another time zone, while the day and night indicator for home time is at nine o’clock. The sub-dial at six is for the date.

Voucher produces the base movement as well as does assembly and quality control of each timepiece. The rest of the components are made by suppliers, including complications builder Dubois Depraz which is responsible for the dual time zone module. 

Starting at US$18,600 for the titanium model, the D15 MK-1 GMT is a pricey timepiece, but not unexpectedly since Vaucher is amongst the highest cost and highest quality suppliers in Switzerland. 

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Hands-On with John F. Kennedy’s Omega Wristwatch

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An unassuming, rectangular wristwatch in the Omega Museum is one of its most historically important objects, having been the wristwatch of John F. Kennedy, 35th President of the United States. 

A famous Geneva watchmaker once ran a series of advertisements in the 1950s with the caption “Men who guide the destinies of the world wear Rolex watches”. The same can be said of its peer up north in Bienne, for John F. Kennedy owned an Omega wristwatch that he wore at his inauguration. This very Omega. Now part of the Omega Museum collection, this extra-thin, hand-wound Omega wristwatch in yellow gold was a gift to JFK from Grant Stockdale, a friend and political supporter whom Kennedy later appointed Ambassador to Ireland. Stockdale gave the watch to the then senator in early 1960, the watch was engraved “President Of The United States John F. Kennedy From His Friend Grant”. Later that year Jacqueline Kennedy wrote to Stockdale, thanking him for the “thinnest most elegant wristwatch”.

On November 8, 1960, the prediction on the back of the watch became a reality when John F. Kennedy became the 35th President of the United States. At his inauguration in January 1961, Kennedy was wearing this very Omega.

A photo from LIFE magazine of the inauguration showing the Omega on JFK’s wrist

In early 1962, Kennedy wrote to Stockdale, mentioning a planned trip to Ireland, which later took place in mid-1963. He ended the letter saying “I am now wearing the Stockdale watch. Again.” A facsimile of the letter is in the Omega Museum, along with the wristwatch.

The wristwatch eventually made its way into the Robert L. White Collection, a trove of items relating to JFK ranging from furniture to the President’s wallet. After White’s death, the collection was sold at auction in New York in 2005, with the Omega wristwatch acquired by the Omega Museum for US$350,000. Subsequently in 2008 Omega introduced a remake of the JFK watch in a tiny run of 261 pieces, identical to the original right down to the vintage-style buckle.

And in 2009, for the 40th anniversary of the 1969 Moon landing, Omega ran a series of advertisements with JFK’s image, with the permission of the John F. Kennedy Presidential Library and Museum in Boston. It depicts the President, along with his statement “We Choose to Go to the Moon.”

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